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By Patricia Vesely

 January 27 begins Catholic Schools Week in our country where we reflect on the importance of Catholic school education for ourselves and for the children we serve in the Diocese of San Bernardino. As a product of Catholic school education, I remember the sacrifices my parents made to send me and my four siblings to Catholic elementary school at St. Catherine of Alexandria in Riverside.

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SAN JACINTO—Known for her inspiration leadership and dedication to academic excellence, Ladonna Lambert, principal at St. Hyacinth Academy in San Jacinto, will soon be recognized at the national level with the Distinguished Principal Award.

 Lambert is one of 12 principals from across the United States to receive the 2013 NCEA Dr. Robert Kealey Distinguished Principal Award from the Department of Elementary Schools of the National Catholic Educational Association. 

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By Kate Stenmoen
Grade 10

PALM DESERT—Rock Squad is a club at Xavier Preparatory High School where our goal is to help the homeless through donations and learn more about giving back to the community. Each month we have a specific collection, such as blankets, jackets, or hats, and have bake sales to raise money. With this money, members of our group go out to stores and buy food, such as canned goods or whatever we feel that the homeless need. Once we reach the end of the month, a few members distribute goods that the whole school has provided under a bridge in Indio with Mr. Rockwell, who too, goes out with donations and inspired us to start this club last year.

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ONTARIO—Catholic Schools Week in the Diocese of San Bernardino ended on a high note with the annual Catholic School Awards Banquet held at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario on Feb. 2. The Awards banquet recognizes volunteers, staff, teachers and alumni who have impacted Catholic schools in the diocese.

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Elementary schools dip slightly, high schools up

 Catholic schools in the Diocese of San Bernardino closely mirror a national trend of slightly decreased enrollment although local high schools have actually seen a slight uptick in their student populations.

 Overall, elementary schools in the diocese reported 97 fewer students this year with 12 schools reporting enrollment drops and 11 reporting enrollment increases, according to enrollment reports submitted to the diocese on Oct. 26. Catholic high schools in the diocese were up 49 students, most coming at Xavier College Preparatory High School in Palm Desert.

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By Cristian Magaña

 My name is Cristian Magaña and I am 19 years old. I am a student at Riverside Community College and I am a ride operator at Castle Park. I am currently a leader in a youth group called Grupo de Adolescentes (Adolescent Group) at Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, Riverside. To me, Christmas is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ and it’s widely observed and celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world.

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