Olivia Mezzullo

Olivia Mezzullo, a fourth-grader at St. Joseph School in Cockeysville has been awarded a Knott scholarship. (Submitted photo / April 19, 2013)

Olivia Mezzullo, a fourth-grade student at St. Joseph School Cockeysville, recently got some exciting news: She is the recipient of one of seven elementary-level scholarships awarded by the Knott Scholarship Funds. 

The Knott Scholarship Funds are based on academic merit, and are awarded to Catholic students wishing to continue their education in a Catholic school within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The elementary scholarships are awarded for full tuition in grades five through eight at a Catholic parish elementary school.

"We're excited for the Mezzullo family, and commend Olivia on her hard work," said Terrance Golden, principal at St. Joseph School Cockeysville. "Being named a Knott Scholar is no easy task — students must maintain excellent grades and score in the 95th percentile or above on standardized testing. We're very proud of her. This is a big accomplishment." 

Olivia is the daughter of Jeff and Joanne Mezzullo of Timonium and her brother, Thomas, is a first-grader at St. Joseph. Olivia is a Girl Scout, plays the clarinet in the school's concert band and she also takes gymnastics. She enjoys reading, building Legos and spending time with friends and family. Olivia loves animals and would like to be a zoologist. Congratulations, Olivia, on a wonderful accomplishment!

Teachers and students at Dulaney High School have accepted the challenge initiated by two physical education teachers to join them in donating 8 inches of their long hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Pantene Beautiful Lengths was the first company and is the largest national movement to create real-hair wigs made with donated hair. Wigs are then offered free to women who have hair loss from cancer. 

As stated on the Pantene website, "To us, it's hair, but to women with cancer, it's hope." Teachers Kellie Fialcowitz and Jessica Szymanski initiated the challenge early in the school year with the goal of having 50 or more participants by June 1. At this time, Kellie and Jessica are looking for a hair salon in the area that will join them in their efforts. 

Padonia International Elementary School is holding its Annual Career Day on Friday, May 17, from 8:40 a.m. to 11 a.m. and they need your help. They would like to have a variety of speakers talk to the fifth-graders about their careers —share information on career opportunities, make connections between school and the world of work and to help students understand how the present can affect future success. Presenters will speak to eight to 10 students for 20-minute sessions. Breakfast will be provided. If you are interested, please contact Kara Roberts, school counselor, at kroberts4@bcps.org or 410-887-7646 by Friday, April 26.

The Center for Grief and Loss at Stella Maris will hold a grief seminar for those who have experienced the loss of their mothers. Doreen Horan, a licensed counselor, will discuss coping strategies at the seminar, scheduled for Thursday, May 2, from 7 to 8 p.m. For more information, contact Doreen at 410-252-4500, ext. 7291. The center has served as a resource since 1983, providing support, training and consultation on death, dying and grief. Stella Maris' other well-recognized services include senior living facilities, home care, long term care, rehabilitation and recovery services, Alzheimer's care, hospice care and adult day care. Since Baltimore's Archbishop Keough called on the Sisters of Mercy to administer Stella Maris in 1953, the vision has been to build Stella Maris into the leader in senior care and housing through service based on exemplary medical care, compassion, trust and respect.

And on a very personal and happy note, I want to share the news of my son Christian Saarbach's wedding this past weekend in Naples, Fla. Christian is a graduate of Ridgely Middle and Dulaney High School, as well as University of Maryland College Park and University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Finance. His bride, Jennifer Ragus, is a graduate of Milton Academy and Princeton University. Christian's high school and college friends from Cockeysville, James Leonard and Kamal James were in attendance. Our family attended the beachfront ceremony and reception as well as spending time with new family members. Christian's sister, Stephanie, and her husband, Steve flew in from Annapolis, and my nieces and sister in law came in from Timonium. My mother, Lee Brancati from Cockeysville, was also there for a whirlwind three days of festivities. The newlyweds are honeymooning in Tahiti. Congratulations and best wishes!