INGALLS ST MAM AD 728x90px 03 30 21

Sergio Garcia (from left), Sonia Ponce and Principal Claudia Mendez listen as retired principal Larry Manetti shares memories of his 24 years at St. Joe's. (Photos by Carol McGowan)

Farewell parade pays tribute to St. Joseph School

By Carol McGowan

It was a warm Saturday, but that didn’t stop parents, children, the community and employees of St. Joseph School in Summit from having a few hours full of memories and celebrate what the 107-year-old school meant to them.

Back in January, the Chicago Archdiocese made the announcement that the elementary school would close its doors at the end of the 20-21 school year, which officially ends June 30. They cited dwindling enrollment.

The morning started out with parents, students, and alumni gathering at Summit Park to decorate vehicles and get ready for the farewell parade that would start rolling at 12:30 p.m. The caravan of Summit Police and Fire units, along with approximately two dozen decorated vehicles made their way out of the park and over the the school.

st joes knight in parade

The St. Joe’s Knight mascot arrived via Mustang convertible.

The staff, parents and students and others were dressed in royal blue, the school color, and many wore a commemorative T-shirt courtesy of the St. Joseph Parents Club. Sonia Ponce, Parent Club President, was on hand. She spoke of what the school meant to her, and expressed gratitude for being part of it.

St. Joe’s Principal Claudia Mendez was touched by the turn out.

“I’m glad we get a chance to say goodbye. It was a great accomplishment for the school to be open the entire year during the pandemic when others weren’t. One of my best memories here will always be ‘Wacky Wednesday.’ It was during the cold winter months and our wellness checkers dressed up in costumes, including a big dinosaur and unicorn to greet them outside and take temperatures before the entered the school. It really cheered everyone up.”

Mendez has spent the last 10 years working with the Archdiocese school system, eight of those as a principal. She started at St. Joe’s last July replacing longtime principal Lawrence Manetti Sr., after he retired. He had been principal at the school for 24 years.

st joes principles and elected officials

Former Principal Larry Manetti, Chicago Ald. Silvana Tabares (23rd), Summit Trustee Aleco Julius, Summit Trustee Sam Dardovski, Summit Mayor Sergio Rodriguez, St. Joseph Principal Claudia Mendez pose following the parade.

Mendez has four children of her own that have gone to or are currently attending Catholic schools. “I’m very proud of them. It’s great to practice faith while getting a great education.” Mendez will be taking time off this summer, but will be returning to the Archdiocese school system this fall.

Manetti was at the celebration after the parade and shared some memories of the school. One was when he first started, and forgot his lunch. “When one of the parents heard that, they came back with a burger, fries and a drink for me. I knew I was going to like it here.” That gave the crowed a laugh to lighten the mood.

Summit resident, school alum, and former school employee Betty Koran was on hand. She had worked serving lunches at the school for the past 45 years until this year. Besides working at the school, Koran was involved in the Mother’s Club, Ladies of the Rosary. If one was involved in Girl Scouts over the decades in Summit, you know her.

st joes Mrs. Koran

Betty Koran

Not only did Koran work for the school, she was involved with corned beef dinners, pancake breakfasts, and anything the Girl Scouts did out of St. Joe’s. “I went to school here, my children went to school here, and my grandson went to school here. It’s all family to me and there are too many memories to mention.”

 

St. Joseph is one of four schools that the archdiocese is closing this year.

Besides the school closing, St. Joseph Parish will be merging with Summit’s other Catholic church, St. Blase, effective July 1.

The Desplaines Valley News was told the now closed school will be used for the overflow of CCD classes that are currently held at St. Blase.

All of the class graduate photos that adorned the school walls will be archived at the Archbishop Quigley Archives and Records Center in Chicago. The center is also taking all alumni records.

Mendez said many of St. Joe’s curricular resources are designated to go to other Catholic schools, and some of the furniture and sports equipment is going to Catholic schools where students are transferring to.

She said families that need a record of their child’s schooling at St. Joe’s will be able to request it directly from the archdiocese.

All of the sacramental records including weddings, funerals, first communions and baptismal records will go to the new parish, which is being headquartered at St. Blaise.

st joes dolores kids and another parent

Family and friends gather to celebrate St. Joseph School.

