January 2021 | Issue 8
Welcome to St. Pius X High School quarterly Alumni Newsletter. The focus of the newsletter is to inform you, our Alumni, about what is happening on campus and to celebrate all accomplishments. We would love to hear from you!
Recent Events
St. Pius X High School Continues to Operate During the Pandemic
St. Pius X High School started its spring semester on Wednesday, January 6. Similar to the fall semester, St. Pius X students are in the building for in-person learning five days a week.

“During these challenging times, our primary responsibility has remained true to our mission of educating students to the best of our ability,” school president Jim Lehn said. “It is a fact that in-person teaching is by far the most successful method for educating students. From the beginning of the pandemic, St. Pius X High School has stayed committed to ensuring our students achieve success according to the pre-established curriculum via a safe, in-person environment."

Beginning in March 2020, similar to all schools in Jefferson County, St. Pius X transitioned from in-class to a virtual learning platform. The school was well prepared because early in the 2019-20 school year the decision was made to have virtual learning days for anticipated snow days. St. Pius X had a few virtual snow days prior to March, experience which helped faculty fine-tune the virtual learning environment when it became necessary to finish the school year online.

St. Pius X opened for the fall term on Monday, August 17, 2020. St. Pius X provided in-class, five day a week learning all the way up to Monday, November 9, 2020. At that time, the number of quarantined students due to community exposure outside of the school reached a point where we decided to transition to virtual learning for a week, our first and to this point only school-wide virtual learning days of the school year. During that week, the faculty and staff continued to work from the campus to perform their key functions. Teachers were instructing from their classrooms during the normal schedule and students were required to log in and participate as if they were physically in class.

St. Pius X is planning for a spring semester of in-person learning but is prepared to switch to an all-virtual environment if the need arises. Additionally, St. Pius X plans to administer its standardized testing this spring to help gauge the effectiveness of the year’s learning plan.

“In a school year such as this, I feel it is more important than ever to continue to evaluate the learning progress of our students,” principal Karen DeCosty said. “While we believe we have been effective in educating our students, such belief must be informed by data which will help us determine what we’ve done well and how we can improve.”

The St. Pius X 2020 graduating class boasted an average GPA of 3.57 and an average ACT composite score of 23.3, with the top 25% of that class posting an average of 29.9 on the ACT. 
The details of the St. Pius X Opening Protocols can be reviewed on the following PDF. A tremendous amount of research, thought, and effort went into the protocol’s preparation.
StPX Day of Giving Recap
The Fund for St. Pius X is the cornerstone of giving in support of our school. Each year, through the efforts of many and the charity of many more, unrestricted funds are donated to help directly cover operating deficits and immediate capital needs. 

The school’s annual operating budget is approximately $3.3 million, while current tuition/fees account for $2.3 million in revenue. The gap is partially covered by grants and Archdiocesan payments, but nearly $600,000 comes from events (Golf Tournament, Legacy Gala, etc.) and funds raised via The Fund for St. Pius X.

Over the past five years, The Fund for St. Pius X has garnered an average of $216,000 in each year (fiscal period July-June). These donations come from alumni, board members, current and past parents, faculty and staff, grandparents, and other friends of St. Pius X (40% of donations come from alumni). The school is greatly dependent on this giving.

Yes, we’ve been able to keep tuition low at $9,987, compared to other private schools. However, the average cost to educate a student at St. Pius X is approximately $11,500. Comparatively speaking, this average cost is below all schools in Jefferson County. With trending decreases in enrollment at Catholic grade schools in our area and the current economic situation, it is ever more urgent to help support Catholic education. Many more students would attend St. Pius X if it were financially feasible. If every alumni gave just $100/year ($8.33/month), that would be approximately $600,000 and St Pius X would have fairly strong financial underpinnings.  

StPX Day of Giving, held on November 5th, concentrates much of our fundraising into one 24-hour day. In recent years, StPX Day of Giving has realized donations that are about half of the annual total funds raised for the entire fiscal year, or just over $100,000. For the 2020 day of giving, alumni accounted for $49,900 of the $105,982 total raised, or 47%.

