The Academy of Saint Matthias


Issue #20 2016

Upcoming Events

Thursday, February 4 -- Tag Day for Students

Thursday, February 4 -- Academic Expo (6-8 pm)

Friday, February 5 -- Half Day, No ESP

Friday, February 5 -- Report Cards Released

Wednesday, February 10 -- Ash Wednesday

Raffle Winners

January 25

Joan Marshall (Winner)

Veronica Onyewu (Seller)

February 1

Bryd Family (Winner & Seller)

Mrs. Shannon (McQuillan) Norris named Director of Educational Technology for Archdiocese of Washington

We are very excited for our own Shannon McQuillan Norris who has been selected as the Director of Instructional Technology by the Catholic Schools office of the Archdiocese of Washington. Shannon will move to this role later this month. After 11 years at Saint Matthias, we are so thankful for Mrs. Norris' dedication to our students and school, and we know she will continue to support us in her new role.

As we seek out a replacement for Mrs. Norris, the technological support of the school will be overseen by Mr. Byron Smith, who has he has done this work for the past decade. The medical technicians are Mrs. O'Hare and Mrs. Kellermann who will continue to function under the direction and license of our delegating nurse, Mrs. Ann Scott.

Congrats, Mrs. Norris!

National Leader in Catholic Education Visits Saint Matthias

On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, Heather Gossart, currently a consultant with the National Catholic Educational Association, visited Saint Matthias to wish the school a Happy Catholic Schools Week! Mrs. Gossart attended our school Mass and then met with our youngest scholars. She brought a bear and books for the class, and stickers for students to bring home.

Reedy Obituary

With so much sadness, we share the death of Marty Reedy, husband of Georgeann Reedy, Director of Aftercare, and father of former kindergarten teacher Jackie Reedy Cowgar.

Report Card Release Date

Report cards will be released on Friday, February 5. Your access to Cornerstone will be restored by COB on Friday. Only those families who are current in their financial obligation will be able to view report cards. Please check your TADS account if you are uncertain.

Catholic Schools Week

We are half-way through Catholic Schools Week 2016! Yesterday, we had a joyful celebration of the Mass. Thank you to all the families that attended. Pictures from the Mass are online at

Special thanks to Mrs. Heather Gossart, of NCEA, for coming to the Mass and meeting with our Pre-K and Kindergarten classes. Photos from her visit are available at:

Wednesday -- Open House for prospective students/families - 9-11 am

Thursday -- Student Appreciation Day, HSA sponsored lunch, Academic expo 6-8 pm

Friday -- Teacher Appreciation Day- half day, no ESP, Penny Wars ends.

Last Call for Teacher Appreciation Day Donations

The HSA would like to present each teacher with a small token of gratitude from the families that they serve. The HSA Board is making a request for parents to make a small monetary donation to show appreciation for the hard work that they do here at St. Matthias. If you have not done so, please consider sending in your monetary donation on tomorrow. Anything that you can do will be a blessing.

Valentine's Weekend Parents Night Out

Friday, February 12, childcare will be provided in Friendship Hall from 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm at a cost of $30 per child ($25 per child for families with three or more children attending). You must pre-register and submit your payment no later than 3:00 pm on Thursday, February 11. Also, VIRTUS trained parent volunteers are needed to make this a success. See the attached sign-up sheet and submit your payment by cash or check to Mrs. Blackburn by 3:00 pm on Thursday, February 11. Make checks payable to the Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle.

Penny Wars

Penny Wars is a fundraiser for our school. The winning pair of classes will receive a free TAG day later on this quarter. The winners will be announced Friday!

As of Tuesday afternoon

1st place- $141.00 - PreK/4th

2nd place- $26.67 - 2nd/7th

3rd place- $21.42- 3rd/8th

Sweet Treats Dinner Dance

The HSA Board cordially invites you to a Sweet Treats Dinner Dance on February 27. The price of the ticket will include a pasta dinner, bread, salad and a drink. A flower and small box of candy will also be included. See attached flyer.

Family Dinner Night

Join us this month for family dinner night at Potbelly's on Wednesday, February 24 from 4:30 - 7:30 pm. No coupon needed or mention of St. Matthias. Just show up and order. The school will receive 25% of all sales in those 3 hours.

Potbelly's at Bowie Town Center-

3900 Town Center Blvd.

Bowie, MD 20716

Great Kindness Challenge

Due to the snow week, we missed participating in the Great Kindness Challenge during last week. We started Monday tracking good deeds, reflecting on quotes about kindness, and sharing in song. Here's the theme song to the Great Kindness Challenge: We are ending our days with this song, led by members of our school choir!

