Staff and faculty from St. Clare School say the week before classes was "a virtual whirlwind of activity" — moving furniture, decorating walls, making copies. Laughter rang out in the halls as everyone made final preparations to greet students.

The parish and school are planning for a two-year centennial celebration, which will run from summer 2013 through summer 2015.

Father Stephen Stobie arrived as new parish priest in July. He graduated from St. Clare and over the summer has been sharing recollections of his time as a student. Staff and faculty have been fascinated.

Officials plan to have Father Stobie teach students about the history of St. Clare.
The school received what officials call "a mini-facial" while the students were away.

Workers laid durable carpeting in the hallways. Middle-schoolers will no longer need to battle their lockers to get them closed; new lockers went in, color coordinated with carpets.

Hallway renovations were just the beginning. Technology updates include laptops and iPads, which come in addition to Smart Boards and document cameras with media carts. Teachers received training in a new school information system.  

All these improvements came at the hands of volunteers and staff. Parents Stephen Hunt and Jason Beam and a team of helpers coordinated the purchase and installation of the carpeting and lockers. Tony Irlbeck, science teacher and IT expert, oversaw technology upgrades.