Friday, 28 August 2009 00:00
Our Lady of Lourdes School, located in Massapequa Park, has named Rita Anne Swift, a longtime Catholic school educator and administrator, as its new principal. The appointment comes as the school is in the midst of launching an ambitious series of initiatives to improve services and resources for students.
Ms. Swift has an extensive background in Catholic education. Prior to becoming principal at Our Lady of Lourdes, she served as principal of Ascension School in Baltimore, MD from 1994 until moving back to Long Island during the past year. She also served as principal of Christ the King School in Commack, and worked as a teacher at St. Therese the Little Flower School in Montauk Point for many years.
In addition to her extensive administrative experience, Ms. Swift has taught at every grade level in Catholic schools, from kindergarten through eighth grade. She has a master’s degree in elementary education and attended graduate school in administration as well. Ms. Swift has also served as director of religious education at St. Therese parish.
The principal search committee found Ms. Swift to be an “insightful, prayerful and highly intelligent person,” according to Msgr. James Lisante, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes parish. “We are graced to have her continue the great tradition of our parish school,” he added.
On Sunday, Aug. 30, Ms. Swift will speak at all masses at Our Lady of Lourdes Church to introduce herself to parishioners. She will be available to meet with parishioners at a reception to be held in the school auditorium from noon to 2 p.m.
Ms. Swift says she is excited about her new position and the changes taking place at Our Lady of Lourdes School.
“Although I have been here for less than two weeks, I have met many wonderful people—teachers, staff and parents—who have a great dedication to the school,” she said. “We are going to have a great year.”
The school has launched a number of key projects in the past six months aimed at improving the infrastructure and providing new services and resources to students and teachers. Among these are the creation of a modern library/media center, state-of-the-art wireless computer network throughout the school, and new gymnasium.
Our Lady of Lourdes School is also purchasing new laptop computers for student use and a mobile laptop cart to transport the computers to classrooms.
The school offers a quality, faith-based education in a safe, nurturing environment. It emphasizes a spiritual learning environment that stresses not just academics, but Catholic values that children take with them for the rest of their lives.
Our Lady of Lourdes Preschool offers a variety of nursery and Pre-K programs including five-day full-day Pre-K. It also offers a Mommy, Daddy and Me program. The main school offers full-day Kindergarten and grades one through eight. The school features a modern science lab and after-school programs such as sports, theater and a newsletter club.
The school also offers a range of academic services, including remedial classes in math, reading and writing in its learning center, and an advanced curriculum that challenges students who excel. Advanced math classes are offered to students in grades seven and eight, giving them an advantage in high school.
Tuition assistance is available through the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation. For more information about the school or on how to register, call 798-7926 or visit www.ollschoolmpk.org.