What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Guess what day it is?  Need a hint?  It’s the day that we can all remember with mixed emotions.  It’s the day that you could no longer sleep in until your little eyes opened, but it was also the day that held excitement and anticipation.  You guessed it… It is the first day of school!

At St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School…

The morning began with our students eagerly walking to their classrooms with parents in tow.  After a few quick minutes, hugs and goodbyes were exchanged.  Students began to get settled in their classrooms while parents gathered in the school lobby for a coffee reception. 

The morning bell rang and the PA system was awakened by a welcome announcement and morning prayers led by our new assistant principal and St. Mary’s alumnus, Ashley Fisher.  Then, the entire school, parents included, gathered outside for the opening day prayer and flag-raising ceremony with Fr. Jerry Ragan, pastor of St. Mary’s Church.

After the morning activities, I returned to my office. 

Just as I was getting settled, the age-old essay assignment “What I Did on my Summer Vacation” popped into my head.  It has been a long time since I thought about that assignment.  I then wondered – Is this assignment still popular in schools today?  As a grown up, I now know that its whole purpose was to dust off the summer break cobwebs from my brain.

I also wondered… What if students asked the teachers what they did on their summer vacation?  I think students would be very surprised to learn that teachers— especially our St. Mary’s teachers—did not spend their entire summer break lounging by the pool eating bonbons … okay… not the entire time.

For example…

Three of our teachers—Allison Hardy (1st grade), Allison Crow (3rd grade), and John Allen (Jr. High science)—traveled to Savannah, Georgia for the final curriculum development team meeting for the new Diocesan-wide science curriculum.  As with each subject curricula, St. Mary’s teachers are an integral part of curriculum development.  Our teachers bring their passion for teaching, expertise, classroom experience, and desire for the best for their students to the process.  Mrs. Hardy told me that she thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team and is excited to introduce the new science curriculum to her 1st grade students.

Karmen Lowery, computer teacher, was selected to participate in Augusta University’s week-long GenCyber Camp for teachers.  Mrs. Lowery told me that camp was a lot of fun.  She appreciated learning about some new resources that she and other St. Mary’s teachers can use in the classrooms.  What did Mrs. Lowery enjoy the most?  She especially enjoyed meeting other computer/technology teachers in the area.

Katharine Doss (2nd grade) and Allison Crow attended the National SDE Reading, Writing, Math & More! Conference for grades K-5.  The conference included fabulous speakers, lots of ideas for the classroom, and teacher resources.  Mrs. Doss and Mrs. Crow are looking forward to sharing all the good news from the conference with their fellow St. Mary’s teachers.

Back at home, Laura Kuhlke, reading interventionist, administered placement tests for our new students.  We are so excited to welcome many new families to St. Mary’s school for the 2016-2017 school year.  Thank you, Mrs. Kuhlke, for helping to make the summer placement testing process run so smoothly.

We thank all of our teachers and staff who work so diligently throughout the ENTIRE year for the benefit of our students.  We wish them, and our students, a wonderful 2016-2017 school year!

Let the school year begin!


The process used by our curriculum development teams is the result of a partnership with the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Collaborative for Academic Excellence.  The ACE Collaborative is a professional development program that strengthens curriculum, instruction, and assessment by increasing collaboration among teachers.  This partnership resulted in a curriculum development process that has been successfully implemented for three new diocesan-wide curricula to date—social studies, math, and science.                                                                  

St. Mary on the Hill Catholic School is a private Catholic school located in the beautiful and historic Summerville area of Augusta, Georgia.  For more information, please contact Christine Sweeney, Marketing Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 706-733-6193.