Important Announcement Regarding OLR School

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

 Dear OLR Family,

Over sixty years ago our parish school was founded by a group of families who were convinced of the need for Catholic education for their children. Over the years the school has been built up through the continued dedication, hard work and sacrifice of our people.

However, the buildings of our school are crumbling. Furthermore, for many reasons educational methods and objectives are changing fast. As our country becomes more secular the need for solid, dynamic Catholic education is greater than ever. Therefore, over the last year I have been researching, reading, praying, speaking with educators, and visiting schools to discern the way forward for our Parish School.

Some people think the school should be downsized or even closed. I disagree. I think we should expand.

Therefore, we have decided to explore the possibilities of adding an upper school for students aged 15-18. I call it an “upper school” rather than a “high school” because when most Americans hear “high school” they imagine all the typical American high school model with the full range of specialist teachers and all the extra-curricular activities on offer.

Instead of this we are envisioning a “small but beautiful” upper school with a limited number of students who will receive a highly specialized learning experience. Using the new technologies and the Oxford-Cambridge tutorial method of learning, our upper school will offer an intensive, affordable, high quality Catholic upper school education. We will also continue to include some students with special needs through expanded Arrowsmith and Embrace programs.

For the last six and a half years Mrs. Marianne Tully has done a fantastic job at the helm of our school. She has launched a K4 program, overseen the development of our special needs provision, spearheaded much needed fund raising initiatives, lead the school through the accreditation process, and worked tirelessly to bring our school out of a period of turbulence into a steady and positive situation. Our school now has a growing reputation for excellence and a genuinely loving and accepting atmosphere. About all her accomplishments Mrs. Tully has said, “It is easy to accomplish much if you have a heart for education, believe in God’s everlasting love, and cherish the privilege of teaching, and being with God’s most precious gift each day—our children!”

However, to lead our school into the next phase we saw the need for someone with a skill base and experience different than Mrs. Tully’s. Therefore we formed a search committee and are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr. Thomas Curtin as our new Headmaster.

Mr. Curtin is married to Kaitlyn and their fourth child is due this summer. With a degree in Music Theory and Philosophy from Notre Dame and a doctorate in law, Mr. Curtin now serves as the Assistant Head of School at Holy Spirit Preparatory—a 550 student, K5 -12 Catholic High School in Atlanta. He was previously Head of the Upper School and has taught Latin, Theology, Social Studies, and has been very active in the drama and music departments in his school.

Mr. Curtin and his family will join us here in Greenville in the summer, and in addition to leading the school next year, he will work with me to gather a committee to research and develop the concept of an upper school with the intention of opening a ninth grade the following school year.

Please pray for our school during this exciting time of transition. Remember also to thank Mrs. Tully for her outstanding service to our school. I’m glad that she has decided to remain part of our team, and hope to share with you very soon exactly what her role will be.

Mr. Curtin will be visiting the campus this Friday evening, March 24th, for a chance to meet our teachers and parents. His meeting with the teachers will be in the parish center at 6:00. His meeting with parents and interested parishioners will be at 6:30 in the upper church. I hope you will be able to attend for this informal chance to meet Mr. Curtin.

If you have questions or comments please be in touch. Remember, while it is natural to talk among yourselves, it is always best to get the information from the source. I look forward to discussing with you the way forward, answering your questions and working together for the best future for our children and our school.

Yours faithfully,

Fr. Longenecker
Pastor, Our Lady of the Rosary Church and School