St. Stephen the Martyr
Board of Education Minutes
February 15, 2011
Attendance: Sandra Jameson, Jeanne Meyer, Joyce Snowden, Nicole Neesen, Greg Youell, Jaime Bizal,
Chris Shouse, Mary Maguire, Dr. Dave Peters, Fr. Jim Tiegs, Tom Jorgensen.
I. Opening Prayer: The meeting was called to order with prayer led by Sandra Jameson. Birthday wishes
were extended to Fr. Tiegs.
II. Approval of the December 14, 2010 Minutes: The minutes were presented for approval and discussion
followed. After discussion, it was moved and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion
III. Religious Education Report: Mary Maguire
A. Calendar items were shared. Parish commitment services for candidates for Confirmation will
soon be held at weekend Masses.
B. Registration for the 2011-12 year begins March 1 for volunteers and catechists and March 10 for
participants. Tuition and fees have been set by the Finance Board at $110 for Sunday School and
$125 for K-8.
C. A draft of the Religious Education calendar for 2011-12 was shared.
D. Religious education classes will be held as a large group meeting in the worship space on Feb
14/15 when the 5-day school has conferences.
E. Vacation Bible School plans for Pandamania are underway for June 6-10 and June 13-17.
Approximately 200 participants and 100 volunteers are expected per session. Our VBS program
is a Catholic version, published by Our Sunday Visitor (http://totallycatholic.osvcurriculum.com/)
and therefore different than those offered at protestant churches even though the program names
may be similar. As a Catholic version, the saints and Marian theology are discussed each day.
F. Youth Ministry has had calls from other parishes looking at our youth programs. Life Teen
youth will participate this summer in the Steubenville trip with youth from neighboring parishes
including St. Vincent de Paul, St. Wenceslaus, St Charles Borromeo, and St. Patrick in Elkhorn.
The Archdiocese of Omaha has put all activities at the Archdiocesan Youth Camp on hold and is
refunding registrations due to financial considerations.
IV. School Report: Dr. Dave Peters
A. Calendar items were shared.
B. The Nebraska Dept of Education made a site visit to St. Stephen the Martyr on January 21, 2011
to verify compliance with the accreditation requirements of Rule 10: Regulations and Procedures
for the Accreditation of Schools. The Dept of Education followed up with a letter reporting that
they found St. Stephen the Martyr to be in compliance with the requirements of Rule 10, and they
commended the efforts of our school to provide meaningful, relevant and spiritual curriculum as
well as efforts made to address the special resource needs of struggling students and efforts to
provided accelerated programs for gifted students. Dr. Peters reported that 33 different areas
were reviewed. Another site visit by the Nebraska Dept of Education is not expected for another
C. Information was provided regarding the upcoming Education Freedom Rally at the state capitol
in Lincoln on March 22, 2011. This rally is an effort to support a private school choice program
in Nebraska and to encourage the state legislators to continue the textbook loan program. The
rally is being carried out by the Nebraska Federation of Catholic School Parents and has approval
of the Nebraska bishops and the governing board of the Nebraska Catholic Conference. Board of
Education members, and school parents are encouraged to attend.
D. Registration for the 2011-12 school year will be held during the month of March and will include
the new High 5 Pre-K program. Tuition amounts to be charged for all students are currently
being finalized by the Finance Board. An 11 month tuition payment plan will be implemented
for the 2011-12 school year.
E. Teacher contracts for the 2011-12 school year are due out by March 15, 2011 and must be
returned by teachers by the April 15, 2011 deadline.
F. The enrollment history of the school from inception was shared.
G. Dr. Peters shared a report from the Duke TIP program where St Stephen the Martyr was
recognized for having the highest qualifying participation in the Duke TIP program in the state of
Nebraska based on scores of current 4 th and 5 th grade students on standardized tests.
H. Scholarship winners from St. Stephen the Martyr to area Catholic high schools were reported.
V. Pastor’s Report:
A. Fr. Tiegs shared information regarding the new Mass translations. There will be bulletin inserts
plus specific preaching in conjunction with all parishes in the archdiocese on eight Sundays
starting in October. The implementation will begin on Sunday, November 27, 2011.
B. Due to the scheduled preaching related to the new Mass translations, the schedule for stewardship
appeals has been adjusted to the month of September.
C. The parish festival is scheduled for August 26/27 th .
D. A modified mission with three evenings of prayer and teaching will be scheduled in October.
E. Fr. Tiegs discussed a recent Our Sunday Visitor editorial encouraging cooperation between parish
Catholic school and the Religious Education programs. A both/and approach is necessary for our
Church to thrive in the 21 st Century. Fr. Tiegs commented that he believes St. Stephen the Martyr
does a good job in this regard.
F. Fr. Tiegs reported that the Finance Council is working very hard to set the final tuition rates and
to be able to give a raise to teachers and staff.
VI. Old Business
A. A motion was made and seconded to approve the 2011-12 calendar for St. Stephen the Martyr
School. The motion was approved.
B. A motion was made and seconded to approve the 2011-12 calendar for St. Stephen the Martyr
Religious Education Program. The motion was approved.
C. An expression of thanks was shared from Ron Meier for the Board of Education contribution to
the Parish Festival.
D. Tom Jorgensen is currently gathering information regarding the Total Board of Education. A
hold has been put on the discussion of the Total Board of Education which would include 5 day
school, Kidzone, religious education, youth ministry as well as adult formation until the new
members of the Board of Education are elected in the upcoming election.
E. Drafts of the survey questions for the annual Board of Education surveys will be reviewed
following the adjournment of the BOE meeting.
VIII. New Business
A. The parish elections have been scheduled for April 9 th and 10 th . BOE members are encouraged
to help recruit parishioners to run for Board of Education or Pastoral Council positions.
B. The next town hall meeting to discuss parish goals and objectives has been scheduled for
Thursday, April 7 th .
C. A discussion was held regarding the recent shooting at Millard South High School and the
security/response by St. Stephen the Martyr. Parish Staff including Fr. Tiegs, Tom Jorgensen,
Dr. Peters, Mary Maguire, and Juli Han met to discuss the response by St Stephen the Martyr
including what we did and what could be improved. A question was asked about a possible
parent alert system. A review of the costs of these systems will be made, though the cost when
previously reviewed was prohibitive for our parish.
D. Tom Jorgensen provided an updated constitution based on current practices of the parish as a
starting point for discussion. Board members were asked to review the Board of Education
constitution compared to the previous document. A subcommittee meeting will be held to
discuss any concerns prior to the full Board meeting in March. Future candidates for BOE
positions will be provided a copy of the Board of Education constitution at the time they submit
their application to run for a Board of Education position.
E. Tom Jorgensen recognized the Home & School organization for their work in sponsoring the
teacher appreciation luncheon as part of Catholic Schools Week. Tom reported that the luncheon
was enthusiastically received by our teachers.
IX. Adjournment and Prayer
After a motion and second, the meeting was adjourned followed by a closing prayer.