The Trojan Times

St. Maria Goretti Catholic School Summer Edition July 2021

Mission Statement

St. Maria Goretti is a living testament to our Lord's work in His youngest disciples, exemplified by academic excellence, spiritual formation, and compassionate service to others.

St. Maria Goretti Catholic School aims to form what is True, Good, and Beautiful in the souls of our young disciples of Christ.

Principal's Message

Dear St. Maria Goretti Catholic School Families,

On behalf of the entire faculty and staff, I hope that you have enjoyed a restful and relaxing summer! We have been busy preparing for the 2021-2022 school year and I am looking forward to a fantastic year ahead!

This Trojan Times is full of a lot of information to prepare for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Please read the entire newsletter.

I know that COVID and COVID protocols are ever-changing. Please be aware that all meetings, gatherings, and dates are subject to change. I will communicate with you when and if that becomes necessary.

Thank you for entrusting your students to our care. We look forward to partnering with you in the education and formation of your children in Truth, Goodness, and Beauty through a Christ-centered environment, challenging academics, and hands-on learning so that each child becomes a disciple of Christ and is prepared to respond to God's call. May God continue to bless you and your family.

St. Maria Goretti, Pray for Us!


Amy Utendorf, M.Ed.


Catholic Diocese Official Statement about the 2021-2022 School Year

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Faith Formation Updates

Faith Formation

Forming our students in their Catholic faith is central to our mission at St. Maria Goretti Catholic School. We strive to enrich our Catholic identity as a school and provide deeper faith formation experiences for our students and families. This year we will be returning to year one in our virtues program, Virtues in Practice. This program was created by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia, Nashville, TN for children in grades Pre-Kindergarten through eight to grow closer to Jesus by imitating His life and virtues. More information about the program can be found at

In addition, we will continue our Households program within each grade-level (K-8) homeroom class. Time has again been built into the schedule every Friday afternoon to allow students, along with their homeroom teachers, to come together as a "household" to pray, participate in Adoration and quarterly Households Mass, to read and discuss the Gospel that they will hear when they attend Mass on Sunday with their families, and to participate in other faith-enriching opportunities as a household community.

This year we will continue our Faith Families Assembly in person. During the assemblies, we pray, recognize birthdays, student awards, and accomplishments, and introduce and discuss the virtue of the month. Following the assemblies, students move to their Faith Family classrooms to participate in team-building activities, prayer services, service projects, and other activities related to the virtue and/or faith topic we discussed during the assembly.

We will be opening a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level I Atrium for students in PreK, Kinder, and first grades. Please see more information about the atrium below.

Kindergarten through 8th-grade Religion classes will continue to utilize the Sophia Press Spirit of Truth series, which is not only rich in the teachings of our Catholic faith but rich in beauty as well. It is our hope that students will continue to spread the Gospel message through their thoughts, words, and deeds, and that their acts will inspire others they meet in school and elsewhere to answer Jesus' call to a full relationship with him.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atrium

Words would fall short in explaining this amazing program, so I ask that you click on the link below to see all that we have to look forward to in the coming year. It is important to note that the children in this video have already completed Level 1 (ages 2-6) and although there are 3 levels of CGS atrium, we will only have a level 1 atrium here at SMG.

Setting up a Level 1 Atrium takes a lot of time, talent, and treasure. If you are interested in donating items to the atrium please see the Sign-Up Genius link below. You can earn One Spirit Hour for every $10.00 spent, with a receipt.

If you or someone you know is a seamstress or good with woodworking please let Mrs. Rusnak know.

Band or Performing Arts

Students in grades 4th-8th will be given the choice to participate in Band or Performing Art. Please fill out the attached form and send it to Mrs. De la Pena at, bring it to the front office, or turn it in at Meet the Teacher Night. These forms need to be returned by Monday, August 9, 2021.
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Other Beginning-of-the-School-Year Details

School Day Schedule and Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

Morning arrival time will remain the same as last year, with doors opening at 7:30 AM, and afternoon dismissal at 3:15 PM. The Morning Arrival and Afternoon Dismissal procedures will remain the same as last year. ALL students (PK - 8th) must be dropped off in the morning using the morning carline in the back (west) parking lot. Parents/guardians may not enter the building to walk their students to the classroom. We will again have our Junior High Safety Patrol students and plenty of faculty/staff in the back lot during carline to walk little ones to their classrooms. Please understand, this is in an effort to limit the number of people entering and moving through the building for the safety of all our students, faculty, and staff.

The entire arrival and dismissal procedure is outlined in the SMG Family Handbook, which will be available on the school website by Monday, August 9th. As well, teachers will have copies of the arrival and dismissal procedure to distribute to parents during the Meet the Teacher event on Monday, August 9th, 4:00 PM-7:00 PM.

