Here’s to 50 great years

St. Paschal Baylon school holds bash to celebrate its past

St. Paschal Baylon Catholic School took its alumni on a trip through time to celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary.

Past and present students and staff were invited to the Sept. 17 open house, which featured five separate “decade rooms,” each adorned with photos and paraphernalia representing the school during that time period.

“I think it was a huge success,” said principal Joanne Melo. “We had many former staff members, alumni and current parents and students that came and everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and it just further strengthened our sense of community.”

Members of St. Paschal Baylon Church’s band, many of whom are former students, performed at the back of the school for the more than 400 guests who passed through the event. There was also a barbecue in the schoolyard and a clown was on hand to entertain children with face painting and temporary tattoos.

According to Sara Dinallo, who taught at St. Paschal in the ’90s, some of those in attendance hadn’t been to the school since they were children.

“We were just talking to students who are now adults,” she said. “We haven’t seen them since they were in kindergarten or grade 1.”

Some of the visitors took classes at the school when it first opened in 1961. Melo, who has been principal of the school for three years, said it’s the sense of community that makes people return.

“We did a survey (of parents and students) last year and they said the three words that best describe this school were that it is welcoming, it’s caring and it’s safe,” she said. “Those are three good words to describe a community and I think that’s what keeps people coming back.”

About this article:

By: Tristan Carter
Posted: Oct 18 2011 2:15 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto