Julie Johnson
Julie Johnson

Holy Cross School in North Portland will use part of a former convent to create a new preschool for 4-year-olds. The building once was occupied by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and now hosts parish meetings. Renovations will take place before the preschool opens next fall.

"Holy Cross is excited to extend the great things we are doing at the school to more families," says Julie Johnson, the principal. "These youngest students will be welcomed into a nurturing Christian community where wonder and exploration are encouraged through active learning, play and the creative arts."

Suzanne DeVaney-Wilkes, Holy Cross second grade teacher, has just been honored by the National Catholic Education Association as regional teacher of the year. The kindergarten teacher, Anne Storm, received the same recognition in 2010, and Father Mark Bachmeier, Holy Cross parish priest, was honored in 2007 as NCEA pastor of the year for his support of Catholic schools. Johnson says she is grateful to Father Bachmeier for supported the preschool expansion.