The Blarney Stone

September 6, 2023

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Saint Patrick Catholic School, a ministry of Saint Patrick Parish, guides students in the pursuit of academic growth while inspiring joyful lives filled with love, service, and respect as disciples of Christ.


Journey of Faith

Dear Friends,

Our faculty and staff spiritual theme this year is Journey of Faith: Embracing Grace, Knowledge, and Community. That's an inspired phrase, but I have already seen it in action in our one short week of school.

As the year unfolds, we will celebrate our faith as we attend all school Masses each week, hold prayer services, practice communal prayers, and more. We will seek grace through such things as service, mindfulness, and showing compassion toward others. Students and faculty alike will seek knowledge through coursework, professional development, and the Word of God. We will build community in many ways, including family social events, Sham Fams, and assemblies. As I reflect on these things, I think our theme suits us very well!

Please continue to pray for those in our community who are suffering from loss, illness, and other hardships. We are blessed to have such a wonderful, giving school family, and I hope the caring so generously and consistently offered helps to bring comfort to those in need. You are all loved.

Thanks for being here,

Barbara Bolaños


Saint Patrick, pray for us!

Dear Shamrock Friends,

My name is Leigh Ann Zehnder. My husband Matt and I have three children. We decided to send our children to Saint Patrick Catholic School in 2017 when our oldest daughter, Effie, was entering Kindergarten. As a non-native Tacoman, I had no ties to the school but had heard much from neighbors and friends about the lovely community. Early in the school year, Effie came home celebrating the praise she had received from her teacher for 'shining God's light.' When I asked her to tell me more about what that meant, she explained that she had shared with and been kind to a friend. Effie had a fantastic first year. 

We now have three children enrolled, and as each year goes by, their understanding of what it means to shine God's light deepens. Today, Effie tells me that shining God's light happens when we show love for all of God's children; even when we can't see God, the love we share lets us know He is with us. James, entering second grade, tells me that shining God's light includes praying for everyone and helping whenever we can. Nora, who will start Kindergarten this year, tells me that God's light is kindness and love. 

There have been many unexpected gifts that have come with joining this special community. Our children have been challenged to learn, grow, and achieve their best. They've had opportunities to form friendships and develop new interests and skills with the support of the most dedicated teachers and administrators. I find peace knowing that our community of parents and caregivers acts as a village to guide and help develop our children. I cherish the experience of watching my children's growing understanding of our calling to shine God's light. I have watched their capacity for empathy, kindness, and service expand year after year, and for this, I count Saint Patrick Catholic School as one of my most treasured blessings. 

The hymn "We Are Called" so beautifully reminds us of God's invitation to live in the light - to shine with the Lord's joy and love. The words of the hymn also remind me of our responsibility to continue the generous tradition of our Annual Fund. With my husband Matt, we invite you to support our school. This year brings a new opportunity to contribute to the fund that supports our school's mission and allows a community of children to learn and grow in academics, character, and spirituality. We thank you for everything you do to make this community so loving, supportive, safe, and vibrant and for supporting the Annual Fund at your greatest capacity. 

Please join us on September 7, 2023, to kick off the Annual Fund. We will host a casual 21+ cocktail party in the Saint Patrick Catholic School Skip Butler Gymnasium at 7:00 pm. The goal for Annual Fund 24 is 100% participation and $250,000 to support school operations.

We are also honored to host a blessing of our building and commemorate the successful completion of Phase 3 construction. Over the summer, we fully renovated our school's first floor and reopened our Early Learning Center.

Thank you to our Capital Campaign Chairs, Stu and Danica Morgan, the Campaign Committee, and Parish and School Administration, Faculty, and Staff for their incredible work in this effort. Special thanks to everyone who invested in this project, and congratulations! 

I look forward to meeting new friends and reconnecting with old friends as the school year begins.

With love,

Leigh Ann and Matt Zehnder

Chairs, Annual Fund 2024 



No Parking

Please do not park along North Yakima Avenue on Wednesday, September 20.

We'll be hydroseeding the parking strip to meet the City of Tacoma renovation requirements.

Thank you for your patience and support.


Enjoy Recess with Students

Are you looking for a fun way to earn commitment hours? Volunteers are needed to help supervise recess. Surround yourself with happy little people while helping to keep them safe.

Volunteers must have completed Virtus Safe Environment.


Back-to-School Glow Dance Party

Shine bright and get your glow on at our first all-school, all-family dance party.

Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteers are needed for the Back-To-School Glow Dance Party! Service counts towards fulfilling the required commitment hours for the 2023-2024 school year. 

