North Platte Catholic Schools students will have a renovated chapel for worship when they return for the 2019-20 school year on Aug. 19 and 20.
Summer projects included the chapel at McDaid Elementary. Superintendent Kevin Dodson said it needed some sprucing up.
“One of the things that is hard for people to believe, especially those of us here at North Platte Catholic Schools, is that McDaid building is going on 20 years,” Dodson said. “That’s our focal point of that building and what we’re trying to do as an educational system. We want to make sure that stays in good shape, so we did a little work over there.”
He said the library in the high school building was renovated as well. The money for both projects was raised through the Generating Resources for Educational Excellence Now event last fall. Odean Construction led the way on the renovation.
The theme for North Platte Catholic Schools this year is “God Is Here.”
“We always try to pick a theme that matches with what (the National Catholic Educational Association) is doing for Catholic Schools Week,” Dodson said. Catholic Schools Week will be Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2020.
Dodson said he is very pleased with the results of last school year.
“If we reflect on last year, it was a great year for our school system as far as the academic work that took place and the achievements that we had,” Dodson said. “We have a lot of things to be proud of here. In the area of activities, it is one of the best years we’ve had across the board and being successful there.”
He said the administration is excited about the possibilities for this year.
”Every school year brings in new challenges and new excitement,” Dodson said. “I think that’s what keeps some of us in the business. It’s just a fun environment to be in.”
Dodson said he won’t know final enrollment numbers until September.
“We hope to stay balanced and keep that in check,” Dodson said. “We lose some and we gain some.”
The North Platte Catholic Schools system has been educating students for 128 years.
“What a testament to the community of North Platte,” Dodson said. “It’s one of those things when you look at the struggles of parochial education across the board in the United States, that a town like North Platte has been able to sustain that choice for our community.”
As the first day of school approaches, Dodson said it is one of the most important parts of the year.
“When you bring in students from the summer, everyone’s excited,” Dodson said. “Teachers are excited, administrators are excited and the children, depending on the age, they’re all excited to get back into the school setting and learn. That’s enjoyable to watch.”
Dodson began his career in 1999 as a teacher.
“I taught English, PE and health for 12 years, then became superintendent,” Dodson said. “I’m going into my ninth year as superintendent.”
A “back to school” Mass on Sunday will welcome students and their families. The Mass begins at 5 p.m. in the McGahan Activities Center at McDaid, 1000 East E St. All local Catholics and school families are invited.
For more information on North Platte Catholic Schools, check out npcschools.org or call 308-532-1874.