 

Local News

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound PDF October 27, 2021

Brother Rice lineman Zak Bowden motions forward as quarterback Jack Lausch scores one of his three rushing touchdowns in Friday’s 40-21 road victory over Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Football: Rice tops Marist as both powers eye playoffs

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The buzz and postgame emotions from Brother Rice’s 40-21 victory over Marist on Friday was abbreviated. Because the heralded game was played on the final regular season weekend of the year, these area and state powers and bitter rivals quickly turned their attention to the playoff pairings announcements, which came less…

Chicago-Red-Stars-Logo

Last home game a winner for Red Stars

By Alison Moran What a way to end a season at home. It was a perfect night for a cool game of soccer, with temperatures in the upper 50s and no rain dampening the field. In front of 4,488 of the Red Stars’ faithful at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, the Chicago Red Stars defeated KC…

Marie Vachata was the second woman to serve as mayor of Lyons. Her term was 2001 to 2005. (Supplied photo)

Marie Vachata gets a fond farewell from Lyons

By Steve Metsch Pat Wideman will never forget the first time she met Marie Vachata. “When I first moved to Lyons 50 years ago, she was the very first neighbor who welcomed me to Lyons,” Wideman said while sitting on a bench outside the village hall. Vachata resided two doors down on 46th Street when…

The Bridgeview Sports Dome before it was damaged in a storm in December of 2015. (File photo)

Bridgeview rents out former golf dome site for parking

By Steve Metsch The village of Bridgeview stands to make nearly $5 million by renting out space to park trucks where the golf dome formerly stood. The village will be paid $45,000 per month in an agreement that runs through September 2030. That comes to $540,000 per year and $4.86 million over the nine-year contract.…

Sandburg’s Maia Loureiro, shown in a first-round match in Barrington, is the fifth area player to finish in the top 10 in the state in girls tennis. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Sports Postseason Roundup: Maia, oh, Maia — Sandburg soph finishes in top 8

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent It was cloudy. It was windy. It was rainy. Many people might describe it as a lousy day, but Sandburg sophomore tennis star Maia Loureiro wasn’t complaining. She was playing tennis. In the state tournament. She opened her state career on that crummy Oct. 21 day at Barrington High School with…

Isra Syouri, 13, of Palos Hills, daughter of Steve's Bite owners, Sufian "Steve" and Kifah Syouri, cut the ribbon during the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the restaurant at 11906 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights. (Photos by Kelly White)

Steve’s Bite holds grand opening

By Kelly White Palos Heights welcomed in a new business last weekend. Steve’s Bite, 11906 S. Harlem Ave. in Palos Heights, held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on October 15. The store officially opened its doors over the summer, and owners Sufian “Steve” and Kifah Syouri said they could not be happier to…

Celebrating the naming of Rev. Jeffrey Clemons to the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission are (from left) executive director Ron Melka, Trustee Mike Porfirio, Rev. Clemons and state Sen. Steve Landek. (Staff photo)

Summit’s Rev. Clemons named to township’s Mental Health Commission

By Steve Metsch The Township of Lyons has a new member on its Mental Health Commission. The Rev. Jeffrey Clemons, of Antioch Baptist Church, 7513 W. 64th St., Summit, is joining the commission. His appointment won unanimous approval from the township board at its meeting on Oct. 12. He is the first African-American on the…

Carson Kukulski, 2, of Palos Heights, was happy to attend Lake Katherine's first-ever Oak-tober Fest at the nature center, 7402 Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights. (Photos by Kelly White)

Lake Katherine pays homage to the mighty oak

By Kelly White Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens celebrated the oak tree during the month of October with a cleverly named, Oak-tober Fest last weekend. “We wanted to have an event that was more of a fall festival in addition to the Monarch Celebration that we hold in September,” Gareth Blakesley, Director and…

Karen Sala

Check your smoke detector batteries

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park (773) 471-1429 • [email protected] It’s October. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors. I woke up to the unpleasant chirping of one of my smoke alarms the other morning at about 4 a.m. Thankfully I had a 9-volt battery, so I was able to change it and go…

Neighbors

House Ad Subscription3
DVN Les Brothers Restaurant House Ad
SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound PDF October 27, 2021