September 30 | 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Saint Patrick Catholic School

Skip Butler Gymnasium


About the Party

Wear your best glowing neon and dance the night away with friends as a professional DJ spins the hits. Glow sticks and accessories are encouraged!

Light refreshments are provided courtesy of

the Baking Committee. An adult must accompany students. This event is FREE!


Track It Forward

Saint Patrick Catholic School has adopted a volunteer hour management program. With Track It Forward, you can log in, sign up to volunteer, select the event you volunteered at, enter your volunteer hours, or view your dashboard and see how many required hours you have volunteered.


Safe Environment Training

All adults must complete the Virtus Training to volunteer at Saint Patrick Catholic School.

Adult volunteer requirements include:

  • Background check completed on or before the first day of service and every three years while in active service.
  • Abuse prevention initial training is completed within 30 days of starting service, and refresher training is every three years while in active service.
  • Policies are read and signed on or before the first day of service. 

If you have finished the initial training, please log into your account to ensure you are up to date with the background check and all modules!

You can visit the Seattle Archdiocese Virtus Tool Kit for a step-by-step how-to and view and register for upcoming classes held at Saint Patrick Catholic School or a convenient location.



Pastor's Letter

Are you reading our weekly parish newsletter, The Cornerstone? To read Fr. David Mulholland's pastoral letter, view Mass schedules, and learn about faith formation opportunities, sacramental prep, outreach, advocacy programs, news from the Seattle Archdiocese, and more, subscribe to receive The Cornerstone in your inbox when published on Fridays!


Partners in the Gospel

As part of Partners in the Gospel, the Archdiocese of Seattle released the proposed list of parish families.

We invite you to join us for an input session to discern our proposed parish family and discuss and provide feedback.

September 26 | 6:30 pm

Saint Patrick Catholic Church

Church Hall


September 27 | 6:00 pm

Holy Cross Catholic Church

Parish Hall


Watch Archbishop Etienne's message about the Partners in the Gospel Input Phase to learn more.


All-School Mass

All-school Mass for Kindergarten- Grade 8 students are on Thursdays at 9:00 am, beginning September 7 at Saint Patrick Catholic Church with the parish community. All are welcome.

Students must wear full Mass uniforms, including sweaters, sweatshirts, blazers, or vests. 

Mass for Ash Wednesday and other Holy Days will be celebrated on the Holy Day.

The Choir for grades 4-8

Come sing with us! The 2023-24 Saint Patrick Catholic School Choir has begun! All interested 4th-8th grade Shamrock students are invited to come and check it out. 

7:30 am | Tuesday - Friday

Saint Patrick Catholic School

Music Room

No fees, no supplies needed. Just join us and bring a friend!

Registration is open through September 29. After that, the next opportunity to join The Choir will be in January 2024. 

Spirit Wear BLUE Friday

Every Friday is Spirit Wear Friday, and this Friday is an extra special Blue Friday!

We can't wait to see students wearing Seattle Mariners and Seahawks gear and Saint Patrick Catholic School Spirit Wear favorites, from t-shirts to sweatshirts!

Students can wear any of the following:

  • Uniform
  • Spirit Wear
  • Blue (Seahawks or Mariners colors) tops, but no free dress bottoms. Tops do not have to be jerseys; they must be Seattle or Mariner colors.

Homework Support Hour for grades 5-8

Need help with homework? Sign up for support. Space is limited to 20 students. Sign-ups are required in advance, one week at a time.


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Saint Patrick Catholic School

Mr. Ainslie's Classroom

Students go directly to Mr. Ainslie's room after school. Mrs. Paez will help students and ensure they are on task.

Students can be picked up from the main office at 4:00 pm. Please do not send siblings with your student. Feel free to email Mrs. Paez with questions.


Spirit Wear Flash Sale

Spirit Wear flash sale begins September 11 and runs through September 24. Spirit wear is delivered to your student's classroom about ten days after the sale closes.

A special flash sale is open through September 10 for Cross Country Running, Volleyball, and Staff spirit wear. All Shamrocks may sport athletic spirit wear regardless of participation in the sport, but not staff wear.


Back to School Nights

What is Back to School Night (BTSN) is an adults-only evening to get acquainted with staff, teachers, and families.

It is an opportunity to learn about programs and special events, discover volunteer opportunities that fit your unique talents, visit your student's classrooms, learn about goals and expectations, and more.

PreK-5th Grade

September 14 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Middle School

September 19 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


We're excited to offer our Back to School Night in two sessions this year. Both sessions will begin promptly at 6:00 pm in the Skip Butler Gymnasium at Saint Patrick Catholic School.

