By William T. Clew
Venerini Academy kicked off its 70th anniversary celebration Tuesday with Grandparents Day.
About 340 grandparents heard talks by school officials at a breakfast in the auditorium/gymnasium, then visited classrooms with their grandchildren.
Paul Jourcin, director of admissions, said he believes it was the largest Grandparents Day ever. The school held the day every year for several years, then stopped for a while, then revived it five years ago.
“Parents and grandparents look forward to it now,” he said. “It energizes the school.”
Eighth-grader Hannah Marmen was student speaker. She talked about her journey at Venerini. She was joined at the event by grandparents Pat and Tom Marmen and grandfather Dick Cichowski.
Hannah is something of a legacy student at Venerini, her grandmother said. Her mother, Lori, has been a teacher at the school for 26 years. Her grandmother was the first lay principal at Venerini and served there for 13 years. Her sister, Megan graduated from Venerini and later graduated from Westborough High School. Her brother, Patrick, also a Venerini graduate, is a student at St. John High School in Shrewsbury. And her grandfather was chairman of the Board of Directors at Venerini from 2010 to 2014.
Mr. and Mrs. Marmen have three other grandchildren at the school, They are William Kelleher, fourth grade; Caroline Kelleher, third grade and Catherine Kelleher, pre-kindergarten 3.
Sister Hilda Ponte, MPV, provincial of the Venerini Sisters and president of the school’s Board of Trustees, said the school is doing “fairly well.” She said enrollment was 300 students, down slightly from last year. The administration is struggling a bit with the budget. Enrollment of about 325 would help.
Venerini Academy will host an open house from 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 10, Mr. Jourcin said. A gala for the 70th is planned for Feb. 27 at the Hogan Center at the College of the Holy Cross,