High school dedicated for students with special needs

High school dedicated for students with special needs
Morning Star High School students with mentors from Bishop Snyder High School (Photo by Woody Huband)

Nine days after students returned to Morning Star School Aug. 9 to a brand new building, the Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley Building was blessed and dedicated in a morning ceremony Aug. 18.

Thanks to the parents, organizations, corporations and Morning Star’s “Circle of Friends” who supported the “Building a Brighter Future” capital campaign, the Class of 2020 will be the first high school graduating class at Morning Star.

The ceremony was conducted by Bishop Felipe J. Estévez, the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, with Scripture readings by Deacon David Yazdiya, principal of Bishop Snyder High School, and by sophomore students Lorenzo Hall and Robert Pattan. Morning Star Principal Jean Barnes gave a “thank you” address, and general intercessions were read by students Elayna Carandang, Griff Jones, Dylan Jackson and Ricardo Foster.

“All of this is possible because friends who shared our vision stepped forward to support our mission to provide a firm foundation of faith, service and academics to students with learning differences,” said Barnes. “Bob Shircliff, Lou Walsh and Jay Demetree – three gentlemen who stood up when we called, stuck with us through our challenges, made personal phone calls on our behalf to people they knew who would be able to help us. We are here today because of them; words cannot begin to express our gratitude.”

The 60-year-old school was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of St. Augustine at the request of Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley to provide a Catholic education for students who were physically handicapped. To serve students in higher grades, the school launched a $1.6 million building addition in October 2016. As of the opening of school, the campaign goal stood at 75 percent in pledges and donations.

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