Student and school news


Knights of Columbus to hold free throw contest

The Knights of Columbus Christopher Council is holding a free throw contest for boys and girls between the ages of 10-14 on Jan. 11 at St. Helena’s Parish gymnasium. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m., with the contest at 11.

All participants receive a free breakfast, and one parent or guardian will get a discounted meal. Proof of age is required. For more information, contact Bill Moschelle at (302) 798-2904 or

Ss. Peter and Paul High School holds hospice prayer service

EASTON, Md. – The faculty, staff and students at Ss. Peter and Paul High School in Easton, Md., recently held a prayer service to honor the Talbot Hospice Foundation, which offers care to patients and families facing a life-threatening illness.

More than 60 teachers and students wrote the name of a deceased loved one in a book of life to dedicate a lit candle in that person’s memory. The school’s DeSpiritus Club decorated a Christmas tree that was at the center of the prayer service. The tree was donated for auction at the Festival of Trees, with the proceeds going to the Talbot Hospice Foundation.


Former Archmere trustee writes hymn for papal visit

Norbertine Father Andrew Ciferni, a trustee of Archmere Academy in Claymont from 2002-08 and currently a teacher at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis., has written a song of praise that has been named the official hymn for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia next year, Archmere has announced.

The song, titled “Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom,” was a collaborative effort between Father Ciferni and composer Normand Gouin. It was selected in a national competition.

Father Ciferni, a Philadelphia native, wrote the hymn in two days. It was first performed by the Cathedral Choir on Nov. 30 at an evening Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, according to Archmere. The lyrics and song are available at


Immaculate Conception students win essay contest

From left: Language arts teacher Michelle Keen, Sawyer Pietuszka, Ashley Tucker and Camryn Kilby. (Courtesy of Immaculate Conception School)
From left: Language arts teacher Michelle Keen, Sawyer Pietuszka, Ashley Tucker and Camryn Kilby. (Courtesy of Immaculate Conception School)

ELKTON, Md. – Three students from Immaculate Conception School in Elkton, Md., have been recognized for their participation in the recent VFW essay contest. Sawyer Pietuszka, Ashley Tucker and Camryn Kilby took the top three spots among the entrants in Post 9619’s contest.

The contest encourages sixth- through eighth-grade students to examine American history and their own experience in modern American history in a 300- to 400-word essay expressing their views on a patriotic theme. This year’s theme was “Why I appreciate America’s veterans.”

For Post 9619, Ashley placed first, followed by Camryn and Sawyer. Ashley’s essay will move to the district level.


Ss. Peter and Paul sophomores are HOBY leaders

Megan Beane (left) and Laura Dennison. (Courtesy of Ss. Peter and Paul High School)
Megan Beane (left) and Laura Dennison. (Courtesy of Ss. Peter and Paul High School)

EASTON, Md. – Megan Beane and Laura Denison have been selected this year’s Hugh O’Brian Youth (HOBY) leaders for Ss. Peter and Paul High School, where they are sophomores. They will attend the state of Maryland leadership seminar that will challenge them to become effective leaders in their home, school and community, according to the school.

The HOBY program was founded in 1958 by actor Hugh O’Brian.





Benedictine receive award for partnership

RIDGELY, Md. – The Open Community Program at Benedictine Programs and Services recently received the Division of Rehabilitation Services Excellence in Partnership Award for its partnering with the state agency “to assist individuals with significant disabilities in achieving employment through the use of innovative practices and creativity,” Benedictine announced.

The Open Community Program provides participants an opportunity to hone skills necessary for “competitive employment,” including vocational skills, on-site training and general job development.

Benedictine is licensed by DORS to provide an eight-week hospitality training program, job development and training and coaching, community and work readiness assessments.


Run raises funds for Ss. Peter and Paul alum

EASTON, Md. – Despite cold, rain and wind, more than 150 people showed up in November for the Run for Grant, which supports Grant Harrison, a 2008 alumnus of Ss. Peter and Paul High School who was injured last summer in an accident. More than $7,000 was raised to support the Ronald McDonald House and to help defray Harrison’s medical expenses.


St. Mark’s students help make Christmas dreams come true

WILMINGTON – The student council at St. Mark’s High School helped out the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Toy Room, raising nearly $2,000 to purchase blankets, jackets, shoes and clothing for children from 6 months to 18 years old.

Students who donated $5 or more were entered into a raffle for the chance to go out to lunch and to shop for the Toy Room. The six students who were selected were Edward Macchione, Maxwell Palmer, Cameron Dixon, Alyssa Simmons, Kira Stauffer and Ann White.


Ss. Peter and Paul student earns Eagle Scout rank

EASTON, Md. – Johnny Kleissas, a senior at Ss. Peter and Paul High School in Easton, Md., achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in Boy Scouting, on Dec. 6. He was honored at a ceremony at the Elks Lodge.

Kleissas began in Scouting in second grade and joined Troop 532 in 2008. He has held several leadership positions in the troop, and for his Eagle Scout project, he raised money and collected donations to rebuild a retaining wall and parking lot for the Old Wye Grist Mill in Wye Mills. It is the oldest working mill in Maryland, dating to around 1682.

Kleissas, the fifth Eagle Scout in his family, plays basketball and baseball at Ss. Peter and Paul. He plans to study sports management at West Virginia University.


St. Mark’s receives grant for technology improvements

WILMINGTON – St. Mark’s High School has received a grant from the Laffey-McHugh Foundation to provide the school with computers to replace the ones currently in the technology lab. If fully funded, the grant will total nearly $32,000.

“The new computers are needed to enhance the educational program for our students,” principal Carol Ripken said. “Our Technology Center has long been an integral part of the academic program at Saint Mark’s and the new computers will support student learning of an array of skills needed for this digital world in which we live.”

The Laffey-McHugh Foundation provides grants for Catholic church support and church-related institutions, including schools, welfare agencies and religious associations. It also supports a community fund, higher education and hospitals.


St. Elizabeth coach named to national post

Tom Beddow
Tom Beddow

WILMINGTON – Tom Beddow, the baseball coach at St. Elizabeth High School, has been selected to a two-year term as the mid-Atlantic regional representative by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Beddow has served on the Delaware Baseball Coaches Association executive board as vice president and is the general manager of the Delaware North team in the annual Carpenter Cup tournament sponsored by the Philadelphia Phillies. He is also a member of the Carptenter Cup executive board. He has previously served on the National Federation Rules Committee.

A five-time state high school coach of the year, Beddow was inducted into the Delaware Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012.