Tricia White
Tricia White

Tricia White
Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School 

Family: My husband, Jayson, is a senior communications specialist at Albany Medical Center. My son, Don, earned his Bachelor in Science at Cortland and works for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District; my daughter, Haleigh, just graduated from ESF (Environmental Science and Forestry) with a bachelor’s in Environmental and Forest Biology; and Rylee is beginning her first year of college at Texas Tech. We also have several furry family members, including a dog named Waffles, a cat named Acorn, and a squirrel named Carl, who began his life at NDBG and came to our house after an injury. He is outside, living his best life, as the kids would say.

How long have you worked at NDBG? I’ve worked at Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons School in Schenectady for 15 years. I am the English Department chair and yearbook advisor, and am part of the Diocesan Accreditation Steering Committee, Culture Day (9-10) and the Facilities and COVID Response committees.
What are your favorite things about the school? It is truly hard to choose one, but I would have to say the people. Together, faculty, staff and students strive to create a faith-based school with high academic standards. It goes beyond this though. We are family. We are there to celebrate the joys, walk through the day to day and also to help ease burdens when things are hard. One of my greatest honors at the school was when one of my students asked me to be his confirmation sponsor. This is family.

Why is Catholic school education so important?
 Catholic education is more than presenting a different schooling option. It offers a compass to help students make their way through daily choices large and small. It welcomes students into a community where words like: faith, compassion, morality and responsibility are alive. Sitting in a classroom, where the students are leading a discussion about a moral choice, and I am simply steering ... not “teaching” a lesson — means they will continue to think, discuss and lead with this compass which we have helped each develop. Having our graduated seniors return to visit and share that they are doing well, feel prepared academically, socially and emotionally as they move forward in college, the trades or the military shows that you really can have it all: smaller classes, academic excellence, family, sports ... and a moral compass.

Rebecca Marzeski
St. Francis de Sales
Early Childhood Learning Center

Family: My husband, Jim, and I have been married for 44 years. We have one daughter, Amanda, and one son, Michael, and five grandchildren who we spend lots of quality time with.

How long have you worked at St. Francis de Sales? I have worked here for five years and previously worked in public education for 30 years.

What is your favorite thing about the school? My favorite thing about the school is working with the children; they make my day every day.

Why is Catholic school education so important? Catholic school education is important because by teaching and living the faith, our children learn to be good citizens and well-rounded individuals. The adults who work in our Catholic school comment often about how it feels like a family with everyone helping and supporting one another daily.

Meghan Barrow
St. Mary’s School, Ballston Spa

Family: My husband, Gary, is the district music chair and band director for Galway Central Schools. My son, Brendan, is a senior physics major at Clarkson University. My daughter, Caitlin, is beginning her freshman year at Syracuse University in the Army ROTC Program. My daughter, Erin, will be a junior in high school. Caitlin and Erin are graduates of St. Mary’s School in Ballston Spa.
how long have you worked at st. mary’s school?  I am the enrollment director and part-time music director for Pre-K to Grade 5. I have been at St. Mary’s in enrollment since 2009 and as music teacher there since 2018. Prior to teaching at St. Mary’s, I was the music director at St. Thomas the Apostle in Delmar from 2006-18.

Favorite thing about the school? My favorite thing about St. Mary’s School is that we are truly “A Small School With A Big Heart.” We are small enough that every teacher knows every student’s name (or almost!) and our small size allows us to really know and connect with our families so we can personalize each child’s experience. Our “Big Hearts” are on display every day through our monthly school-wide service projects, the ways that we work together as staff and as teacher to student, and how we care for each other when a member of our community is in distress or in need. Our teachers gather every morning in our Prayer Corner to pray together and offer prayer intentions — what a beautiful way to start the day!

Why is Catho¬≠lic school education so important? All schools teach math and reading and spelling and science. But a Catholic school offers something that no public school can. We offer the opportunity to make God a part of every day in all that we do. “Religion” is not a subject taught one period a day or a week but is a regular presence of our Catholic faith in our classrooms. By allowing God to be ever present, we allow Him to focus our eyes on the needs of our school, community and world in the ways that we care for each other and spread the Good News. Within our music program at St. Mary’s School, I regularly remind the students that we have the privilege to come together and sing about God every day but our friends who attend public schools cannot. What a joy for us to have our faith at the center of our lives every day!

Matt Flanagan
St. Pius X School

Family: Wife, Lisa, and daughter, Jazlyn.

How long have you worked at St. Pius X? I have been a teacher at St. Pius X School in Loudonville for 25 years, and currently teach sixth-eighth grade science and eighth-grade religion.

What is your favorite thing about the school? Wonderful students and families! Wonderful staff!

Why is Catholic School education so important? The benefits of a Catholic school education are far too numerous to list, so I will simply state that Catholic schools provide a safe, nurturing, welcoming and academically enriching environment where every student is given the opportunity to grow in mind, body and spirit, all while coming to know God.

Michael Kujan
Catholic Central High School

Family: I’ve been married for three years to my lovely wife, Diane, and we enjoy life together with our 11-month-old son, Daniel.

How long have you worked at Catholic Central? 
This will be my third year teaching theology at Catholic Central High School.

Favorite thing about the school? Christ is at the heart of our school. As we grow in community, we encounter Christ in one another.
Why is Catholic school education so important? It’s so life-giving to learn and grow in a community that affirms the value of every person as a child of God. By caring for the whole person, Catholic education helps students not only to develop their natural talents, but also to develop healthy relationships and discover their eternal destiny with God.



 How to tackle the school year in the right mindset 

FAITH AND FAMILY: Anna Farone takes over as principal of St. Clement’s School in Saratoga 

THE BIGGS TIME: Adam Biggs, former teacher for NDBG, takes over as principal of St. Thomas the Apostle School in Delmar 

DIOCESAN GRANT: The Diocesan School board receives $500K Cabrini Grant 

MASK UP!: The Albany Diocesan schools will require universal face-masking regardless of vaccination status