Kevin Oknefski and John MacDonald from Northwest Savings Bank presented a $7,500 check to Lynne Kucenski, principal of St. Leo School, this past Tuesday. The funds will support the St. Leo School Monsignor Paul Olmsted Future Fund, which aims to continue the school’s long-term growth by helping build its endowment.
“St. Leo School is a vital part of our community,” said MacDonald, manager of the Ridgway branch. “The Northwest Charitable Foundation was impressed with the school’s growth in recent years, and its new classical curriculum is something truly unique in this region.”
According to Oknefski, the check is the first of two installments that will total $15,000.
“I am honored to serve on a committee of local people who are committed to making sure St. Leo is here to offer a vibrant Catholic education for years to come,” he said. “Northwest is always eager to support organizations that highlight Elk County’s vitality.”
Principal Lynne Kucenski was thankful for the generous donation.
“The money is crucial,” she said. “Offering a great Catholic education in the classical tradition requires resources. I am just as thankful for the vote of confidence in the overall strategic vision for the school. Too many Catholic schools are declining. We have a plan to grow through constant improvement, world-class academics and an unwavering commitment to our Catholic roots. I am thrilled that Northwest has seen the value in this approach.”
Jane Bryndel, chair of the committee tasked with establishing the Monsignor Olmsted Future Fund, remarked that anyone else interested in donating to the campaign or serving on the committee should contact her at 814-594-3048.
“Our goal is to raise between $1.7 and $2.5 million,” Bryndel said. “We are about a quarter of the way there. I thank Northwest Savings Bank for their generosity and their leadership. St. Leo School, like our public school system, is a tremendous community asset. They show that this is a community that cares about its children, and has a plan for the future. I urge everyone to consider supporting the campaign.”
Pictured with the St. Leo School fourth-grade students are, from left to right, Lynne Kucenski, Kevin Oknefski, John MacDonald, and Jane Bryndel.