St. Helen's School in Niskayuna is making a change - for good reason.
Principal Jennifer Chatain told The Evangelist that the school and its supporting and newly-merging parishes, St. Helen's and Our Lady of Fatima in Schenectady, are doing well. St. Helen's currently enrolls about 300 students in nursery school through grade five, having doubled in size over the past two years.
But the school's name only reflects its connection to one of the parishes - so, sometime in the spring, St. Helen's School will be renamed.
"We're now going through a naming process," Ms. Chatain explained. Parishioners, teachers, catechists and even students are submitting their ideas; they'll vote on their top three choices and submit them to Bishop Howard J. Hubbard at the end of February. He'll make the final selection.
In the meantime, St. Helen's School is planning a Feb. 10 gala to celebrate its history. Alumni, families and former pastors, faculty and staff - including Sisters of the Presentation who served the school until 2009 - will return for the gathering.
The gala will benefit St. Helen's scholarship fund, which provides financial aid to approximately 100 students each year. The gala's theme will be "the heart of Christ," reflecting this year's theme for the Albany Diocese's "Amazing God" evangelization initiative.
"We're celebrating tradition as we're transitioning into a new era," Ms. Chatain noted.
She told The Evangelist that there's no word yet on front-runners for the school's new name - although, since both supporting parishes have feminine names, she suspects the school may end up with one, as well.