Lunch Orders

The lunch program, catered by Love My Lunch, offers three daily choices, including snack and drink add-ons.

Each regular-size meal is $5.75 plus tax and includes fruit, vegetables, and a side item. Larger meals are more. Additional snacks and drinks, priced individually, are also available.

Orders are due two days before lunch service, and Love My Lunch sends weekly email reminders to all families with registered accounts.

For food and menu questions, call Lisa at 206-354-0980 or email [email protected]


Cross Country for PreK-Grade 8

Cross Country running is open to all Saint Patrick Catholic School students in PreK - 8th Grade.


Practice is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:45 pm - 4:45 pm, at Vassault Park. Athletes must be registered online to practice. 

Sports Physicals

All middle school athletes must have an updated physical on file at Saint Patrick Catholic School to participate in Cross Country Running.


$30/athlete plus $25 for running singlet for athletes who don't have one


—PreK-5th Grade—

  • September 24
  • October 1
  • October 15
  • October 22

Middle School

Four weekday meets in September and October; dates will be announced.


Head Coach Ryan Smith is seeking two volunteer coaches! Volunteer opportunities are also available to serve in other capacities.

Please email [email protected] to learn more. Volunteering counts toward fulfilling the required commitment hours for the 2023-2024 school year!


Sports Physicals for Middle Schoolers

All 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade athletes must have an updated physical on file at Saint Patrick Catholic School to participate in Middle School Athletics, including Volleyball and Cross Country.

Forms should be turned in before the first practice. Physicals are good for 24 months, so get yours early.

Completed physical forms can be submitted via email to Marla Petronzio at [email protected] or can be dropped off in person in the School Office. 

If you want to learn more, please email the Athletic Director at [email protected].

Cub Scouts Join Night for K-5th grade

Cub Scouts for girls and boys, in Kindergarten through 5th Grade, focuses on independence, physical fitness, outdoor activities, and learning valuable life skills.

September 13

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Saint Patrick Catholic Church

Church Hall

Dens will be working on badges, so you'll get the real feel and hands-on experience of Scouting. Plus, free pizza and games for everyone while you learn more about Cub Scouts.

To join online, click the registration button below and enter the parish zip code 98403 to find Saint Patrick Catholic Church-sponsored Pack 299.

To learn more, email Jen Van Vechten or call Scout Master Jaremy Brown at 407-766-5445


Scouts for 6th grade & up

Join Troop 299G for girls or Troop 299B for boys.

Mondays | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Saint Patrick Catholic Church

Parish Center


Scouts Girl Troop 299G

Troop meetings are year-round. Scouts participate in monthly camping trips, service projects, and more.

To visit or learn about the girls' troop, please email Scoutmaster Valerie Pettit or call 940-206-1941.

Scouts Boy Troop 299B

Celebrating its 100th year of scouting in 2020, the troop enjoys monthly outdoor outings and regional summer camps and contributes to the local community and parish through service.

To visit or learn about the boys' troop, please email Scoutmaster Chris Rousseau or call 971-404-5917.


RaiseRight scrip

New scrip coordinators Carolyn Weber and Christa Perez have resumed collecting payments and receiving shipments for orders you place through RaiseRight. The option to choose Pay Coordinator Directly or Ship to Coordinator during checkout has been reactivated after a summer hiatus. Wynter Dait will continue to oversee the program and handle special orders.

How it Works

Buy gift cards from your favorite brands to earn on your daily purchases using the mobile app or for year-round shopping and gift-giving needs.

  • Buy gift cards at face value.
  • Earn up to 20% for Saint Patrick Catholic School on every gift card you buy.
  • Use gift cards at their total value for your everyday purchases.

Ship to Home

200+ brands delivered right to your door—Ship to Home. It's convenient to keep earning with reloadable gas or grocery cards, birthday gifts, and more.

Enroll Friends

You can also help grow our RaiseRight fundraising program and boost earnings. We've enabled a new feature allowing you to send enrollment invites directly to friends and family members. How does it work? To send invites, download the latest version of the

RaiseRight mobile app and go to Account > Settings. Tap into "Invite Friends & Family" and share the invite link or send direct invites to your contacts via email or text message.



2023-2024 year-at-a-glance

Subscribe to our Google calendar. To subscribe, click on the + in the bottom right-hand corner of the calendar on our website.