Participation is paramount and, undeniably, so are contribution amounts. This year, the top ten alumni classes (out of 57) for contributions and participation are as follows (note -- this is only for the most recent StPX Day of Giving):
College Report for Alumni Class of 2020
The 2020 class included 80 graduates, 78 of whom chose to attend college, with one joining the US Navy and another starting a full-time job immediately after graduation. The college attendees have largely been able to start their freshman year on campus across the country. There were a few exceptions. A young man who is enrolled at Sacramento State University in California is taking all of his classes online while staying here in the Festus area. Two other students elected to start at Jefferson College for a semester rather than enrolling at their first choice four-year school, with the intention of transferring to that school either at semester or next fall. We wish all these Lancers the best of luck this semester and beyond.
Fall Sports Recap
Cross Country
The most successful season in school history ended at the state championships meet with a third-place finish in Class 2 for the team, while senior Rita Eimer rallied late in the 5K race to win the state championship with a time of 19:37. Eimer, who finished ahead of West Platte freshman Julia Pattison (19:39.4), also helped power the team to a third-place finish, which was the first team trophy in St. Pius X history. “It’s amazing and we’re so excited,” Eimer said. “We were going for a top-four spot and we’re really excited.” St. Pius finished third with 128 points, behind champion Arcadia Valley’s 86 and runner-up North Platte’s 106. Other scoring Lancers were senior Hannah Schappe (40th place); Michaela Eimer (44th); Rachel Eimer (84th); and Reagan Edwards (99th). “It’s about effort, you may not be in the spot you want to be, but if you’re giving it everything you’ve got, that’s what warms a coach’s heart,” Lancers coach John Daly said.

Boys Soccer 7-11
Playing 11 games against schools that were at least one class bigger. They made it to the Class 1 District 1 Class Championship where they were defeated by Whitfield.

Football 3-7
The pandemic had a major impact on the schedule placing the Lancers up against six teams that were in the top ten of their class and three of them one or two classes up in size.  

Girls Tennis 7-5
The doubles team of Brooke Pesek '21 and Sophia Stolzer '22 advanced to sectional play. 

Softball 10-4
The Lady Lancers made it to the district semi-finals. AJ Agers pitched every inning for the Lancers and capped a stellar softball career by earning 2nd Team All-State recognition.

Volleyball 18-7-3
Due to MSHSAA Championship Factor the Lady Lancers spent their season competing in Class 4. They finished second in their district play. Kennedy Lane '22 earned 2nd Team All-State recognition.  

Due to the Pandemic, Athletic Director Tilden Watson, had to cancel or reschedule 40 games, but the Lancers were able to play at least 80% of their schedule.  
Painting with No Paint
First year art teacher and alumnus, Olivia LaMartina, got creative last semester with her lesson Painting with No Paint. The assignment was to recreate famous works of art with every day materials. The pieces below include grocery bags, dolls, articles of clothing and even a sharpie. What every day materials catch your eyes? 
Faculty Focus: Anne Corio
Anne Corio received her BA in Theology and Catechetics from Franciscan University of Steubenville and returned to teach religion at her alma mater John F. Kennedy for three years before coming to St. Pius X in 2015. She started out her career at St. Pius teaching Theology and helping Julie Werkmeister with Campus Ministry. Once Mrs. Werkmeister retired, Anne took on Julie Werkmeister’s role as Campus Minister as well as teaching the senior-level Theology classes. 

Campus Ministry offers many opportunities for students to grow in their faith and live it out. Even among the many challenges faced this year with COVID and our chaplain being transferred, Campus Ministry has found ways to still make the Sacraments available to students as a whole school and during the lunch hour. 

Anne is married with three children; Henry, Louis, and Edith. In her free time, she likes to spend time outdoors, crafting, and making candles. 
Featured Alumni: Andrew Held '92
Andy has worked at Mercy Hospital for over 20 years. His current responsibility is healthcare philanthropy. When he started working at Mercy Hospital Jefferson (formerly Jefferson Regional Medical Center) he worked in patient care as a clinical exercise physiologist for 14 years. Over the last 6 years, he has worked as the Director then Executive Director of Mercy Health Foundation Jefferson. The Foundation raises funds for Mercy Hospital Jefferson with a focus on Oncology, Behavioral Health and Mother and Babies as well as the Mercy Clinics. He finds a tremendous sense of satisfaction to be able to work as part of a team to help those in our community get medications, services for care that they need which they would not otherwise have the means to get. When not at work he enjoys being involved in our community as a board member of several different organizations.
Alumni Association 12/09/2020 Board Meeting Minutes
You can visit St. Pius X High School’s website for all things Alumni, including December's meeting minutes. https://www.stpius.com/alumni-association.html
Class Representative
The Ambassadors Committee has confirmed 12 Class Representatives. The represented classes are 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1976, 1989, 1995, 1998, 2000, and 2001. The role of the Class Representative is to be the liaison between your class and St. Pius X High School. 

If you would be interested in becoming a Class Representative or the Alumni Association, please contact Diana Parker, '01, Alumni Relations Coordinator, at dparker@stpius.com, (636) 931-7487 ext. 106 or Andrew Held '92, Alumni Association Ambassador Committee Co-Chair, andyjenheld@gmail.com, (314) 435-2024.
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St. Pius X High School I 1030 St. Pius Drive I Festus, MO 63028

Phone: (636) 931-PIUS I Fax: (636) 931-3519