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Education Features

Schools celebrate good character, honor many welcoming students


Each month Catholic Schools across the Diocese of Buffalo will focus on one character virtue. During the month of September, principals, teachers and students concentrated on Welcoming. They encouraged their students to demonstrate a welcoming spirit as new students and teachers joined their communities, and they certainly did not disappoint.

Haylee Tomsic, from St. Christopher School in Tonawanda, helped new altar servers during the first Mass of the year. Her teacher shared that, “She acted as Jesus would, as a teacher and a friend.”

Giovanni Boccabella, from Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in Harris Hill, welcomed others by holding doors and greeting families as they entered the school building.

Grace Gajkowski from DeSales Catholic School in Lockport is known for saying hello, smiling often, and making everyone feel welcome inside and outside the classroom.

Elise Marsh from Northern Chautauqua Catholic School in Dunkirk went out of her way to make a new family feel welcome at the school. Her principal described her as “kind, respectful and Christlike in her words and actions.”

These tiny snapshots paint a picture of what happens every day in Catholic Schools across Western New York. Students are welcomed into faith-filled, supportive communities where they can become fully alive.

Congratulations to all of the Character Award winners in September.

Haylee Tomsic – St. Christopher School, Tonawanda

Giovanni Boccabella – Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Harris Hill

Elle Casucci – Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, Depew

Tommy Bell – Notre Dame Academy, Buffalo

Grace Gajkowski – DeSales Catholic School, Lockport

Allie DiGiacomo – St. Mary’s Elementary School, Lancaster

Nathan Goodridge – Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville

Naavah Simon – St. Benedict, Eggertsville 

Elise Marsh – Northern Chautauqua Catholic School, Dunkirk

Lucia Leng – Catholic Academy of West Buffalo 

Erin and Michael Hamblin – St. Joseph Regional School, Batavia

Amelia Bocketti – St. Mary’s School, Swormville 

Isabella Wiatr – Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls

Tara Gopal – Nativity of Our Lord School, Orchard Park

Finn Krist – SS. Peter & Paul School, Hamburg 

Maya Luna – Southtowns Catholic School, Lake View

Molly Kennedy – St. Amelia School, Tonawanda

Regan Rice – Christ the King School, Snyder 

Lukasz Walworth – St. John the Baptist School, Alden 

Kennedy Sondel – St. Stephen Catholic School, Grand Island

Sarah Blass – St. Andrew Country Day School, Kenmore

Riley Fanning – Our Lady of Victory School , Lackawanna

During October, schools will teach and celebrate the character virtue of sportsmanship. Students are encouraged to have a positive attitude, encourage their teammates, take pride in winning, and accepting a loss with grace.


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