St. Mary's Newsletter

St. Mary's Preschool and Elementary

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Congratulations to Mrs. Turk!

Congratulations to St. Mary's teacher Mary Ann Turk for being the recipient of the 2023 JACS Distinguished Educator Award! Mrs. Turk received the honor from Bishop Rice following our All-School Mass with him on Thursday morning. Mrs. Turk attended St. Mary's as a child and has been a loving and fun part of the St. Mary's School family for decades. She believes that every child is an artist and is a devoted Catholic educator, nurturing and enriching the life of each student. We are blessed to have her talents, faith, and positive outlook as a role model within our school community.
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Nominate a St. Mary's Teacher!

Speaking of special teachers, it's time to nominate St. Mary's teachers for the Golden Apple! The Golden Apple Award was established by the Joplin Chamber of Commerce to recognize excellence in teaching and the positive influences a teacher has in a child’s life. How often do we regret our failure to praise someone for a job well done, or thank someone for the positive influence they had on our lives? Please consider taking a few moments to say “thank you” with a nomination for one of our outstanding educators.

Golden Apple nominations may be written on paper and mailed in or submitted digitally. Educators may be nominated by other teachers, administrators, parents, and the general public. The deadline for submissions has been extended to MONDAY, MARCH 6 at 5:00 p.m. More information about the Golden Apple and a digital Nomination Form can be found at If you have any questions, please contact Stephanie McGrew at the Joplin Chamber, 624-4150.

The Golden Apple Award is a one-time honor, making the award that much more special. The St. Mary's school family is the home to several Golden Apple Award recipients who may not be nominated again--Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Conklin, Mrs. Lown and Mrs. Black, who was the recipient of the award in 2022.

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Congratulations to our Honor Choir Students!

Congratulations to four St. Mary's students who were selected as members of the Joplin Elementary Honor Choir! Jett, Hannah, Angelina, and Ariana will join other elementary students from the Joplin area on Saturday, March 4 at Soaring Heights Elementary School. The Honor Choir members will spend the day working with a special director and then perform for an audience at 4:00 p.m. What a special honor for our students and school, congratulations!
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Mardi Gras Celebration on Tuesday!

St. Mary's is celebrating Mardi Gras on Tuesday, February 21! Students and staff will enjoy a Mardi Gras-themed Free Dress Day to help celebrate the day. Students and staff may wear traditional Mardi Gras colors-green, purple, and gold-with jeans or other coordinating bottoms to school on Tuesday. If your child would like to wear Mardi Gras beads as well, he or she may do so. K-5th Grade students not wanting to participate in the day's themed Free Dress Day should wear uniform clothing.

To make the day more special, Home and School will be serving Mardi Gras cake at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, complete with a hidden good luck baby for each class! We are thankful for the time, special care, and support Home and School provides to our school community, thank you for all of the fun festivities!

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Read Across America Week

Read Across America Week is right around the corner! St. Mary’s will join schools throughout the country to celebrate our love of reading and the birthday of Dr. Seuss! To celebrate the week we are having themed days, each inspired by a Dr. Seuss book. Here is the schedule for the week:

Monday: My Many Colored Days - Wear as many colors as you can!

Tuesday: Cat in the Hat Day - Wear your favorite wacky hat and lots of red, white, and stripes!

Wednesday: If I Ran the Zoo - Wear animal prints or camo and bring one stuffed animal to read with at school (stuffed animal MUST fit in your child’s backpack).

Thursday: The Sleep Book - Wear your pajamas or comfy clothing to school as we celebrate reading all day! Guest and faculty readers, reading buddies, and DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) will be fun additions to our day.

Friday: The Foot Book - Wear your wackiest socks and mismatched shoes with school uniform clothing for Mass (Pre-K thru 5th Grade will change shoes after Mass).

K-5th Grade students may be out of dress code each day EXCEPT FRIDAY if they participate in the day's theme. If a student chooses not to participate in a day’s theme, he or she must be in school uniform. Non-ripped jeans, leggings, and sweat pants are appropriate bottoms to wear each themed day, but please ensure your Kindergarten - 5th Grade child is in uniform clothing for Mass on Friday.

