Banner School – St. Mary Catholic School, Newton
St. Mary Catholic School of Newton has been named a diocesan Banner School for the second time in three years. Located in Harvey County, St. Mary’s serves the three parishes in the county: St. Mary’s and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Newton and Sacred Heart in Halstead. Students at St. Mary’s come from Newton, Halstead, Sedgwick, Peabody, Hesston, and Moundridge.
St. Mary’s has been exemplary in carrying out the mission of Catholic education to form disciples of Jesus Christ. Sr. Rosemary Sieg, C.S.J. continues an unbroken tradition of almost 135 years of service by the Sisters of St. Joseph in Newton. There is a deep respect for the religious and cultural traditions of both Anglo and Hispanic families. The two Newton pastors, Father Nicholas Voelker and Father Juan Garza provide a regular presence and strong support. The teachers model and the students exemplify the core values of Catholic schools: unity, faithfulness, stewardship, and scholarship. The school and the diocese collaborate closely in all areas. St. Mary students score among the highest of all peer schools on the diocesan religion assessment. An increasing number of eighth graders are choosing to attend Wichita Catholic highs schools.
Academically, St. Mary’s has been creative in providing for a broad array of learning opportunities. The school partners with the Newton public schools to provide music, band, physical education, and a host of services for students with special needs. The school utilizes the talents of parents and teachers to offer middle school students a large selection of elective courses. Compared to other schools where more than half of the students qualify as at risk, St. Mary’s excels on Kansas Assessments and other measures of academic performance. A talented and experienced faculty not only models lifelong learning but skillfully guides students to be successful in all subject areas.
Completing his eleventh year as principal, Philip Stutey provides exceptional leadership as a role model and a leader. Stutey serves on the state advisory council for Advanc-ED (formerly North Central Accreditation). He serves on the Catholic School Activities League board. He works closely with all three pastors and with diocesan leadership. He has engineered two large enrollment increases in a row, and enrollment has now increased four years in a row.
Congratulations to Mr. Stutey, the Harvey county pastors, and the parishioners and members of the St. Mary’s school family for providing outstanding Catholic school education, banner school quality.