Elk County Catholic School System is pleased to announce that the A.J. and Sigismunda Palumbo Charitable Trust has yet again thrown substantial support behind efforts to make Catholic education affordable and accessible to families in Elk, Cameron, and McKean counties.

“The Palumbo Trust continues to be a tremendous source of support for our schools,” said ECCSS President Sam MacDonald. “We strive to be as lean and efficient as we can, but running high-quality schools is an expensive enterprise. The Palumbo Trust’s support allows us to offer a robust Catholic education in a rigorous academic setting, but still remain affordable to the hard-working people who live and work in our communities. I cannot overstate the importance of the Trust’s contributions.”

“ECC receives tremendous support from the local parishes, the business community, friends, and alumni,” said ECCSS Advancement Director Sue Jansen. “The Palumbo Trust has always been, and remains, a leader in that regard. We are very fortunate that Mr. Palumbo, his family, and the Trustees have placed such a strong emphasis on supporting local agencies in our region.”

“ECC is an excellent school system, both academically and in its focus on faith formation,” said Fr. Justin Pino, ECC’s Vice President of Catholic Mission. “I work to make sure that the academics and religion components work hand in hand, and that students get a full understanding of the role that the Church has played in our history and culture, and the role that it should play in their own lives. The Palumbo Trust is one of our most important partners in allowing us to make good on those promises.”

Many Catholic schools in urban areas survive by charging extremely high tuition and serving upper-middle-class families exclusively; in contrast, ECC serves families from across the economic spectrum. High school tuition has been and remains the lowest in the diocese. Still, 56 percent of families seek and qualify for financial aid.

“Mr. and Mrs. Palumbo were longtime friends of ECC,” added MacDonald. “They had a great sense of what made our community unique, and they also understood how important it was to support local institutions. The entire ECC community thanks the Trust for their continued support of our mission and our students.”

Pictured (from left to right) are JoAnne Ryan, trustee of the Palumbo Charitable Trust; Sue Jansen; Fr. Justin Pino; Bill Hoffman, ECCSS board chairman; and Don Fleming, trustee of the Palumbo Charitable Trust.