7 | All School Mass

7 | Annual Fund 24 Kick Off & Early Learning Center Blessing & Commemoration

8 | Blue Friday

9 | Safe Environment Training (registration required)

10 | Flash Sale for Volleyball & XC Spirit Wear Closes

11-24 | Flash Sale for Spirit Wear

12 | SPPA Meeting

12 | School Commission Meeting

13 | Cub Scouts Join Night

14 | All School Mass

14 | Back to School Night for PreK - Grade 5

15 | Spirit Wear Friday

19 | Back to School Night for Middle School

20 | No Parking on North Yakima Avenue

21 | All School Mass

22 | Spirit Wear Friday

24 | PreK-5th Grade Cross Country Meet

27 | Safe Environment Training (registration required)

28 | All School Mass

28 | Picture Day

29 | Spirit Wear Friday

29 | Registration for The Choir Closes

30 | Back-to-School Glow Dance Party


Monday - Friday | 8:30 am - 3:00 pm

The first Friday of the month is a Noon Dismissal for staff meetings (unless otherwise noted).


Saint Patrick Parent Association [SPPA]

2nd Tuesday of the month

5:30 pm - 6:25 pm


The SPPA (pronounced SPA) meets from September to May on Zoom. All registered school families are members of SPPA and are encouraged to participate.

Attending meetings counts toward Commitment Hours.

Zoom Meeting Link


September 12 | October 10 | November 14 | December 12


January 9 | February 13 | March 12 | April 9 | May 14 | June 11



Olivia Cabrales

Faculty Representative

Minh Gavino



Staff Favorites


School Commission

2nd Tuesday of the month

6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


The School Commission meets from September to May in the Saint Patrick Catholic Church Parish Center

Attending meetings counts toward Commitment Hours


September 12 | October 10 | November 14 | December 12


January 9 | February 13 | March 12 | April 9 | May 14 | June 11



Jaime Singer

Vice President

John Nelson


Alyssa Dunivan


Fr. David Mulholland


Barbara Bolaños

Vice Principal

Kate Chambers

Faculty Representative

Trish Joyce


Brie Cooper

Allison Drago

Willie London

Bill Malaier

Stu Morgan

Andrew Noonan

Kasa Tupua Pierson


R.E.A.C.H. Auction

1st Tuesday of the month

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


October 3 | November 7 | December 5


January 2 | February 6 | March 5 | April 2

The REACH Auction committee meets from October to April to plan the 49th annual R.E.A.C.H. Auction held on March 16, 2024.

More information is coming soon. If you want to join the R.E.A.C.H. Auction board or lead a committee email us at [email protected] to get started.

Attending meetings counts toward Commitment Hours.


Bellarmine Parochial Band

Parochial Band is starting back up at Bellarmine Preparatory School, and they are inviting you to check out their program. Parochial Band is open to Saint Patrick Catholic School students in grades 5-8.

They offer two ensemble levels. Both meet on Tuesday and Thursday at Bellarmine. A full-year commitment is expected, but seasonal or partial conflicts with rehearsal times can be worked around.

Beginning Band meets from 4:00 pm-4:50 pm, and prior music experience is not required for Beginning Band. Advanced Band meets from 5:00 pm-5:50 pm.

Info Night &

New Student Instrument Testing

September 13 | 4:00 pm-5:00 pm

Bellarmine Preparatory School

Allen Hall

Email Casey Whitson, Director of Bands and Department Chair for Music at Bellarmine Preparatory School, for more information.


Middle School Art is off and running! The middle school 3D design and ceramics class began the first day by creating houses out of a piece of paper, scissors, glue, and tape.

This year, middle school art Shamrocks can choose between 3D design and ceramics or painting and drawing. Which would you choose?

📸 Emily Wood Keller, Art Specialist

Do you have a photo, video, or story to share? Please email it to [email protected].



Family Handbook

Emergency Management Manual




Volunteer Commitment Hours Log

Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form

Capital Campaign

Recess Volunteer Sign Up

Dress Code

Global Schoolwear

Homework Support

We now know that COVID-19 is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Understanding how to live our lives while keeping ourselves, loved ones, and the community as safe as possible is essential. How can we do that? By using all the tools we've learned so far: getting vaccinated and boosted, getting tested and staying home if sick or exposed, wearing a mask in crowds, and keeping our distance.

Read the latest guidance on COVID-19. Help prevent the spread of the virus to others in your home, our school, and our community by using the calculator to help determine quarantine requirements.

—Faculty & Staff Theme—

Journey of Faith: Embracing Grace, Knowledge, and Community

—School Theme—

Led by the Spirit of the Lord


1112 North G Street | Tacoma, WA 98403

[email protected] | 253-272-2297



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