Morning Star School welcomes two major donors for new high school campaign

Morning Star School welcomes two major donors for new high school campaign
Circle of Friends Donors Patty and Rick Jones and Mary Pat and David Kulik, with Capital Campaign Co-Chair Lou Walsh, and Jean Barnes, principal of Morning Star school.

Two new major donors have joined the Morning Star Circle of Friends with $100,000 donations. Mary Pat and David Kulik, of Marsh Landing, will name the new high school wing while Patty and Rick Jones, of Mandarin, have naming rights for the new middle school wing.

Morning Star School, a Catholic special education school, is expanding in its 60th year of operation to include Grades 9 to 12. The Building a Brighter Future Campaign is co-chaired by Lou Walsh, Robert Shircliff, and Jay Demetree. With nearly $600,000 given to date, the campaign is over one-third of the way toward its $1.5 million goal.

While the Kuliks are still pondering names, the Jones decided to honor Sister Elise Kennedy, who is the office assistant at the school. Kennedy was similarly honored in 2014 when a pavilion was named in her honor upon her retirement as principal from St. Pius V Catholic School.

The Kuliks, who are members of Our Lady Star of the Sea, said all four of their daughters attended Christ the King Catholic School, which is located next door to Morning Star, a school that provides a Catholic education for children with specific learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, dyslexia, and mild emotional handicaps.

“We drove past Morning Star twice a day for many years and thought this was a great opportunity,” said David Kulik. “Whatever we have, God gave us,” said his wife, Mary Pat. “It’s not ours to keep.” Two of the Kuliks’ daughters are members of Assumption Catholic Church in St. Nicholas, another attends St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Riverside and one belongs to the San Juan Del Rio parish in the Switzerland area.

The Joneses said they think education is important and were very blessed, so they are giving back, but it’s not the first time they have extended their generosity to the Diocese. Rick Jones is also instrumental in a $10 million campaign at Guardian Catholic School.

There are still naming opportunities available, said Maria Johnson, director of development. The entire high school, the technology and learning center, and a playground are among a list of items that require funding. To learn more, visit morningstar-jax.org.

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