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St. Mary's Open House

Do you know a family member or friend who is looking for positive, engaging, and Christ-centered education for their child? There has never been a better time to choose the education, faith formation, and nurturing environment that St. Mary's provides children aged 2 years to 5th grade. St. Mary's is a respected and trusted school that parents in the Joplin area have been choosing for their children for over 60 years!

St. Mary's is hosting a Preschool and Elementary Open House for interested families on Saturday, March 4 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. The morning will include school tours, time spent in classrooms visiting with teachers, and information about what sets St. Mary's apart from other private and public schools in the area. An informational postcard was sent home with your child this week for you to pass on to a family member or friend. Personal testimonials from friends and family are a key way families find out about our school, so please share the postcard with someone you know who may be interested in attending the open house. For more information, please call the St. Mary's office, 623-1465.

If you are available to help host and tour visiting families during the Open House, please let me know. Teachers will be in their classrooms to visit with families, and it would be nice to have smiling, friendly faces showing families around the school and to their respective classroom. We would love to have around 10 parents help out from 8:45 - 11:00 a.m. Thank you in advance for lending a helping hand and a friendly face to our school community.

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St. Mary's Penny Wars!

Each year Bishop Rice chooses a deserving charity within our diocese to highlight in his Lenten Youth Mission of Mercy. This year Bishop Rice has chosen the Stockton Area Ministerial Alliance as the beneficiary to the Mission of Mercy, located in Stockton, MO.

The Stockton Area Ministerial Alliance helps people in need with phone bills, propane, electricity and food. Their pantry feeds 150-175 families once a month. Families are only allowed to come once a month because of their limited resources and because the need is great. Of course, children benefit greatly from the food pantry because almost all of the families have children. It is a sad fact that the face of hunger in our country is the face of a woman and of a child.

To help the families who receive support and hope from the Stockton Ministerial Alliance, St. Mary's will be holding our annual Penny War to raise funds for the deserving charity. More details of the Lenten Youth Mission of Mercy and St. Mary's Penny Wars will be included in future Communicator Newsletters and in your family's Communicator Envelope.

Start saving your pocket change now for the always exciting fundraiser, it will be held the week of Monday, March 6 - Friday, March 10!

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Yearbook Photos Wanted!

If you would like to share a few precious photos of school-related events to be included in this year's yearbook, Miss Amy would love to have them! Photos that you have taken at class parties, school Mass or other programs, school movie night, Trunk or Treat, etc. would be a great addition to our amazing yearbook that Miss Amy puts together each year. Photos may be emailed to her at If you have a question or would like more information, please do not hesitate to call the school office at 623-1465.

Speaking of yearbooks, don't forget that 2022-2023 yearbooks are still for sale! Yearbook order forms can be picked up from the school office or may be ordered online from Inter-State Studio using and entering St. Mary's code: 72964D. Online yearbook ordering closes on Friday, March 10!

Important Dates to Remember

Monday, February 20: Presidents' Day, No School

Tuesday, February 20: Mardi Gras-themed Free Dress Day

Tuesday, February 21: Home and School serves Mardi Gras Cake, 2:00 p.m.

February 21-February 28: Kid's Heart Challenge benefitting the American Heart Association

Wednesday, February 22: Ash Wednesday, School Mass at 8:30 a.m.

Monday, February 27-Friday, March 3: Read Across America Week

Tuesday, February 28: Dr. B Dental Visit for EL-K students, 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, March 1: Spring Dress Code Begins!

Wednesday, March 1: Charity Dress Day benefitting Bishop Rice's Lenten Mission Campaign

Saturday, March 4: St. Mary's Open House, 9-11:00 a.m.

Monday, March 6-Friday, March 10: St. Mary's Penny Wars!

Tuesday, March 7: First Tuesday at Club 609

Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16: Parent-Teacher Conferences, 3:30-6:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 16: St. Patrick's Free Dress Day!

Friday, March 17: No School, Parent-Teacher Conferences

Monday, March 20-Friday, March 24: Spring Break

Monday, March 27: Classes Resume

Tuesday, March 28: St. Mary's Student Penance Service, 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 30: Home and School Spring Meeting, 6:00 p.m.

St. Mary's Preschool and Elementary School

Christian education and values taught in the Catholic tradition
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