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Enrollment increases at 3 Fayette County Catholic schools

| Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 12:36 a.m.
Lori C. Padilla | for the Daily Courier
Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School is preparing to start the 2013-2014 school year with two newly hired teachers and an 18 percent increase in enrollment. Wade Schnorr (seated left) and Christine Colcombe join Thomasine Rose (standing left), Elizabeth Spinelli and Louis C. Dangelo, looking over the curriculum and class lists for the new year. Conn-Area Catholic at the Geibel campus and St. John the Evangelist Regional Catholic in Uniontown also increased their enrollment numbers for the upcoming school year.

As the 2013-14 school year begins next week, there will be a significant increase in the number of students at the three Catholic schools in Fayette County, according to the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

The East Crawford Avenue campus for Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School and Conn-Area Catholic School in Connellsville will be especially busy.

Conn-Area Catholic has 156 students registered in its pre-K through sixth-grade program for 2013-14, said Ceal Solan, principal. If that enrollment holds before Monday's start of school, it would be a 38 percent increase from last year when the school had 113 students, and it would be the highest enrollment since the 2003-04 academic year when the school had 170 students in grades K-8.

The 156 students would be a 54 percent increase in enrollment since the 2011-12 academic year when there were 101 students at Conn-Area Catholic School, according to diocesan records.

Solan said the new facility (Conn-Area moved to the Geibel Catholic campus two years ago) and the school's family atmosphere are two of the primary reasons for the enrollment increase.

“We are very welcoming here,” Solan said, “and families are looking for an atmosphere where their child gets special attention.”

Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School has 167 students registered in grades 7 through 12, an increase of 25 students, which would be a nearly 18 percent increase from the end of last year, said Don Favero, principal. He was meeting with more prospective students and their families this week.

The school continues to build on the momentum from last year's designation as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the country, Favero said.

Geibel Catholic will use the theme “Toward the Top” this year as it works to maintain its Top 50 honor.

Geibel Catholic is maintaining its visibility in the community through a billboard campaign and will be the beneficiary of a tribute show today at the Italian Festival of Fayette County.

Classes begin at Geibel Catholic on Tuesday.

St. John the Evangelist Regional Catholic School in Uniontown, which has a pre-K to 8 academic program, is anticipating an enrollment increase. Christine Roskovensky, principal, expects a first-day enrollment of 212 students, 10 more students than last year (which would be a 5 percent increase).

That figure could change as families are still inquiring about the school, Roskovensky said.

The school, which hosted an open house on Aug. 14, begins classes on Monday.

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