A ribbon-cutting ceremony and blessing on the first day of school officially opened the new Media Arts Center at Mary Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School in Cheektowaga. Students touring the state-of-the-art classroom were able to see for the very first time the 10 new Macintosh computers, SMARTBoard, and digital photography and videography equipment that they will be utilizing as part of the new initiative.
Msgr. Kevin O’Neill, canonical administrator, blessed the room prior to a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Principal Mary Alice Bagwell. Lisa Nau, who earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Buffalo State College and her masters of education in differentiated instruction at Canisius College, has been hired as the new Media Arts and technology teacher.
While all students in Pre-K through Grade 8 will utilize the new Media Arts Center, a special curriculum for seventh- and eighth-grade students has been developed. In addition to field trips and guest speakers from the communications industry, students will take specialized classes, over a period of six trimesters, that will cover topics such as art history and appreciation, graphic design, creative writing, digital photography, videography and public speaking.
Funding for the new Media Arts Center was made possible through a generous donation to Queen of Martyrs Church from the estate of the late Leonard and Florence Kazmierczak, according to Father Louis Klein, pastor of Queen of Martyrs.
“Leonard and Florence were long-time parishioners of Queen of Martyrs Church and Leonard was a two-time recipient of the Purple Heart in World War II,” said Fr. Klein. “Leonard passed away in 2004, and just before Florence died in 2008 she directed that their remaining assets be donated to Queen of Martyrs Church to help fund educational programs at Mary Queen of Angels School.”
Fr. Klein recalls Mrs. Kazmierczak saying, “God gave this to us, and I want to give it back to God.”
Additional funds from Queen of Martyrs parishioners also helped with the purchase of four new SMARTBoards for the school this summer, said Fr. Klein.
Principal Bagwell added that the Media Art Center has also reached agreement with the program’s first sponsor, Bishop Timon St. Jude High School in South Buffalo. Companies and organizations across Western New York who share similar interests in the field of communications are encouraged to contact the school office at 895-6280 for information on sponsorship and partnership opportunities.
Mary Queen of Angels is located at 170 Rosewood Terrace. For more information or to schedule a tour of the school and the Media Arts Center, please visit www.mqangels.com or call 895-6280.