School Stories – Morning Star, Pinellas Park
Morning Star’s tuition is double that of a typical Catholic Elementary School and we rely on the generosity of donors to meet these financial needs.
Morning Star Catholic School in Pinellas Park is a kindergarten to twelfth grade school that specializes in providing an individualized academic program for students with a variety of learning challenges. The administration, faculty, staff and parents work together to create a learning environment in which students can achieve their potential academically, socially, and spiritually.
Shortly after the Diocese of St. Petersburg opened its doors in 1967, Bishop Charles B. McLaughlin made it his mission to build a school serving the special needs community in the St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay Area. Ground was broken in May of 1969 and in February of 1970, Morning Star Catholic School, Pinellas Park opened its doors to its first 26 students and continues to serve all children requiring special education needs, in the name of Jesus Christ.
To provide a source of perpetual funding for the school, the Morning Star Education Endowment was established in 2015. From Principal Susan Conza: “At Morning Star, our job is really a calling – an expression of God’s love. Our work goes beyond the education found at other schools–it has to, if we want to get it right for our students. Understanding the unique gifts and specific challenges of each child is critical to his or her success. Things like small class sizes, individualized learning accommodations, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Social/Emotional programs are necessary to meet their complex needs. In short, this approach–while crucial for our kids–takes love, time, compassion and money. Morning Star’s tuition is double that of a typical Catholic Elementary School and we rely on the generosity of donors to meet these financial needs. Please know that a donation to Morning Star Catholic School makes a significant and positive impact in the life of our special students and serves as a bright light in a fragile world.” Through this endowment, Morning Star can continue Bishop McLaughlin’s vision of serving students with specialized education needs.
Endowments offer a viable and safe option for investment in the future of our Catholic schools. We thank Mrs. Sue Conza for entrusting us with this very special gift, and the opportunity for the Catholic Foundation to serve Morning Star Catholic School in Pinellas Park.
For more information on how you can establish an endowment for or contribute to an existing endowment for one of our Catholic schools, please contact the Catholic Foundation by completing the Legacy Form.