Brother Rice lineman Zak Bowden motions forward as quarterback Jack Lausch scores one of his three rushing touchdowns in Friday’s 40-21 road victory over Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Football: Rice tops Marist as both powers eye playoffs

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The buzz and postgame emotions from Brother Rice’s 40-21 victory over Marist on Friday was abbreviated. Because the heralded game was played on the final regular season weekend of the year, these area and state powers and bitter rivals quickly turned their attention to the playoff pairings announcements, which came less…

Chicago-Red-Stars-Logo

Last home game a winner for Red Stars

By Alison Moran What a way to end a season at home. It was a perfect night for a cool game of soccer, with temperatures in the upper 50s and no rain dampening the field. In front of 4,488 of the Red Stars’ faithful at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, the Chicago Red Stars defeated KC…

Marie Vachata was the second woman to serve as mayor of Lyons. Her term was 2001 to 2005. (Supplied photo)

Marie Vachata gets a fond farewell from Lyons

By Steve Metsch Pat Wideman will never forget the first time she met Marie Vachata. “When I first moved to Lyons 50 years ago, she was the very first neighbor who welcomed me to Lyons,” Wideman said while sitting on a bench outside the village hall. Vachata resided two doors down on 46th Street when…

The Bridgeview Sports Dome before it was damaged in a storm in December of 2015. (File photo)

Bridgeview rents out former golf dome site for parking

By Steve Metsch The village of Bridgeview stands to make nearly $5 million by renting out space to park trucks where the golf dome formerly stood. The village will be paid $45,000 per month in an agreement that runs through September 2030. That comes to $540,000 per year and $4.86 million over the nine-year contract.…

Sandburg’s Maia Loureiro, shown in a first-round match in Barrington, is the fifth area player to finish in the top 10 in the state in girls tennis. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Sports Postseason Roundup: Maia, oh, Maia — Sandburg soph finishes in top 8

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent It was cloudy. It was windy. It was rainy. Many people might describe it as a lousy day, but Sandburg sophomore tennis star Maia Loureiro wasn’t complaining. She was playing tennis. In the state tournament. She opened her state career on that crummy Oct. 21 day at Barrington High School with…

Isra Syouri, 13, of Palos Hills, daughter of Steve's Bite owners, Sufian "Steve" and Kifah Syouri, cut the ribbon during the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the restaurant at 11906 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights. (Photos by Kelly White)

Steve’s Bite holds grand opening

By Kelly White Palos Heights welcomed in a new business last weekend. Steve’s Bite, 11906 S. Harlem Ave. in Palos Heights, held a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on October 15. The store officially opened its doors over the summer, and owners Sufian “Steve” and Kifah Syouri said they could not be happier to…

Celebrating the naming of Rev. Jeffrey Clemons to the Lyons Township Mental Health Commission are (from left) executive director Ron Melka, Trustee Mike Porfirio, Rev. Clemons and state Sen. Steve Landek. (Staff photo)

Summit’s Rev. Clemons named to township’s Mental Health Commission

By Steve Metsch The Township of Lyons has a new member on its Mental Health Commission. The Rev. Jeffrey Clemons, of Antioch Baptist Church, 7513 W. 64th St., Summit, is joining the commission. His appointment won unanimous approval from the township board at its meeting on Oct. 12. He is the first African-American on the…

Carson Kukulski, 2, of Palos Heights, was happy to attend Lake Katherine's first-ever Oak-tober Fest at the nature center, 7402 Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights. (Photos by Kelly White)

Lake Katherine pays homage to the mighty oak

By Kelly White Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens celebrated the oak tree during the month of October with a cleverly named, Oak-tober Fest last weekend. “We wanted to have an event that was more of a fall festival in addition to the Monarch Celebration that we hold in September,” Gareth Blakesley, Director and…

Karen Sala

Check your smoke detector batteries

By Karen Sala Your correspondent in Gage Park (773) 471-1429 • [email protected] It’s October. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors. I woke up to the unpleasant chirping of one of my smoke alarms the other morning at about 4 a.m. Thankfully I had a 9-volt battery, so I was able to change it and go…

House Ad Subscription1
CRR NH Uhlmann Improvement House Ad