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School year starts at Immaculate Conception with visit from special guest

Immaculate Conception School in Towson kicked off the new year with a visit from the Most Rev. William E. Lori, archbishop of Baltimore, who celebrated the school's expanding population and programs

by welcoming its 560 students to the first day of classes.

"It was an honor for him to choose our school," said sixth-grader Danielle Escobal.

Joined by Dr. Barbara McGraw-Edmondson, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the archbishop toured the newly renovated campus and visited with teachers and students. Due to increased enrollment, Immaculate Conception School has continued expansion into the former Towson Catholic High School building.

"We were bursting at the seams," said Miriam Johnson, director of admissions. "It was really exciting to show Archbishop Lori our expanded facilities."

While at the school, the archbishop visited the new robotics lab and art studio. He even took the opportunity to shoot a surprise segment in the school's student-run TV studio.

"It's not every day that we get such a special visitor," said Principal Madeline Meaney. "I think this will be a lasting memory for our students."

Have you noticed all of the exciting renovations that have been happening to Hampton Elementary? The school will have a schoolwide ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Sept. 27 at 10 a.m.. to celebrate its new look.

Two eighth-grade students at Dumbarton Middle, Aimee Strong, of Anneslie, and Hannah Sawa, of Rodgers Forge, spent a good part of their summer giving back to others. Strong participated in a summer camp at St. Pius X, harvesting vegetables for a local soup kitchen, picking up litter in Baltimore City, assisting special needs adults with occupational skills and working with the elderly at a local assisted living center.

Sawa assisted the Baltimore Dance Academy in Pikesville, helping young students with ballet, as well as teaching them to play the recorder. She also helped them with their recorder recital, accompanying them on piano and flute.

Congratulations to John Schmidt, of Idlewylde, who celebrated his tenth anniversary as senior pastor of Towson's Central Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Sept. 8. The community celebrated with a churchwide picnic in his honor.

Kudos to Loch Raven High School football player Bobby Lease, of Loch Raven, who was the Ravens' Athlete of the Week for the first home pre-season game. Way to go, Bobby!

Congratulations to band director Mr. David Rhen and the Towson High School Marching Band for earning first place in the Reisterstown Parade on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Notre Dame Prep senior Abigail Baker, of Lutherville, was recognized as a National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalist. She has the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,000 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $35 million that will be offered next spring. NDP senior Minyoung "Minnie" Jang, of Ellicott City, was also named a National Merit Semifinalist from Notre Dame Prep.

Finally, as a follow-up to my last column on the Women Who Stand/World Relief cyclists, event organizer Kris Bailey tells me that the group members are well on their way to raising $25,000. You can follow their progress at

Stoneleigh resident Amy Piunti is riding with Kris' cycling team, but she is fundraising for HopeSprings, an organization that awakens, equips, and engages the faith community to serve those who are HIV+. Support Amy by visiting her page at Best of luck to all cyclists who started their 365-mile journey on Sept. 16!

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