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Monday, June 1, 2015

Six Children in 20 Years at St. Catherine of Siena Comes to Close for Local Family

The Schwarbers of St. Catherine

Fort Thomas is a city with many proud traditions. At St. Catherine of Siena School a tradition is coming to an end: after 20 years of having a child at the school, Doug and Maureen Schwarber watched their youngest child, Damian, graduate from 8th grade this past Thursday.

The Schwarbers, who live in Wilder, have 6 children: Natalie, Amy, Eric, Abby, Grant and Damian, and since 1995, at least one Schwarber has graced the halls of St. Catherine.

Over their 20 years at St. Catherine, the Schwarbers have seen many changes, from principals to teachers, but one thing has remained the same and that is the focus on faith and the high quality of education that the students receive. As Maureen observed, “S​t. Catherine students have consistently stood out among their peers from other schools. We have always performed well in academic competitions like Governor's Cup, and in extracurricular activities like sports and the school play. In high school, our children have always commented that the honor students, best performers in the musical talent show, and lead actors in the play and are mostly from St. Catherine. The education here is top quality thanks to our extraordinary teachers.”

Maureen has seen 20 years of Olympic Days, Praisefests, holiday parties and field trips, but the memory that stands out in her mind is one of those everyday occurrences that only a parent can appreciate. It happened when her twins, Eric and Abby, were in kindergarten. She shared a carpool with Mary Jo Cox and her daughter Julie. One day, Eric got sick minutes before Mary Jo was due to pick them up to go to school. When Abby realized that she had to go to school without Eric, she threw a fit like none other.

Maureen had to carry her to Mary Jo's van and buckle her in. She tried to open the car door and jump out. She screamed all the way to St. Catherine. When Mrs. Mullen, the kindergarten teacher, came out to collect the kids, she had to help Mary Jo get Abby out of the van and then carried her, kicking and screaming at the top of her lungs, into school, and she never calmed down the entire day.

The older Schwarber kids said their best memory was the day Damian was born and school principal, Mr. Doug Lonneman, announced over the intercom that the Schwarber children had a new baby brother. They all started crying because they were so happy and excited.

It is hard to imagine St. Catherine School without a Schwarber.

Each child excelled while at St. Catherine, not only in their studies but also in sports and the school plays. And the Schwarber tradition of excellence continued at Newport Central Catholic High School and beyond.​

Natalie earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Butler University last spring.

Amy has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Art from Bellarmine University and plans to attend the University of South Alabama in the fall and work towards a Master’s Degree in Environmental Toxicology.

Eric and Abby are seniors at Morehead State University where Eric is double majoring in American Government and Public Policy with a minor in Music and Abby is majoring in Radiography.

Grant recently graduated from Newport Central Catholic High School and earned a full scholarship to NKU where he will be majoring in Informatics and Data Science.

Finally, Damian is a rising freshman at Newport Central Catholic High School, where he received an academic scholarship.

So does Maureen have any parting thoughts about their time at St. Catherine?

“I am so very thankful that God lead us to St. Catherine,” she reflected. “Twenty years has gone by in a flash­ it seems like yesterday that I dropped Natalie off for kindergarten and cried the whole way home. This has been an incredible journey! St. Catherine School has given so much to our children and has helped to form them academically, spiritually, and socially. I can't think of any place I would rather have had them be, and to everyone who touched their lives, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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