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Testimonials

St. Mary's isn’t just a school; it’s a small community that provides a nurturing, and challenging environment that prepares our students for high school and life.  There can be no better testament to what we provide our students than from those students currently in school, those who have moved on in their lives, their parents and High School Principals who get to know what St. Mary's students are capable of achieving.  We let them speak for themselves.

Aaron Menzel

Saint Mary's truly set me up for success. By offering me such a personalized education, I always felt at home in the classroom. Each and every teacher knew my strengths and weaknesses, and challenged me daily to improve.

Saint Mary's truly set me up for success. By offering me such a personalized education, I always felt at home in the classroom. Each and every teacher knew my strengths and weaknesses, and challenged me daily to improve. Additionally, Saint Mary's taught me to tolerant of all beliefs--religious or otherwise--a skill which I value above all else.
Aaron Menzel, Class of 2005, Alumnus

Ben Petr

The teachers I had were smart, kind and helpful and did everything they could to help students learn and have fun simultaneously. I graduated as valedictorian of my 2010 class from Bellevue East High School.

I attended St. Mary's school from kindergarten through 8th Grade and enjoyed every moment of it. The teachers I had were smart, kind and helpful and did everything they could to help students learn and have fun simultaneously. I created friendships that have lasted, as I have gotten older. The things I learned, both from books and experiences, have prepared me for the challenges ahead of me. I graduated as valedictorian of my 2010 class from Bellevue East high school and am currently attending college at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a Jesuit institution that is one of the top 100 schools in the nation and now have and an amazing internship with Northwestern Mutual. I can attribute these accomplishments to the things I learned while I attended St. Mary's. St. Mary's gave me the strong basis I needed to have to start high school right so I could be valedictorian and I choose the Jesuit institution because of the amazing education, both spiritually and academically, I had received at St. Mary's and I wanted to continue that style of learning. St. Mary's provided the basis I needed to succeed in all the things I have achieved to this point and I thank the school and my teachers greatly for helping me strive to be excellent. Ben Petr, Class of 2006, Alumnus, Sophomore, Marquette University

Charmaine Ortega

My 7th grade Biology class made the biggest impression, especially when we dissected frogs. I knew right then and there that I was going to be a white lab-coated scientist working in some form of biology lab. However, God had different plans for me working as a physician with people instead of frogs.

I remember the first day of school years ago at St. Mary's. We had moved from Massachusetts so my Dad could work with SAC HQ and all I could think of was how many "bugs" there were in this foreign state called Nebraska! We arrived in the middle of summer and boy was it HOT compared to New England!

I walked into 3rd grade that fall and my teacher was Sr. Rose Ann. She had the sweetest face I had ever seen, so serene and gentle and she really made me feel at home. It wasn't long until St. Mary's was my permanent school "home". We had that huge playground and daily Mass with Fr. Krejci and Fr. Garvey. I especially remember our trips to the library where I would read books and dream about Fr. Damien on the island of Molokai and Fr. John Bosco from Italy. I also would read stories about a young boy growing up on the Yangtze River in China and his interaction with the priest missionaries there. And I could never forget the wonderful annual Columban Fathers festival fundraisers that we would participate and volunteer for!

But my 7th grade Biology class made the biggest impression, especially when we dissected frogs. I knew right then and there that I was going to be a white lab-coated scientist working in some form of biology lab. However, God had different plans for me, still white lab-coated but working as a physician with people instead of frogs!

I developed a strong basic belief in God and my faith at St. Mary's and I credit it for giving me the blessing of having very few doubts in my faith. I had my rebellious years, but I have never doubted God's existence or even His love. This faith has helped me weather my own storms of self-doubt, personal tragedies and even witnessing the life and death of my nephew Michael as he so bravely fought cancer. I remember walking into Mass as a child and seeing the men and women sitting on the side in perpetual adoration. I remember deciding then and there that when I grew up, I wanted to be one of them. To this day, I am in a parish with perpetual adoration that I participate in.

Every day that I walk into the ER for duty; I pray. This habit was developed from my many years in Catholic grade school (St. Mary's), high school (Mercy High) and college (University of Notre Dame). I know that much of my inspiration and intuition in caring for my patients comes from God. He guides my hands and my heart and heals me of the pain and weariness that I carry from my patients on my drive home.

