Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Saturday, April 30, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Parish/School Life : Parish and School News
1/23/2011 2:58:00 PM
School started to lift students is working so far
Catholic Sentinel photos by Ed Langlois
Erick Reynel, José Gomez and Darian Whatley listen in sixth grade science.  math students.jpg
Catholic Sentinel photos by Ed Langlois
Erick Reynel, José Gomez and Darian Whatley listen in sixth grade science.
math students.jpg
Racheal Nakhabala, La'Princia Miller and Tyschal Blake discuss ancient civilizations.
Racheal Nakhabala, La'Princia Miller and Tyschal Blake discuss ancient civilizations.
Ed Langlois
Of the Catholic Sentinel

Each day at 5 a.m., eighth grader Chrisleine Temple gets ready for a 90-minute bus ride from outer East Portland. Other passengers notice her crisp uniform and inquire.

Chrisleine is proud to look them in the eye and say, "I attend St. Andrew Nativity School."

She is one of about 60 middle school youths who attend St. Andrew, located in a century-old building that once housed a parish school in inner Northeast Portland. All students come from at-risk families with minimal income. Parents pay $25 a term, but classes are small, instruction intense and hours long.  

Members of St. Andrew Parish and the Jesuits began the school 10 years ago to provide a Catholic education for talented children who might otherwise meet with trouble.

"Ten years ago, many people wondered if this kind of school could survive," says Loretta Wiltgen, president of St. Andrew.

At-risk youths get help to succeed in good high schools and colleges. That could bring whole families out of poverty, studies show.

"This is how we are going to change our country," Wiltgen says.

A little more than half of students are black and a little less than half are Hispanic. Most come from a single parent household and just more than half are Catholic.

All face the challenges of poverty. One boy came to school the morning after six bullets had hit his house. Another student, hurt in an accident, told the hospital nurse to call not his parents, but the people at St. Andrew.  

About 90 percent of Nativity students, when they enroll in sixth grade, are well behind grade level in academics. Through personal attention and longer hours, they almost all catch up by the time they begin high school.

The school day runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Classes average about 10 students.  

"If you have a question, most people are nervous to ask in a room full of people," says Nebeu Fekede, an eighth grader who says he had trouble learning in larger classes at his grade school. "But here, everyone knows you and you're not that afraid."

In addition to core academics, the school offers electives in yoga, cooking, photography, yearbook and other areas.

"They want you to spread out and learn something new," Nebeu explains.

Melissa Ferrusca-Granados, a sixth grader, says she was nervous when she started, but then an eighth grade girl poke to her class and school began to feel like family.

Classes are divided between boys and girls, all in uniform, including ties for the boys.  

In sixth grade science on this day, boys are learning about geological plate tectonics and the various kinds of rock. In math, seventh grade girls learn to convert fractions into decimals.

In seventh grade religion for boys, students learn about the different ways Jesus is portrayed in the different gospels. In history, eighth grade girls are comparing governance in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Israel.   

Students are required to take religion classes and attend Mass monthly. Crucifixes and images of St. Ignatius of Loyola hang on the walls.

Jesuit Father Jeff McDougall, the principal, employs proactive discipline. Students hear what is expected of them from the get-go. They are to be open to growth, intellectually competent, grateful, religious, loving and committed to justice. When students live out these characteristics, staff give them a citation called a "virtue award." At the same time, the teens regularly hear (and can repeat) the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas: "Virtue is its own reward."

"What we always tell them here is, 'Keep trying,'" Father McDougall says.

Ashley Whitty, the language arts teacher, says faculty and staff work to help students know their own strengths and passions. After that, a young person can begin to focus outward on service, she explains.

Graduates of St. Andrew attend schools Jesuit, Central Catholic and St. Mary's Academy. Almost all finish secondary education, twice the rate of their peers. St. Andrew students are now in college at places like UCLA, University of Oregon and Seattle University. The first class will graduate from college in 2012.

Once students head to high school, St. Andrew sticks with them. Aggie Shwayder, graduate support director, makes sure students get the tutoring and aid they need. She helps them pursue passions on teams and in clubs and helps seniors apply for college.

Shwayder makes sure that St. Andrew graduates continue advances in becoming other-centered. This fall, she convened all the St. Andrew students now in high school and the group helped build a Habitat for Humanity house.

Hardly a day passes when some graduate does not return for a visit. They continue to see Nativity as their second home, a place where they are loved and expected to rise to the occasion.  

The school tries to form community among parents and students, with mother-child dinners and support groups. There are clubs for boys and girls to help them find good adult role models.

"You learn how to be respectful and responsible," says Angel Pulido, a seventh grader who is in a group called Boys 2 Men, run by a Portland Police officer. In the groups, students learn the dire consequences of even a brief embrace of drugs, alcohol or gang life.  

Mike Chambers, the vice principal, wants students to feel some liberty. He does not mean lack of discipline.

"I want doors to be open to them," Chambers explains. "I hope that they have more freedom and options in their lives."

"I want to do something big with my life," adds Vanessa Palma, a seventh grader. "I want to take my beliefs and what I think and spread it out. This school has taught us to believe in ourselves."
An anniversary Mass is set for Feb. 4.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved