Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy in Aspinwall ready for Catholic Schools Week

First grader Rowan O'Brien works on a art project for Catholic Schools Week at Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy in Aspinwall.
First grader Rowan O'Brien works on a art project for Catholic Schools Week at Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy in Aspinwall.
Photo by Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 9:48 p.m.

Along with bowling, board games and breakfast donuts, next week's fun-filled schedule for students at Christ the Divine Teacher Catholic Academy is packed with faith.

Catholic Schools Week, which kicks off Sunday, is a chance for staff and students to celebrate their school and to share their values with others, said Principal Dorothy Dolak.

“I want them to try to be of service and pass on their faith not just this one week, but all year long,” Dolak said. “This week is one week where we can show others what we are about.”

Marking its 40th anniversary, Catholic Schools Week runs through Feb. 1 with the theme “Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.”

At the academy, students will indulge in daily festivities, such as breakfast with grandparents, crafting Valentines, dress-down day and a visit from the Civic Light Opera.

The celebration begins a day early with an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, followed by Mass at neighboring St. Scholastica Church and a reception. Hannah Collins, 14, volunteered as a tour ambassador for prospective students and their families.

“I want to share with everyone that I really enjoy it here. You make a lot of friends and all the teachers are very supportive,” said Hannah, an eighth-grader.

Students will make Valentines for Meals on Wheels recipients and for veterans on Monday, wear casual clothes to go bowling on Tuesday and host a breakfast for Aspinwall merchants on Wednesday.

There will be a special presentation, “Invention of Edison,” by the Pittsburgh CLO. The musical highlights the achievements of historical figures.

“It's a great way to interact with all the grades and celebrate our school,” said seventh-grader Claire Pilewski.

Later in the week, students will learn about Junior Achievement projects and host a new activity, an alumni gathering, said school spokeswoman Traci Giuffre.

“We're having a varsity boys basketball game at 7:45 p.m. Thursday where the team will wear old-time uniforms that look like ones from when the school was still called St. Scho's,” Giuffre said.

The throwback theme is intended to reinforce the school's commitment to the community, she said.

Friday will wind down the week with breakfast with families and a board game break from class.

“It's about being appreciative of coming to a Catholic school,” Giuffre said. “We try to focus on thanking their parents and having them realize it's a privilege.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at

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