And as for my fascination of foreign lands learned in St. Mary's library, I travel extensively, and do mission work in Africa and Haiti and fly around the world in international critical care transport. God does bless us in the littlest details of our lives! And it all came from St. Mary's Grade School in Bellevue, Nebraska! Yvonne C. (Charmaine) Ortega, M.D., Emergency Room Physician, Alumna

Christina Legner

The work ethic I developed at St. Mary’s and the confidence in my capabilities that I built there helped me become valedictorian of my Bellevue East class. 

As both an alumna and a parent of children who currently attend St. Mary’s School, I can attest to the gem that it is. 

As a graduate I was able to assimilate into public high school culture, participate in various sports & clubs, and excel scholastically.  The work ethic I developed at St. Mary’s and the confidence in my capabilities that I built there helped me become valedictorian of my Bellevue East class.  I earned several scholarships to various universities, including a 4-year full ride Regent’s Scholarship to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  I ultimately decided to take advantage of a scholarship to the University of Norte Dame, where I majored in Psychology, minored in Computer Applications, and graduated with honors.   I had a few offers from Fortune 500 companies and accepted one of them.  After a couple of years I left that opportunity for another, also a Fortune 500 company.

As a parent I see in my children what I came to recognize and value in myself, that attending a Catholic elementary school allows them to learn about their faith, live their faith, and grow in their faith as part of their full, normal day.  It isn’t compartmentalized.  It’s not just something they do once or twice a week.  It isn’t an “activity” like all the others fighting for space on the family calendar.  It’s an umbrella over everything that they do.  Faith formation and religious education begin at home, but it’s such a blessing that when they leave our door and pass through the one at school, that what we teach and value is also being taught and valued by the wonderfully talented staff at St. Mary’s. 

While there are larger budgets elsewhere that allow for brand new this and brand new that, I take a step back and ask myself what “this” is all for?  What are we working toward and is where my kids attend school helping them in that pursuit?  Of course I want them to be successful (which can be defined so differently in our society), but what I really want is for them to be responsible, honest, caring, hard working, and selfless.  I want them to contribute to their community.  I want them to make the world a bit better than they found it.  I want them to, in the words of Gandhi, “Be the change they wish to see in the world.”  I am so thankful that my husband and I have a partner in St. Mary’s School, to help what we want for our children become a reality. 
Christina Legner, Class of 1991, Alumna, St. Mary’s Parent

Hannah Menzel Clark

My education at St. Mary's School has been invaluable to me! Not only did it prepare me educationally for success at Mercy High School but it also set the foundation for a strong and deep appreciation of my Catholic faith.

My education at St. Mary's School has been invaluable to me! Not only did it prepare me educationally for success at Mercy High School but it also set the foundation for a strong and deep appreciation of my Catholic faith. Now, as a Catholic school teacher myself, I am honored to be able to share my faith with my own students. I owe so much to the administration, faculty and staff of St. Mary's. I feel very blessed and honored to call myself a graduate of such a wonderful school! Hannah Menzel Clark, Class of 2002, Alumna, Catholic School Teacher

Hannah Menzel Clark 2015 Update

"The faith community of St. Mary's Church and School have been such an integral part of my life. Now, I am raising my own family in the Parish, and am so excited to send my children to St. Mary's School!"

Hannah (Menzel) Clark, class of '02 and her husband John just welcomed their 3rd child November 17, 2015. His name is Elijah. They have two other children, Gabriel the big brother, 3 years old and big sister Caroline (Carlie) is 22 months old. Hannah attended St. Mary's School from Pre-K through 8th grade, and graduated in 2002. She went on to attend Mercy High School in Omaha, and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. There, she majored in Special Education and Elementary Education, and attributes her love of learning to several teachers from St. Mary's. She's taught in 8th grade and 4th grade at Catholic Schools in Missouri, and Special Education for Bellevue Public Schools. Hannah says, "The faith community of St. Mary's Church and School have been such an integral part of my life. Now, I am raising my own family in the Parish, and am so excited to send my children to St. Mary's School!" Hannah Menzel Clark, Class of 2002, Alumna, Special Education Teacher at Bellevue Public Schools

Mary Ellen Reckmeyer

We feel these sacrifices are worth the same quality Catholic school education that my siblings and I received when my parents chose to send us to St. Mary's in Bellevue ...

