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Aquinas Academy in Greensburg put in spotlight

| Thursday, July 25, 2013, 8:33 p.m.
Guy Wathen | Tribune-Review
Aquinas Academy Principal Scott Manns speaks about the school during a business social in Greensburg on July 19, 2013

Aquinas Academy in Greensburg recently hosted its inaugural business social to let local leaders know how it can assist in preparing students to take their place in the workforce.

Hosted by Andrew Stockey from WTAE-TV, guests viewed a documentary on Aquinas Academy and were asked to show their support through donations, sponsorships or by speaking to a class.

Attendees included Ben Wren from Sen. Kim Ward's office; Bill Eger, Greensburg City Council member; Trent Bocan, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Greensburg; Greensburg Mayor Ron Silvis; attorney Vincent Finoli; Tyler Courtney, Westmoreland County commissioner; and Julie Saul from Dahar Orthodontics.

“It takes a village to raise a child,” said Aquinas Academy Principal Scott Manns. “It takes support of church, teacher and community to raise a child correctly.”

Aquinas Academy is a pre-kindergarten through seventh grade Catholic school located at 340 N. Main St. Its mission is to provide all students with a Catholic learning environment, nurturing spiritual, academic, social, emotional and physical growth.

The school prides itself on the one-on-one attention given to each student.

Silvis, a longtime educator in the Greensburg Salem School District, thought the event was a great opportunity to showcase Aquinas.

“The greatest gift a parent can give their child is their education,” Silvis said. “After that, it's up to them.”

Terry Clemens of Clemens Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Clinic in Greensburg came with a patient of his who is a parent at Aquinas. Clemens is interested in speaking to a class about the study of chiropractic medicine.

Milissa Pavlik, parent of two Aquinas students, said the event was important to inform leaders about educational options in their community.

She is impressed with the school's staff and faculty.

“When talking about STEM integrating programs, a lot of other schools are still just talking about it,” said Pavlik, a chemical engineer. “They have a progressiveness to look outside the box.”

Pavlik's daughter Savina, who will enter seventh grade, believes “it's the teachers, that we do fun stuff, and that we can talk about God” that keeps her coming back to the school.

The Rev. Msgr. Raymond E. Riffle, managing director of Catholic Charities, said many people may have heard that Aquinas is a good school but still have a tendency to overlook it.

“An event like this asks people to take 10 minutes and see all the gifts available to them,” he said.

Michele Stewardson is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.