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Letter From our Principal

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Dear Parents of Mounties~

In light of all that has happened regarding the Elections of 2016 and all the negative comments that have been thrown around  by multiple candidates I have been thinking about the irony that “Election Day” is in the same month as the holiday for which we pause of give thanks. That being said, throughout the past week I have been thinking about what it means to “give thanks”. I saw a quote that really got me thinking about being grateful and what is truly important. It was said by Lewis Carroll. It reads, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” I really can’t think of a truer statement. When we leave this earth and head forward to our Heavenly home how much money we had or what type of a house we live in won’t matter. When we reach the pearly gates and come face to face with Saint Pete, he won’t be asking us about our assets or the type of car we drove. However, he will be asking us about how we treated others, what we did to help others and how we put others before ourselves. It is easy to sit here in my office and say to myself, “sure, I truly help others” or “of course I put others before myself.” However, to truly exam the truth in this in my own life is a difficult thing. Taking the “high road”, or the “Christian Road”, in all situations is what we hope we will do but the reality is that it’s not always the easiest thing to do. In my own life there have been many times when I have wanted to “not do the Christian thing”. Sometimes I evaluate a decision in my head and choose on my own to “do the Christian thing” and sometimes I need to text a friend about a decision and that friend simply responds with the words, “Sarah, do the Christian thing”.

In thinking about making the right decisions or trying to help others or put others first, I often think about the people in my life, for whom I am grateful, that have shown me what it means to put others first consistently. My parents are definitely two of these people. Throughout my entire life, my mom and dad have always put my sister and I, as well as their extended family, before themselves. They have also, consistently, put members of the community that are in need ahead of themselves. My parents instilled in me as child, teenager and as a young adult that if someone is in need you do whatever you can to help them. I have watched them do this over and over again as involved members of our parish and as members of the community. My parents were always helping out at Immaculate Heart of Mary when I was young. They helped on the board, at pancake breakfasts, with community events and more. My parents have also always reached out to those in need. For years, my mom volunteered to buy the presents for the Christmas family that was sponsored by the school where she taught. I can still see the joy on my mother’s face as she meticulously purchased gifts for each member of the family and then wrapped them up before delivery. My father has been involved in serving the Rutland community for as long as I can remember. He has always gone above and beyond in helping those less fortunate than him. Both my parents have certainly put my sister and I before themselves as well. We have both been very fortunate to have had the luxury of having them help us raise our children. My children and my nephews have spent many days at what we affectionately call “Honey and Papa’s Daycare.” To this day, my children go to their grandparents after school at least twice a week. My parents go above and beyond to help us out. Just this week my mother offered to take the twins to dance class for me because I had a meeting. Every Wednesday my dad takes Jack to Cub Scouts. These are just a few examples of the many things my parents do for my sister and I on the day, not to even mention the lifetime of wonderful memories they have provided us with.

In thinking about the day to day at MSJ, there as so many times that I see students here put others before themselves. It’s actually pretty amazing when I stop to think about it. In just the last two months of school I have seen students stop to help another student who dropped their books on the way to class. I have seen students, consistently, working together in the library on homework to be sure everyone understands. I have seen students in the theater laugh hysterically at the incredible performance Mackenzie T. does in several scenes of the upcoming fall play. I have seen students lift each other’s spirits after a difficult and heartbreaking loss with a hug. I am grateful for the students of MSJ and for the role models that they are on the daily basis. I am grateful that they not only listen to and familiarize themselves with the teachings of Christ but that they choose  the “Christian Road” daily. In this month of thanks, there is much to be grateful for.


Sarah M. Fortier,



Cell Phone Policy: We, at MSJ, can understand the importance of having a cell phone. However, cell phones are becoming problematic as a part of the school day. At this time students are permitted to use their cell phones before school, in between classes, at lunch and after school. Students are

permitted to use their cell phone during class or during study halls. Please have a conversation with your student about this as students who have cell phones out at inappropriate times will be given a detention.

Special Announcements:

MSJ is happy to congratulate Coleman S. on being chosen student of the quarter in the Health Careers Academy at Stafford Technical Center. Way to go Coleman! We are incredibly proud of you!

Congratulations to the Proctor Soccer Team and to our MSJ guys, Cedric, Carl, William and Logan all who helped lead them to be the Division IV State Championship Team! Great job guys!!!

The MSJ community retreat will be on Monday, November 21st, 2016. The Campus Ministry group is looking for baked goods for the students that day. If you are willing to make cookies, brownies, or any other type of treat please contact Mrs. Fortier at sfortier@msjvermont.org

As a part of the retreat, we are collecting toiletries for teenagers(soap, shampoo, hair brushes, conditioner, deodorant, etc.) Please send in these items as soon as possible so we can put them together in baskets.

Calendar Change:

Tuesday, November 22nd, will be a half day. It was originally scheduled as a full day.

Mountie Sports:

The Fall Sports Banquet will be November 16th at 6pm. Sign-up with "Sign-in Genius" to RSVP

Cash calendars have been sent, this is a Fall fundraiser, if you did not participate in the Tractor Raffle or pay the OPT OUT fee, you are expected to support the PFC thru cash calendar sales. If you did not commit to selling some but you would like to assist PFC with these sales please call the front office.  The first drawing is November 15th so be sure to get those calendars sold and return with the money in an envelope marked MSJ PFC. Thank you again to all who participated in selling tractor raffle tickets.  The raffle was a tremendous success.  The next meeting for the PFC will be Monday,  November 14th at 6:30 pm, at the MSJ library, please join us.

MSJ is asking each student to donate one bath towel to Rutland Welcomes which is the organization helping the Syrian Refugees who will be coming to Rutland. They are looking for a total of 80 new bath towels. MSJ is committed to helping Rutland Welcomes in the spirit of Christ as the Syrians relocate from their war torn country. Towels can be brought into the front office.

MSJ is now collecting coats, snowpants, and boots for Coats for Kids for Operation Bundle Up. The box is located in the front office, they are also accepting adult coats. Feel free to bring in any of these items (clean please) that you would like to donate between now and November 11th.

Community Service: Students are required to complete  Twenty-five hours (25) of community service per school year at MSJ. We have a local senior citizen that would appreciate snow removal assistance this winter, see Mr. Stevens or Ms. Graves for more info. Operation Bundle-Up will also be looking for volunteers, they need help with laundering and need students  for set up on the 18th and distribution on the 19th.   The 18th will be 4 pm - 7 pm and the 19th will be 8 am - noon.

National Honor Society dues are due.  The cost for the NHS will be $35 this year.  We raised the cost to meet the NHS membership fee, as well as the cost to buy the stoles and pins.  NHS dues need to be in ASAP!  Members may pay in cash or check.  Checks may be written out to "MSJ".  Contact Michael Callahan (mcallahan@msjvermont.org) or Jessica Ransom (jransom@msjvermont.org) if you have any questions.


*Wednesday’s will start at 9am. The day will begin with Mass. All are invited to attend.

*All technology forms as well as the $50 tech fee must be turned into the office before a student will receive his or her chromebook

*Please return student/parent handbook forms to the front office.

*Please return all opt out/volunteer hour forms to the front office. If you are opting out please return unsold tractor raffle tickets to the front office.

*The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington has asked that all faculty, staff, coaches, administrators, parents and volunteers complete their new safe environment requirement called “Safe and Sacred”. This is an online training that can be located at the following link:


With the Annual Project Help right around the corner..all adult volunteering to assist in this rewarding Christmas project will be required to have a certificate of SAFE and Sacred, please consider taking the training soon!