The Blarney Stone

September 13, 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.


Diamonds in Her Pocket

Dear Friends,

I am not a sagacious person, nor do I pretend that I have an abundance of views on life that are worth sharing. I enjoy writing to you, but I also recognize that we have many people in our community who actually have interesting things to share. With that in mind, I plan to have a guest writer every month for the Blarney Stone opening message, just so you don't get too tired of my ramblings! 

As I mentioned last week, this school year has offered a very eventful start. As a school, we try hard to do things right, to communicate clearly, to simply do our best. Overall, we do pretty well, but some days we are certainly humbled and stressed by what doesn't go well.

We all have stress in our lives, and we can let things get us a bit down sometimes, and my life offers no exception. But then, in my case, there are always things that bring me right back into the light, usually in the form of someone significantly shorter and/or younger than me. For example, this week, a school mother told me that she was joking with her little daughter about what people may keep in their pockets, and they thought of silly things while walking to school. The next day, the little girl woke up in the morning, rolled over, and told her mother, "I think Mrs. Bolaños has diamonds in her pocket." 

Now, if you have been in my office, you will know that I like sparkly things that create pretty light, and this little lady has seen that for herself (note: not because she has been in trouble). Hearing her sweet idea made me remember not to let stress have its way, but to celebrate the light in life.

I may not have real diamonds in my pocket, but I feel rich, knowing that the true Light in all of our lives makes sure every day can shine.

Thanks for being here,

Barbara Bolaños


Saint Patrick, pray for us!


Dear Friends,

Thank you for joining us at the Annual Fund 24 Kickoff and Early Learning Center Blessing & Commemoration last week. If you couldn't join us, hit the play button above to watch our Annual Fund 24 appeal video.

We'll share photos and videos from the kickoff and blessing next week, and we look forward to seeing you at Mass this weekend at Saint Patrick Catholic Church and Back to School Nights this week and next!

With love,

Leigh Ann and Matt Zehnder

Chairs, Annual Fund 2024 


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!



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.

Be a Good Neighbor

As we start a new school year, please be considerate and courteous regarding parking in our neighborhood by adhering to parking regulations, not blocking driveways, and minimizing disruptions as we navigate the area around the school campus.

Let's work together to maintain positive relationships with neighbors and ensure a safe environment for our students. Thank you for your cooperation and for being exemplary representatives of our school community.

No Parking

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

Crews will be hydroseeding the parking strip to meet the City of Tacoma requirements.

Thank you for your patience and support.

New Turf Installation

The sports court and covered play area will be unavailable next week, September 19-22, as Coast to Coast Turf begins installing new turf on the sports court above the playground.

Students will still be dropped off and picked up as usual. 

Thank you for your support and understanding.


Volunteers Needed

Can you help? Baker racks used for storage need to be assembled on Friday, September 15, Sunday, September 17, or Monday, September 18.

To volunteer, email Christy Johnson to coordinate time and building access.

Volunteering earns commitment hours!

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 the SPPA-sponsored 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!


To view and register for upcoming classes facilitated by Christy Johnson, Development Director, select Seattle, WA (Archdiocese).

September 27 | 6:00 pm

October 5 | 9:00 am

October 17 | 9:00 am

Saint Patrick Catholic Church

Parish Center

Visit the Seattle Archdiocese Virtus Tool Kit for step-by-step how-to directions.



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

October 1 | 12:00 pm

Saint Patrick Catholic Church

Church Hall


September 27 | 6:00 pm

October 1 | 11:00 am

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 is on Thursdays at 9:00 am at Saint Patrick Catholic Church with the parish community.

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

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

Women & The Word

Ladies of any age are welcome to meet after Mass and reflect on God's Word.


10:15 am

starting September 21, immediately after the 9:00 am Mass with Saint Patrick Catholic School

Saint Patrick Catholic Church

Parish Center


All are welcome. Need not be a parishioner or Catholic! Bring your friends.

The Choir for grades 4-8

Sing with us! The 2023-2024 Saint Patrick Catholic School Choir has begun! All interested 4th-8th grade Shamrock students are invited to come and check it out. 

Registration closes on September 29

7:30 am | Tuesday - Friday

Saint Patrick Catholic School

Music Room

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

After registration ends on September 29, the next opportunity to join The Choir will be in January 2024. 

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

Show your Shamrock spirit! Order your spirit wear favorites by September 24 for delivery around October 10. Cross Country and Volleyball athletics spirit wear flash sale has been extended and is available for order.


Spirit Wear Friday

Every Friday is Spirit Wear Friday. We love seeing students wearing their Spirit Wear favorites, from t-shirts to sweatshirts!

No free dress on the bottoms. Students can wear Spirit Wear tops with their uniform bottoms or their uniform.

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]


View photo album

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].


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.

If you are not a school family but would like to support us, enroll now.



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.


thru 24 | Flash Sale for Spirit Wear

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



October 10 | November 14 | December 12


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



Olivia Cabrales

President: Olivia

Vice President: Kelly Frazier New family, 6th grader and 3rd

Recording Secretary: Dani Kessler , Joann Varnell (Dani: 8th, 6th, and 5th; her 3rd year on board! Joann 7th grader

Treasure: Leila Carlson New family, 5th grader and 2nd grader

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 Library directly across from the Main Office.Saint Patrick Catholic School.

Attending meetings counts toward Commitment Hours



October 10 | November 14 | December 12


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


May 2023



Jaime Singer

Vice President

John Nelson


Alyssa Dunivan


Fr. David Mulholland


Barbara Bolaños

Vice Principal

Kate Chambers

Faculty Representative

Hanna Graves


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

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.

Attending meetings counts toward Commitment Hours.

Zoom Meeting Link



October 3 | November 7 | December 5


January 2 | February 6 | March 5 | April 2

If you want to join the R.E.A.C.H. Auction board, lead a committee, become a sponsor, donate an auction package email us at [email protected] to get started.


O'Dea Admissions Information 2023-2024

O'Dea invites all interested young men and their families to attend their upcoming admissions events! As the only all-boys Catholic High School in the Pacific Northwest, they welcome you to check out their campus, meet their students, faculty, and staff, and experience the O'Dea Brotherhood.

Visit their website to learn about upcoming events, including 8th Grade Visit Days, Open Houses, and more! Prospective families are encouraged to create a portal account to join the O'Dea Admissions mailing list to stay up-to-date on admissions-related dates.

Bellarmine Game Night

Join Bellarmine for an exciting night of pre-game performances, snacks, prizes, and information, and then cheer on Bellarmine Lions Football as they take on the Curtis Vikings!

September 29 

Bellarmine Lions Football vs. Curtis Vikings

Bellarmine Preparatory School

6:00 pm | Pre-game Activities in the Quad

7:00 pm | Kickoff at Memorial Field, Kickoff

Admission is free for prospective families; registration is appreciated.


September 13 is the 20th anniversary of Deacon Bill Eckert's Ordination to the Diaconate. We are grateful to have Deacon Bill minister to the students and staff at Saint Patrick Catholic School.

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

Spirit Wear Shop


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

The theme highlights the core values of Catholic education while also focusing on the idea of a continuous journey of faith. It emphasizes the importance of embracing God's grace, seeking knowledge in both spiritual and academic realms, and fostering a strong sense of community within the school.

—School Theme—

Led by the Spirit of the Lord

"Let us act with the kindness and love towards one another that Christ exemplifies.”

—ASB representative


1112 North G Street | Tacoma, WA 98403

[email protected] | 253-272-2297



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