In 1948, religious leaders and community donors came together to establish a high school that could provide Catholic education in Lorain County. Their vision was to inspire students, families and the surrounding community with excellence, compassion, faith, tradition and to build a communal spirit. This year, that school – Elyria Catholic High School -- celebrates its 70th anniversary.
As part of the year-long celebration, Elyria Catholic hosted more than 425 alumni and guests on April 6 for the 70th Anniversary Ball.
The evening showcased the school’s growth as generations have continued to move Elyria Catholic forward in academics, technology and spiritual growth. Yearbooks, photos and memorabilia from throughout the decades lined the hallways as guests were invited to tour the school and view updated curricular areas such as the broadcasting studio, chemistry lab and makerspace.
Elyria Catholic President Amy Vajentic Butler, Class of ’80, welcomed Bishop Nelson Perez to the stage to begin the dinner portion of the gala. The bishop offered a blessing over the meal and remarks to the crowd.
“A community comes together to make things happen. That is what the people of this community did years ago and continue to do in support of Catholic education,” he said. “It is our Catholic values that touch and transform the teaching of the Elyria Catholic students who go on to share those values with those they encounter.”
In addition to celebrating the 70th anniversary, the school honored four alumni for their dedication to the school and outstanding accomplishments. Recognized on stage in three separate categories were Mary Pronesti Siwierka, Class of ’74, Distinguished Alumni Award; Mikayla Molnar, Class of ’13, Young Alumni Award of Excellence; and Judy Glenn, Class of ‘84 and Matt St. Marie, Class of ’83, Our Lady of Grace benefactors.
Students etched the EC logo onto glasses using 3D printers in the makerspace, which provided guests with a complimentary gift for attending.
“Our engineering students are excited to work in our newly dedicated makerspace. It has been amazing to watch the interaction among our young men and women as they solve problems in collaborative groups,” said Principal Suzanne Lester. “Each day, we witness the students developing and refining key skills which will prepare them for the real world. Your presence this evening demonstrates your commitment to the future success of Elyria Catholic High School and its students.”
All proceeds from the gala will benefit improvements to the athletic facilities and the Sponsor a Scholar student scholarship fund, which awards financial aid to students.
“It is our mission to provide the best educational opportunity for our students, who are our future,” said Butler. “That is what tonight all is about.”