For more information on the Great Kindness Challenge, go to

Golden Apple Nomination

Please nominate a teacher for the Archdiocese of Washington Golden Apple. Applications are due by Feb 10, 2016.

The Value of a Catholic Education

"You see, Catholic education gets it. All that money you spend? Vacations you don’t take and cars you don’t buy? It’s worth it. Because at the end of the day, I’m seeing generous hearts being formed by teachers and staff who can openly worship God and teach about Him in the classroom. He is the reason they teach. There is no line between my house and the school’s front door."

--From An Open Letter to Catholic School Parents by Katheryn Whitetaker

Skating Fundraiser Rescheduled

The skating fundraiser has been rescheduled for Sunday, February 21. The cost is $12. Event will be held at SkateZone in Crofton, Maryland. Please turn in money at the front office.

In case you missed. . .

The State of the School from Father Jordan

January 21, 2016

Dear Parents of Students at St. Matthias School,

As you know, I promised that I would send you a letter about the future of our grammar school by the end of January. We are aware that Catholic grammar schools are one of the unfortunate victims of changing social norms or value. Also, the number of children in the average family is reduced from years past. I am a product of the large “Catholic family.” Each year, throughout the United States, more Catholic schools are forced to close their doors to the dismay of many parents and even students. So, it should not have surprised any concerned parent that reduced enrollment and the unsustainable subsidy threatened the continuation of St. Matthias School.

Let me thank parents, faculty members, staff, and Principal who have worked in many different ways to assist me in making a decision about the future of the Parish grammar school. I know you love the school and the programs that prepare your children so very well for entry into high school. Many have spoken about how important St. Matthias has been for the formation of your children. I hear earnest pleas to do whatever I can to help parents prevent the death knell from ringing for our school.

Speaking with members of the parish staff, the Parish Financial Council and the Parish Pastoral Council as well as with a number of faculty members and the Principal and the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese, and spending quite a few hours with the Lord, I have made a decision concerning our school.

St. Matthias School will continue! In making the decision to move forward, it is my intention to assist the school administration create new and exciting avenues for parents and students to assist the Principal and faculty in becoming much more than we have been. I know you are relieved and happy. But you must know that my decision will need your strong and active support to succeed.

As you know I promised my Archbishop, Cardinal Wuerl, that I would continue to assist the parish and school, giving up the opportunity to return to retirement. I mention this not to seek any adulation, but more importantly, to let you know that you are a part of that promise. Your help and support is essential for us to succeed. After experiencing the efforts of many to give me reasons to continue the education of your child(ren)

at St. Matthias, I believe that your commitments serve as a promise to me that you are “ready and willing” to “walk the talk” and not to merely “talk the talk.”

One of the resolutions that I have made myself in reaching this decision is to assure you that I am available to meet not only parishioners but any parents from our grammar school. Because it is my duty to “sign all the checks,” I believe it is also my duty to talk with you should you feel the need.

While many students are being raised in the values and traditions of other faiths, my hope is that each of us, regardless of our religious persuasion, needs to be a part of St. Matthias Parish by our participation in our school. That does not mean that I want you to become Roman Catholics. Rather what it does mean is this: I would hope that in the years ahead we could initiate with your help specific religious events of prayer during the academic year. If we can reduce the division between the parish and the school and create the St. Matthias Community, I do believe graces will come to our mission in abundance. Gathered together in prayer on occasion, sharing meals together, we can become a community that is truly alive. If you and I, along with the school administrators, can create a new and powerful spirit, we will see the seats occupied by children who will always remember St. Matthias School.

My letter is lengthy. However, this is the only way that I can share with you all the components of the conviction that fills my heart as I look forward to a school that is afire with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

And now, my sisters and brothers, let us make a resolution to pray for the success of our school and new community joined together with a common mission, a “family” goal. May Jesus Christ, our Savior, teach us how we can together overcome any challenge. May we not forget we have a special intercessor for all of us in this family: St. Matthias, intercede for all of us.

Faithfully yours,

Reverend Milton E. Jordan


ACE Marathon

Over 40 teachers and supporters from across the US will be coming to DC in March to run the Rock and Roll Marathon in support of Saint Matthias. This awesome opportunity is thanks to 4th grade teacher, Ms. Surat, who is a part of the Alliance for Catholic Education program. To learn more about ACE go to and to check out our fundraising (or to donate!) go to Runners are welcome to join us in running the 5K, half and full marathon! Contact Ms. Surat if you need more information