Summer Reading

All Kindergarten through 8th Grade students are expected to have completed the summer reading before the start of the school year. There were no summer assignments other than simply reading and (hopefully) enjoying the assigned book for the appropriate grade level. Please be sure to print and sign the "Summer Reading Verification Form". Books read for summer reading will be discussed and assessed in the child's grade-level reading/literature class.

SMG Family Handbook

The 2021-2022 Family Handbook has been updated and will be posted on the school website ( by Monday, 8/9. Please read the handbook as there have been some changes and updates. Please print, sign, and return the acknowledgment form at the back of the handbook indicating that you have read and understood the handbook. A signed acknowledgment form from each family is due back to the school by Friday, August 27th.

School Supplies

School supplies ordered through the School Supply Company were delivered to the SMG campus on July 23rd. For families who opted to purchase supplies on their own, the school supply list is available on the school website.

In April, the School Supply Company was not sure if they would be able to get hand sanitizer or Clorox wipes. If you are able to send your student with these additional supplies, their teachers would appreciate having them.

Lunch Program and Water Bottles

Foodservice at SMG is provided by Food for Life Catering Services. They provide a well-balanced lunch that is offered at a reasonable price. Lunch service will begin on Monday, August 16th. Students who don't wish to purchase lunch are always welcome to bring a sack lunch along with a drink from home.

Updated information about the Food for Life lunch program will be provided at the Meet the Teacher event on Monday, August 9, 2021.

Students are required to bring their lunches and a drink on August 12th and 13th. Food For Life will begin providing lunches on Monday, August 16th.

Water fountains will remain closed again this year. Please send your child with enough water to last them throughout the school day. Teachers and office staff have water bottles available in the event your child forgets or runs out. We are working to install a water filling station in the junior high hallway.

School Uniforms

School uniforms should be purchased from Mills Uniforms. The uniforms for the 2021-2022 school year have remained the same. Remember, a red or blue (depending on the grade-level) cardigan sweater is a mandatory addition to the dress (Mass) uniform. While students will not be required to wear the cardigan to Mass while the weather is still so hot, by October they will be required to wear the cardigan to Mass and other days when the dress uniform is required. Please visit the SMG uniform requirements on the Mills Uniforms website for specific SMG uniform requirements ( Use SMG school code 3424. Please see more information from Mills Uniforms, below.

Mills uniform has also moved, please take note of their new address.

Hulen Bend Village Shopping Center

6080 S. Hulen #390

Ft. Worth, TX 76132

(817) 563-7100

The Used Uniform Sale will take place in the Cafetorium during Meet the Teacher and there is a large inventory available.

Extended Day Program (SMEED)

We offer a before and after-school care program on the school campus. SMEED operates from 7:00-7:30 AM and 3:15-6:00 PM each school day. Morning SMEED will begin on Friday, August 13, 2021, and afternoon SMEED will begin Thursday, August 12th. More information about the program can be found on the school website.

Calendar Updates

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at the Meet the Teacher event on Monday, August 9th from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM. Since we can not allow parents into the school building on the first day of school, parents are encouraged to bring any school supplies to their students' homeroom classroom during the Meet the Teacher event. Kona Ice will also be on campus during Meet the Teacher and will offer delicious refreshments for purchase, with 20% of the proceeds donated back to the school!

The First Day of School is Thursday, August 12th. Students should wear their uniforms. Dismissal will be at 3:15 PM, and there will NOT be lunch service. Afternoon SMEED service starts that day.

Back to School Night (also known as Curriculum Night) is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, August 25th for PreK-8th Grade from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM. This evening is for parents/guardians only. Students should not attend. More details about Back to School Night will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are many ways to get involved at SMG and earn those Spirit hours! Please visit the school website and check out the volunteer opportunities under SignUp Genius. Many hands make light work--please consider giving of your time and talent!


Communication from your children's teachers, including completed classwork, correspondence, notes, and flyers from the office will be sent home each week via a Friday Folder. Please look through the Friday Folders your children bring home over the weekends and send it back, along with anything that needs returning (i.e. picture orders, Scrip orders, etc.) on Monday mornings. The Trojan Times will continue to go out each week, usually late afternoon on Sundays.

2021-2022 Academic Calendar

Please click on the following link to view the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar. It can also be found on the school website at

SMGCS Welcomes New Faculty & Staff Members!

We are so excited to introduce and welcome some new faces to our SMGCS faculty and staff this year!

Mrs. Kellie Rusnak: Hello! My name is Kellie Rusnak and I am a wife and a mother to 3 amazing children. A native Floridian, God has brought me from Virginia to Tennessee and now to Texas where we have lived these past 6 years.

I am a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville with a degree in Elementary Education. I am passionate about my Catholic faith and have 15 years of experience in the Catholic school setting.

My most recent position was at St. Vincent de Paul where I served as the Director of St. Vincent’s Academy. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to obtain my Level 1 certification as a catechist for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program and successfully spearheaded the opening of the first atrium at St. Vincent’s.