My family has a long association with St. Mary's Grade School. My parents were lifelong members of the parish and were committed to their five children attending the parish school. This wasn't an easy commitment, as we were a modest one-income family and we lived farther from the school than many students. I've always appreciated the sacrifices they made to provide us with a quality Catholic education. All five of us went on to achieve success in high school, college, and our professions. Now, my husband and I have made the same commitment: our son graduated from St. Mary's and our daughter currently attends. There are still sacrifices, both financial and in terms of volunteer time and effort, and we live a longer distance from the school. But we feel these sacrifices are worth the same quality Catholic school education that my siblings and I received when my parents chose to send us to St. Mary's in Bellevue. Mary Ellen Reckmeyer, Alumna, Parent, and Teacher at St. Mary's

Missy Walther 2016 Update

I am convinced that my wonderful years with the teachers, staff and faith community at St. Mary's-Bellevue Catholic Church and School, and my intense faith, love and trust in Jesus Christ have prepared me well for a bright future." Thank You!

I am convinced that my wonderful years with the teachers, staff and faith community at St. Mary's-Bellevue Catholic Church and School, and my intense faith, love and trust in Jesus Christ have prepared me well for a bright future." Thank You!  Missy Walther, Class of 2012, Alumna, Will start at Creighton University Fall 2016-17.

Natalie (Targy) Kamtz

We had such wonderful teachers at St. Mary's. I had so much fun dissecting all kinds of cool animals. It was so wonderful to be able to explore the sciences and it certainly became a passion of mine that feeds what I do currently.

Although, I didn't appreciate it, as I should have then, I now very much appreciate a Catholic environment and curriculum in school. It's so important for kids to be surrounded with the church's teachings and to understand the importance of Christ's love in every aspect of our lives, including our education."

Natalie (Targy) Kamtz, Class of 1999, Alumna

Rebekah Menzel

As I enter my freshman year at Benedictine College, I look back and realize that what I learned at St. Mary's has formed my foundation of faith, creativity and a deep desire to learn more...

Having attended St. Mary's School from PK all the way through 8th grade, I just took it for granted that everyone had an education like this. Some of my fondest memories of St. Mary's focus on the Advent and Lenten Prayer Services, and the times that the entire school was gathered for Mass. Stepping in to Mercy High School, I felt well-prepared to handle the expectations academically; and I know that the encouragement I received from so many teachers in grade school to really live out my faith fanned my desire to serve others. As I enter my freshman year at Benedictine College, I look back and realize that what I learned at St. Mary's has formed my foundation of faith, creativity and a deep desire to learn more about our global community. Rebekah Menzel, Class of 2007, Alumna, Freshman, Benedictine College

Rebekah Menzel 2015 Update

I've been reflecting on how St. Mary's School helped to form the woman I am today. It is as if St. Mary's set the standard for how I view learning communities. Now, as a first year teacher at Christ the King (K-8 Art) I can't tell you how many times I think to myself, "Okay, how would Mrs. Schutt have solved this problem?"

Hi there! I was talking with my mom the other day about the importance of community in my life. We discussed the different milestones in my life over the last 20 years; most recently graduating from Benedictine College this past Spring 2015, before that from Mercy High School in 2011, and the start of it all: St. Mary's School in 2007. Since then, I've been reflecting on how St. Mary's School helped to form the woman I am today. It is as if St. Mary's set the standard for how I view learning communities. Now, as a first year teacher at Christ the King (K-8 Art) I can't tell you how many times I think to myself, "Okay, how would Mrs. Schutt have solved this problem?" As I enter into my career as an Educator, I look to all of my Pre-K-8th grade teachers as role models. Their camaraderie, dedication, and passion for education has stuck with me through the years, and now inspires me to become a teacher my own St. Mary's School teachers would be proud of. Rebekah Menzel, Class of 2007, Alumna, Art Teacher at Christ the King, Omaha

Scott Steele

While I may still face challenges in my life I know that in order to overcome I simply need to look back on what I learned at St. Mary’s and trust that God is watching over me…

Through my time at St. Mary’s I was able to enjoy firsthand what it feels like to be part of a school that feels like a second home. I was challenged academically and forced to take a greater responsibility for my actions. I am proud to say that I am the person I am today through my years there. And while I may still face challenges in my life I know that in order to overcome I simply need to look back on what I learned at St. Mary’s and trust that God is watching over me. Scott Steele, Class of 2006, Alumnus, Sophomore, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Carolyn Jaworski

We have always found your graduates to be well-prepared academically. They obviously have been taught "how to study" as well as been instilled with a desire to learn for learning sake rather than just for a grade... Carolyn Jaworski, Principal, Mercy High School

See the complete testimonial letter by clicking here.

