Geibel Catholic Gators getting in gear

By Elisabeth Mistretta

Contributing Writer

CONNELLSVILLE — There will be a lot more ‘gator sightings in the Connellsville area this year as a new initiative gets underway to ensure Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School is top-of-mind among local residents.

“The main purpose is (to ensure) Geibel Catholic is visible in the surrounding community because we have such an amazing experience to offer our students,” Patricia Nickler, principal, told the Tribune-Review, which was among the area media that covered the announcement of the new initiative Aug. 19 at the school.

“Between technology, faith and service, we can provide students in the area with an excellent, rigorous education that can help them as they move forward into the future and on to college,” she said.

Administrators from Geibel Catholic and the Diocese of Greensburg shared details of the new initiative and updates about improved classroom technology with local leaders, including Fayette County Commissioners Vincent Vicites and Dave Lohr, Connellsville Mayor Greg Lincoln, State Rep. Matthew Dowling, Scottdale Mayor Chuck King and others.

The Geibel Visibility Plan includes an enrollment committee composed of parents and staff who visit parishes to speak about the amazing things happening at the school. Already this summer, more than 20 volunteers have dedicated more than 40 hours to the effort.

Other facets of the plan include:

  • A team of ambassadors that visits with elected officials and community leaders.
  • New communication outlets to keep parents, alumni and the community at large engaged through calendars, social media, newsletters and video.
  • Geibel’s first Gatorfest, happening on campus Oct. 20 (details below).
  • New Geibel Gator gear that includes a bigger and bolder Gator logo, which also incorporates the cross to emphasize Geibel Catholic’s foundation in faith.

Geibel Catholic is also celebrating the completion of a multi-year technological upgrade, which includes new Smart Boards in every classroom, and welcomed several new faculty members this fall.

“Students now have interactive technology at their fingertips, and they are gaining digital presentation skills and solving problems with hands-on experience,” Nickler said.

New faculty members are Carly Rimel, Spanish, and Catherine Cline, science. New administrators are Lindsay Daniels, development director; Don Porter, athletic director (get to know him on page 10) and Lucas Weltz, athletic trainer.

New staff members are Becky Porter, secretary, and Brenda Shaffer and Lois Sotomayor, food services.

Dr. Maureen Marsteller, superintendent of the Office of Catholic Schools, says the changes at Geibel Catholic will help the surrounding community understand the value of the Catholic education the school provides.

“We are here to educate young men and women of integrity,” she said. “From service learning to family involvement, Geibel values create the ideal learning environment.”

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