Welcome SLS Families and Friends,

Since my arrival on July 1, I have been greeted with warmth, openness, and honesty. Thank you. 

With your enthusiasm and commitment to participate fully in the daily lives of our students, I am confident that this academic year at St. Leo’s School (SLS) will be rewarding and memorable.  

As with all new principals, I would like to listen and learn about St. Leo’s from you. To that end, I invite you to introduce yourself and your family to me so that we can talk about your family’s hopes and expectations. 

After meeting with many SLS faculty and families, my goal is simple: Develop lasting and meaningful relationships with all members of our school community to create the best possible learning environment. To achieve this objective, I am reestablishing some time-honored traditions and routines to create a consistent, inclusive, and comfortable learning atmosphere:

  • 7th and 8th Grade Safety Patrol: If your 7th or 8th grade son or daughter is interested in serving our community in his/her spare time by volunteering to assist with Drop Off/Pick Up; Lunch and Recess; Assemblies; Special Events; etc., please respond to the survey Cheri Ottevaere recently emailed to eligible students. Membership is provisional this year and will continue based upon reliability, performance, and teacher recommendations.
  • PreK and Kindergarten Meet and Greet: Wednesday, September 1, 6:00 to 7:30 PM. Parents and children will receive an invitation through email. 
  • Monthly First Friday Liturgies 8:00 AM in St. Leo’s Church. Parents are welcome
  • Joanna Vargas, Dean of Students: I have asked Ms. Vargas to be an advocate for all members of our community as we strive to implement consistent SLS policies and procedures (Outlined in the Revised Student-Parent Handbook). I believe Ms. Vargas has instrumental knowledge of SLS history to ensure that the best interests of all stakeholders are considered when making important decisions for our community. 
  • Campus Cuisine, Inc. Based upon feedback from faculty and families, SLS is employing a new food service that will utilize local businesses to offer our students more variety and more economical choices.
  • Daily Community Time 8:00 AM for Morning Prayer and Announcements in the gym
    • Due to Covid 19 Protocols, this 10-minute meeting may be split into two groups: 8:00 Grades 5-8 and 8:45 AM for Grades PreK – 4
  • New Daily Schedules: 7:30 to 3:30 for all faculty. 8:00 to 2:30 for all students. 
    • Drop off: 7:45 to 8:00 AM; Grades 5-8 enter on Market Street; Grades PreK-4 on Tuella Avenue (See Diagram for New Drop Off and Pick Up Directions) 
    • Pick Up: 2:30 to 2:45 PM; Grades 5-8 on Market Street; Grades PreK-4 on Tuella Avenue
    • Early Bird: 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM: $10.00/day
    • After Care: 2:30 to 3:30; 3:30 to 4:30; 4:30 to 5:30 PM; $12.00/hour ($500.00 monthly -single student) ($700.00 monthly – family rate)
  • Covid-19 Protocols – Covid-19 updates for the 2021-2022 school year will be sent out closer to the start of the school year. 
  • Updated 2021-2022 Parent/Student Handbook: the updated parent/student handbook can be located on our website.  Please take a few moments to review the handbook for new policies and procedures.  On the last page of the handbook, there is a google link, which will take you to the acknowledgement page that states you received the handbook. All students and parents must complete this page. 


This year, there will be no remote learning, our focus will be on in-person learning.  I am pleased to welcome some new faculty members (names are in bold) to the SLS family and announce some new teaching assignments: Diana Ruperto (SLS parent) will be teaching a section of PreK-4 with Amelia Giordano. Diana will also introduce Spanish to PreK and Kindergarten. Patty Dodwell will be teaching a section of Kindergarten with Julie Nicolosi. Agnes Staszkiewicz will be teaching a section of Grade 1 with Carrie Berman. Mary Fattal-McKenna will be teaching a section of Grade 2 with Alex Arcuri.  Amanda Iacobellis will also address essential Technology skills within her 6-8 ELA classes. Maddie Sawyer will be teaching part-time Art and Technology for all grades.  We are still in the process of acquiring a part-time nurse; if you know any qualified candidates, your help in the search would be greatly appreciated.  A complete listing of all SLS Faculty with emails is posted on our website and will be updated regularly for your reference. 

Veritas, Claritas, Brevitas. St. Thomas Aquinas said it is paramount that speakers and writers be honest, clear, and brief when delivering important information. With that in mind, I look forward to speaking with you and writing regularly about how best to achieve our shared mission:   

St. Leo’s Elementary School (SLS) challenges students to achieve academic excellence in a nurturing yet rigorous, faith-based environment, inspiring them for a lifetime of faith, learning and compassionate action toward a more just world.




Mark A. Shultz, SLS Principal