I am so excited to now be working here at St. Maria Goretti and to have the blessing of sharing this amazingly beautiful program with this community. I will be preparing a Level 1 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium here at SMG. It will be the first elementary school in the area to be able to offer this program and I feel certain it will be a tremendous blessing to the school and beyond.

Mrs. Teresa Martinez, School Secretary:

I am Mrs. Martinez. I was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. Moved to the DFW in 2005 to attend college. Graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with my bachelor’s degree in 2011. My husband Macario and I got married in 2012 at St. Vincent Palotti Catholic Church where we attended throughout our childhood. We have 2 boys, Macario and Deacon. We are members of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church. I have worked in education for 10+ years. I look forward to being a part of the St. Maria Goretti Catholic School family.

Returning Faculty Assignment Changes:

  • Mrs. Selena Vasquez will be the new Assistant Principal.
  • Mrs. Allison Mitchell will be moving up to teach 2nd grade.
  • Mrs. Ellen Gutierrez will join the 4th and 5th-grade team. She will be the 4th-grade homeroom teacher and 4th, 5th, and 6th grades religion teacher.
  • Ms. Deborah Schump will be a 5th-grade homeroom teacher. She will be teaching Math and Science to 4th and 5th grade.
  • Mr. Joshua Jones will join the Junior High Team. He will be a 6th-grade homeroom teacher. He will be teaching Literature to 6th grade and English to 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

Sports Physicals

To participate in athletics next school year (Junior High or High School), students will need a physical dated on or after June 1, 2021. If your child plans to participate in sports during the 2021-2022 school year, they must have a current physical examination, and the form below must be completed and on file before the student may participate in school or diocesan sports.

SMGCS Gym Director

SMGCS is looking for a gym director. If you are interested in this position please contact Mrs. Amy Utendorf at

Gym Director Job Description


  • Assist sports coordinator with game-day operations, including setting up the gym prior to all game days and tearing down gym after games, collecting gate fees, and ensuring all games are running on time.
  • Gameday will vary based on season and gym availability
  • Assist sports coordinator with the operation of the concession stand by helping coordinate volunteer workers, setting up and cleaning up.
  • Assist sports coordinator with the planning and execution of pre-season and post-season tournaments

Hours per week will vary depending on the game schedule but will be between 4 and 8 hours during the regular season. Tournament weeks will require more hours.

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2021-2022 Enrollment & Registration

Registration & Enrollment for the 2021-2022 school year can be found on our school website. There are still spots available at most grade-levels. As a reminder, tuition assistance is available and we are committed to making a Catholic education a reality for any family who wishes one for their child(ren). Please contact Mrs. Utendorf (autendorf@smgschool) or our Registrar, Mrs. de la Pena ( with any questions or concerns.

Virtus Training

Parent volunteers will need to renew their VIRTUS training in order to continue volunteering. The VIRTUS renewal program is called "Keeping the Promise Alive" and must be attended in order to keep Safe Environment status current. Our school Safe Environment Coordinator will email parents with information on how to register for a renewal session.

Kountry Karnival 2021

We are in the process of planning the Kountry Karnival Food Festival.

Mark October 2nd and 3rd on your calendar!

We need volunteers to help plan this event. If you are interested in helping please reach out to Mrs. Laura Perez at

Like Us on Face Book!

We are hoping to update our official Facebook page with some more recent, positive reviews, likes, and shares. Please visit our official Facebook page (Facebook@StMariaGorettiArlington) and help us spread the word about our great Catholic school!

Calendar Notes

  • August 9, Monday: Meet the Teacher 4:00 PM-7:00 PM

  • August 12, Thursday: First Day of School, NO lunch service, Afternoon SMEED begins

  • August 13, Friday: Morning SMEED begins

  • August 12-13: Students must bring lunch and drink (no lunch service until August 16)

  • August 16, Monday: - Food service begins

  • August 18, Wednesday: First school Mass 8:00 AM and picture day-Mass dress required

  • August 23, Monday: Band Parent Meeting @ 6:00 PM in Cafetorium

  • August 25, Wednesday: PreK-8th Back to School Night 6:00 PM -8:00 PM -1 parent should plan to attend

  • August 27, Friday: 2021-2022 Family Handbook signed acknowledgment form due

  • September 6, Monday: Labor Day No School

  • September 14, Tuesday: Home and School Meeting 7:00 PM -1 parent should plan to attend

  • October 2-3: Kountry Karnival Weekend

Need Prayers?

We all do!! The St. Maria Goretti Catholic School Community would love to pray for you and your intentions. Please send all prayer requests to:

Meet Our Priests!

St. Maria Goretti Parish Website:

Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth

Serving the North Texas Catholic community by providing the faithful opportunities to grow in Christian discipleship and strengthen their relationship with Jesus Christ.