December 17, 2015
Our first town hall was a huge success. I thank everyone who helped organize the event and I appreciate all those who were able to attend this important meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the deficit in our 2015-2016 school budget. This deficit has been caused by the following: the need for scholarships this year is greater than what was available and in keeping with our faith we want to try and make a Catholic education available for everyone who wants to attend; although our auction was well organized and a wonderful event, we did not raise the budgeted amount planned for; the third reason for the deficit is the unexpected increase in teacher salary.
In the meeting we discussed ways to close this gap and there were many good ideas presented and great conversations occurred on ways to implement those ideas. Increasing the participation in the scrip program and fundraisers were the two major solutions.
Bishop Ochoa, Father Jesus and Superintendent Mona Faulkner all spoke at the meeting. The Bishop shared his love of and dedication to Catholic education. Father Jesus shared his commitment to the school and encouraged us to be involved and active in the school community.
Ms. Faulkner shared some exciting news. Bishop Ochoa is implementing a pilot program that will change the governance model for two schools. Beginning January 1, 2016 both Our Lady of Victory and Saint Helen’s Schools will become diocesan schools. This is primarily an administrative change. Father Jesus will continue to be our spiritual leader and he will be involved in all major decisions regarding the school. Going forth he will not have to deal with the day to day business of the school. I will report directly to Ms. Faulkner and she will attend our school advisory board meetings. I am very excited by this change and I believe we will continue to thrive under this new model.
Yesterday I received a letter from Mr. Gary Bethke, the CEO of the Diocese of Fresno, on behalf of Bishop Ochoa. Because this is the Year of Mercy, the Bishop has reduced a portion of our health bill. This $35,000 gift will greatly help us clear our deficit. Our community is blessed!
My dear friends, Bishop Ochoa, Superintendent Faulkner, and Father Jesus have demonstrated their commitment to our school. Now it is up to us to do the rest. If every family will use our scrip program and help out with our remaining fundraisers we will end the year in the black. It will not always be easy but our children are worth it!
Have a Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in 2016!
Deborah J.V. Nettell
Principal OLV School