“You have to demand from yourself, even if the others won't demand from you”
St. John Paul II
History of the Saint John Paul II Polish School
Thanks to the inspiration of the previous priest, Czesław Litak, pastor of Polish Roman - Catholic Parish at St. Agatha Church, the support of the Polish Honorary Consul Mr. Robert Ogrodnik, and the commitment of parishioners as well as the parents, our Polish School began its first lessons in the 2011/2012 school year.
Our faculty focuses on the quality of education in the school and cooperates with the Polish Teachers Association located in Chicago. The main goal of the Association is educational activity that serves Polonia in the United States. The Association helps in creating educational facilities, education of the teachers, and most important in writing and publishing education programs and textbooks for children and youth learning Polish language abroad. The faculty of our school decided to use the experience and professionalism of our colleges from Chicago in managing polish schools abroad. We would like to express our appreciation to the Director of ZNP Mrs. Ewa Koch and all Colleges from Chicago.
The Teaching Staff of our school has chosen a program that includes 120 hours, which means about 30 meeting in a school year. Our classes are held on Saturday from 9:00am until 1:15pm in the buildings of St. Agatha Parish, and the calendar is accommodated to the school calendar required in the State of Missouri. Thanks to the realization of the program, our students will be able to take the certification exam in Polish as a foreign language that will give them the opportunity to earn a credit in a high school or/and a college.
In the first year of our school’s existence there were 25 children enrolled, in the second 33, and in third 40. Some of our students came from the families that are members of St. Agatha Church. The rest of children came from outside of Parish that their parents had found us through different systems of communication such as the Internet. Saint John Paul II Polish School is open for everybody who would like to cultivate the language and tradition of their parents or grandparents of Polish ancestry no matter what religion, race, or economic status they have.
In 2011, four teachers with educational and psychological background started their volunteering work in our school – Renata Collett MA, Alicja Kulasek MA, Maria Więcko MA, and Małgorzata Moll MA. In 2012, our teaching staff grew – Ewa Urbańczyk- Wochniak PhD, and in 2013 Katarzyna Sandoval MA. At the same time, in 2012, we opened four religion classes taught by Rev. Czesław Litak MA, in which one of them prepared children for the First Communion. In 2012, function of the Pastor of the Parish was taken over by Rev. Hubert Zasada who continues the spiritual education of the children by opening additional religion class for our preschool. In addition, Rev. Zasada has started a Holy Mass at noon every Sunday which is geared towards the children.
All our Staff members completed the workshop prepared by the Archdiocese in St. Louis – The sexual-abuse prevention program "Protecting God's Children” and has a verified police record. The faculty of the school has a goal to improve the quality of education in our school, and from the beginning we started to work on earning accreditation.
We also need to add that wonderful children are learning in our school, but it is not surprising because these wonderful children are a reflection of their equally wonderful parents. Thanks to their sacrifices and hard work we have created comfortable conditions for our children to study. In reality, without their commitment the school would not exist.