David J. Peters

The young men graduating from St. Mary's School in Bellevue have a strong spiritual foundation and faith. Many of them are leaders here at Mount Michael... Dr. David J. Peters, Ed.D., Head of School, Mount Michael Benedictine School 

See the complete testimonial letter by clicking here.

John C. Naatz

I salute to the graduates of St. Mary's Bellevue. Collectively, these (seven) students have a 3.97/4.00 cumulative grade point average. Congratulations to you and your wonderful staff... John C. Naatz, Principal, Creighton Prep High School

See the complete testimonial letter by clicking here.

Alan Swiecicki

My wife and I chose to send both our boys to St. Mary's to allow our children to learn in a faith-based environment.  St. Mary's School is dedicated to teaching children respect for others in a spiritual rich environment. 

In addition, the curriculum consists of great self-directed academics and academic diversity.  St. Mary's has numerous electives and after school clubs, for a smaller school, that allow children to be enriched.  The younger children benefit from having a mentoring buddy, from the older grades, to guide them in their learning and increasing their level of comfort in the school setting.  My wife and I have been thrilled with the curriculum and the teachers that teach it.  Alan Swiecicki, Class of 1989, Alumnus, Parent

Becky Billings

I thought back to my school days. Our valedictorians were all St. Mary’s graduates. You could tell they were more prepared than any other students to further their education…

I am not an alumna from St. Mary’s; I grew up in the BPS system.  When it came time to choose a school for my children, I thought back to my school days. I remember in high school the kids in my classes that had the best study habits and who just seemed to have everything come natural were all St. Mary’s graduates.  Our valedictorians were all St. Mary’s graduates. You could tell they were more prepared than any other students to further their education. Becky Billings, St. Mary’s Parent

Becky Billings 2015 Update

Also should have put her in a higher biology class! She says she is doing some of the things she did in 7th and 8th grade at St. Mary's! So glad to know we at St. Mary's are really preparing our students for high school!

Callie is having a great year! She was the starting first baseman for the JV softball team, is starting on the JV basketball team and also playing some varsity! She is loving it at Gross Catholic High School and is academically doing well too! She is already in Geometry. She is so far ahead of some of the kids especially in Spanish (112%). Wish we had put her in a higher class. Also should have put her in a higher biology class! She says she is doing some of the things she did in 7th and 8th grade at St. Mary's! So glad to know we at St. Mary's are really preparing our students for high school! She recently made the comment that going to Gross was the best decision she could make. Becky Billings, St. Mary's Parent and Parent of Alumna 2015

Chris Halliburton

I look at St. Mary's as being the total package. You have the parish along with the school, both of which are supportive of families and Catholic teaching. The parish and school have been our support group. I know that no matter how tough life can get, there will always be a friend in faith to help. This setup bolsters a child's faith, confidence and care for his fellow man that provides a richness to life that you can't get in public school. There's a solid purpose and direction with Catholic education. We have a mission statement and we live our mission statement. Mission Statement: "To provide a Catholic education that nurtures students' hearts and minds to become servant leaders in an ever-changing world." Chris Halliburton, St. Mary's School Parent from 2005 - 2014, Graduate in Class of 2014

Kathy Goetz

St. Mary's School is the one and only school for my children. They have flourished both spiritually and academically while going to St. Mary's. "Who could want more than that?"

I have 3 children who are students at St Mary's School. I believe St. Mary's School is the one and only school for my children. They have flourished both spiritually and academically while going to St. Mary's. "Who could want more than that?"  Kathy Goetz, St. Mary's Parent

Maureen Swiecicki

I credit St. Mary's welcoming spirit and attention to the individual student for Alan's self confidence.

How could I forget the summer of 1988 as Paul and I, with our three teenagers, left Chicago for a new life in Omaha. God had answered our prayers for a new job opportunity for Paul. Now we prayed that our children would find their way in their new schools.

Alan was quickly enrolled as an 8th grader at St. Mary's in Bellevue and joined the cross country team. It did not take long for me to see that he felt he was part of his class. He was warmly welcomed by Miss Moore and her students giving Alan a positive 8th grade experience at St Mary's. He even received a special student award at the end of the year and a Knights of Columbus scholarship as he continued on to Gross High. I credit St. Mary's welcoming spirit and attention to the individual student for Alan's self confidence.

