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St. John Neummann School shows growth, stability

Published December 24. 2009 05:00PM

The Allentown Catholic Diocese continues to ponder whether it should consolidate several of its schools after citing diminished enrollment.

Currently, the Diocese is contemplating if it should combine Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, and two parochial schools, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Paul.

In response to that, Sister Virginia Stephanie, principal of St. John Neumann Regional School in Palmerton, told the TIMES NEWS on Wednesday that the school doesn't consider itself to be in peril.

"We are in the black," Sister Stephanie said. "We do not have a deficit."

Sister Stephanie, who said the school received an "outstanding" response to its appeal last year, also noted it received a matching grant of $25,000, and receives support from those who believe in its mission.

"Alumni and their families who have seen the results of an education at St. John Neumann Regional School continue to prayerfully and financially support us and our mission," she said. "They experience their investments yielding great dividends in character building and contributing to our great country."

As recently as Wednesday, a supporter sent the school a donation, Sister Stephanie said.

In addition, she said the school's kindergarten enrollment is up by 17 students; it continues to connect with former students and their families; and it has been able to reduce the parish subsidies from Sacred Heart, Assumption BVM, and St. Nicholas parishes by 10-percent for the last two years.

St. John's is joined by St. Joseph Regional, Jim Thorpe, Our Lady of the Angels Academy, Lansford, and Ss. Peter & Paul, Lehighton, as the grade schools in Carbon County under the Diocese.

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