St. Mary Avon First School in Lorain County with Official STEM Designation

STEM2BigSt. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School is gaining steam.

Today, principal Colleen Schager — along with Bart Chatfield, Head of Computers and Technology, and Kristy Rospert, STEM Coordinator — took Columbus by storm, answering questions swirling around the proposed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Innovation for St. Mary Avon. The group presented the school’s application to the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) for official STEM accreditation through the state.

Following months of preparation, the group happily left the ODE with a new feather in the school’s cap. Said Schager, “we are now officially the first school in Lorain County with STEM accreditation recognized by the state of Ohio, and we could not be more pleased.”

New_STEM_BigNow that the school has the blessing from the ODE, it can forge ahead to the next step in the process — seeking recognition as a STREAM certified school through the Diocese of Cleveland. STREAM schools offer the same valuable project-based learning as STEM schools, with the addition of religion (R) and fine arts (A). Approval would make St. Mary the first STREAM certified school in the Diocese. This provides not only critical thinking necessary for problem solving in real life, but also a well-rounded education with the ability to focus on project-based teaching to solve real-world problems in our community. St. Mary will shift focus and become known as an “innovative Catholic school with traditional Catholic values.”

The school has plans to partner with both businesses and institutions of higher learning, including The Cleveland Clinic, Shearer Equipment – a John Deere Supplier, St. Edward High School, Lorain County Community College, and Cleveland State University. Through these partnerships, students will be challenged to use problem-solving skills and integrate religious curriculum and Catholic values through STEM Innovation.

More information on St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception may be found by visiting, or following St. Mary School Avon, OH on Facebook or @StMaryAvon on Twitter.

St. Mary’s is a community-driven Catholic parish and school in Avon, Ohio. St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception School provides Faith-based education for Preschool through Grade 8, with the goal of creating academically and spiritually empowered citizens with a life-long love of learning. Beyond standard academics, St. Mary offers routine use of cutting edge technology in each classroom; music and art enrichment programs for every grade; a wide variety of extra-curricular activities including Robotics, Academic Challenge, Drama, Environmental, and a variety of other clubs; as well as CYO and intramural athletics for every grade level.

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