Alan and Melissa's children now attend St. Mary's. I already see our grandsons receiving individual attention in math and reading giving them room to grow and flourish. It is so gratifying to see the many opportunities St. Mary's provides for the students to share their talents and Christian values with others.  Maureen Swiecicki, St. Mary's School Parent and Grandparent, Son Class of 1989, Grandchildren 2nd Grade and Kindergarten in 2014

Randy and Andrea Walther

St. Mary's Catholic School in Bellevue has been very instrumental in providing a safe place where our children could be challenged to learn at the highest levels while also receiving a traditional Catholic education.

We were impressed with the amount of highly learned, capable and committed teachers at St. Mary's. Many of the staff have decades of experience and continue to strive for excellence. We feel they go above and beyond our expectations by providing a faith-filled and meaningful experience that our children would cherish today... and be compelled to provide for their own children... tomorrow. Randy, Class of 1971, Alumnus, and Andrea Walther, St. Mary's School Parents from 2004-2014, Graduates in Classes 2010, 2012, 2014.

Tina Targy

I am feeling very blessed to have had such a wonderful community help mold my five children into the successful young people they are. I can't even begin to thank the staff of St. Mary's for all they have done to educate, guide, discipline, and love my children.

In the fall of 1990, I was so excited for my oldest daughter Natalie and my only son, Will to begin attending school at St. Mary's. I quickly fell in love with the outstanding staff and began to volunteer. As my youngest child gets ready to graduate from St. Mary's school this May (2014), I am feeling very blessed to have had such a wonderful community help mold my five children into the successful young people they are. I have always felt that it takes a village to raise a child. From the Pastor, teachers and staff like Mrs. Kibler in extended day, they have all planted seeds of self worth, kindness, academic success, empathy for others, a good work ethic, creativity, athleticism and most of all a love and understanding of their Catholic faith. My children have had their share of failures and challenges in their lives, but the staff at St. Mary's has always nurtured and guided them through whatever difficulties they encountered. This kind of support made their many successes a team effort. I know that my five children have had the best education available to them, but more importantly, they have had the example of what a servant heart looks and acts like, from someone practicing their Catholic faith. I don't know of any other parochial school that has teachers likes ours, who sacrifice their own time and funding to give students every opportunity to experience academic success. Our elective programs, clubs and sports team are all positive experiences that have prepared my kids for a successful future. I can't even begin to thank the staff of St. Mary's for all they have done to educate, guide, discipline, and love my children. I couldn't be prouder of all things they have accomplished in their short lives and I certainly couldn't have done it without a lot of help. Thank you so much for your dedication to Catholic education and to your love of children.  Tina Targy, St. Mary's School Parent from 1990-2014, 1st Graduate - Class of 1999, last Graduate Class of 2014.

2015 Alumni

How has St. Mary's helped you prepare for your future?

"By growing stronger in my Catholic faith." Callie B, Class of 2015, Alumna
"It has challenged me to always do better." Macey M, Class of 2015, Alumna
"St. Mary's has prepared me for my future with all the classes and helping me realize how hard I need to work to achieve my goals." Therese R, Class of 2015, Alumna
"The classes over the years have strengthened my Catholic Faith. That is something I have for the future." Annika S, Class of 2015, Alumna
"It's prepared me by giving me confidence." Nicholas S, Class of 2015, Alumnus
"It strengthened me in my spirit. I've formed bonds with some people that I can talk to for advice. It challenged me academically." Ethan Y, Class of 2015, Alumnus

Missy Walther

St. Mary’s to me is a place where I can learn and have fun at the same time. All the students are friends with each other and it makes school so much more exciting…

St. Mary’s to me is a place where I can learn and have fun at the same time.  The teachers are friendly and they know their students well.  There are many extra activities to enjoy that make school fun.  Every day I find myself looking forward to something.  All the students are friends with each other and it makes school so much more exciting.  St. Mary’s to me is the best place to be.  I wouldn’t want to go to any other school.
Missy Walther, Class of 2012, Alumna, 8th Grade

St Mary's Information

St. Mary's Catholic School is a Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade School of the Archdiocese of Omaha. Our mission is to provide a Catholic education that nurtures students' hearts and minds to become servant leaders in an ever-changing world.

Our philosophy of education is to offer a five-day program to assist families in teaching those truths, skills, and ideals, which are necessary for Christian living. We believe that education must develop the faculties and abilities of the whole child: spiritually, intellectually, physically, and emotionally. To help achieve this, our faculty and staff are an integral part of the formation of Christian community and dedicate themselves to the task of developing Christian citizens.

 

 


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