January 12, 2016

Deo Gratias (Grateful to God)

Gratitude. According to the dictionary, it is a condition or quality of being grateful; an emotion or sentiment of thankfulness; a warm sense of appreciation for a kindness received.

Gratitude. As William Arthur Ward so eloquently stated, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

Gratitude. As Catholics, we know it is a virtue. It is a virtue that is expressed frequently throughout the bible. One of the more memorable references is David’s Prayer of Gratitude in 2 Samuel 7:18 where King David displays great humility before God and expresses his thankfulness for God’s divine favor toward him.

As I write this today, I also find myself both humbled and grateful. Humbled due to the overwhelming response to our first two initiatives for this year’s Annual Fund Drive; Grateful, first and foremost, to God for all the gifts. He continues to bestow upon our school and our community.

Regarding the AFD, I am pleased to announce that all four divisions (PS-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th) exceeded the target of 51% participation. While complete results and party details will be forthcoming, suffice it to say for now, there will be a lot of Pizza Pies eaten at Everest during Catholic Schools Week. Overall, 52% of our families have committed to support the school in this fundraiser. Even though we still have some ground to cover in order to meet our overall AFD needs, this is a huge step in the right direction. I would like to express my appreciation to all the parents, grandparents, and benefactors who have contributed so far to the AFD and made this milestone possible. I also want to thank the entire faculty and staff of our great school who demonstrated they were 100% All In for Everest. 

As long as I am expressing gratitude, I am going to take the opportunity to callout a specific individual who has dedicated a good portion of her life to Everest and has been instrumental in the school becoming what it is today. The person I am referring to is Maura Plante. She exemplifies Semper Altius in all that she does. She is a “Go To” person for many people around here, including me. It is with both admiration and a heavy heart that I tell you Maura has decided to retire at the end of this school year after more than 20 years at Everest.

Even though Maura will only be a phone call away, her presence will be missed by all and will undoubtedly leave behind some pretty big shoes to fill. I want to assure everyone that a plan is already in place to make sure those shoes are filled as much to capacity as possible right from the start. I am pleased to announce that Sue Lowney, who has been the first person everyone sees in the Girls’ School for the last four years, will be the new Everest Admissions Director beginning with the 2016-17 school year. In addition to her years of experience working here, Sue also has a perspective of our school from being an Everest parent (EC Alum Ashley Lowney Class of 2015). Sue loves Everest, knows it well, and always performs her responsibilities with excellence. With Sue’s background and firsthand perspective, I am confident she will be able to transmit the benefits and beauty of Everest to interested families and the community at large.

Sue’s current position will be filled with a new hire, namely Colleen Lowney, who comes to us with 16 years of experience as a para educator with Redford school district and 3 years of experience as an operations manager at St. Valentine parish. Colleen will be starting this week, so she can work alongside Sue while learning her role. This will also give Sue an opportunity to work hand in hand with Maura for the next 5-6 months to better understand all that an Admissions Director’s role entails. Having such a long runway for both Sue and Colleen to learn their new roles will help ensure a smooth transition for both positions. I believe God’s Grace and Mercy have both been evident throughout this entire process, and I am confident that we couldn’t have asked for a better answer to our prayers.

I hope everyone will join me in: expressing gratitude and well wishes to Maura as she finishes out her tenure and begins a new chapter in her life; sharing heartfelt congratulations with Sue as she embarks on her new role; and offering a warm welcome to Colleen as she becomes indoctrinated to all that is Everest. I firmly believe we have been and will continue to be blessed by their presence as part of the Everest community.

In Heartfelt Gratitude,
Michael J. Nalepa







5935 Clarkston Rd.
Clarkston, MI 48348
Phone: 248-241-9012
Admissions: Maura Plante