BROOKINGS – As St. Thomas More Catholic School celebrated its successes of the past and its promise for the future at a Winter Gala and Grand Auction fundraiser on Saturday evening, the end of Catholic Schools Week 2019, it continues on its structured path to an education system that houses pre-kindergarten through third grade.

Presently STMCS has preschool for 3 year olds; pre-kindergarten for 4 year olds; junior kindergarten for 5 year olds; and “officially kindergarten and first grade make up the grade school,” according to the Rev. Terry Anderson, St. Thomas More pastor.

Second grade will be added in fall 2019; and open enrollment for pre-school through second grade is available. Present planning calls for adding third grade in fall 2020.

“That’s our immediate goal right now,” Anderson explained. He added that there is for now no plan for a fourth grade. He added that like other Brookings schools’ third-graders, St. Thomas More students could go into the Brookings School District’s fourth grade (at Camelot Intermediate, which also has the system’s fifth grade).   

For this school year, both STM grade-school teachers are in their first year on the job. Both are appreciative for being able to bring their faith into the classroom.

“I really love teaching at a Catholic school,” Kylie Erickson said. “Because as a kindergarten teacher, I’m really starting that foundation or building on the foundation that is started at home. And I get to share my love of the Lord and my love of the Catholic faith with my 15 students. Seeing them grow is just awesome.”     

“For me, I feel like I can be a real authentic teacher,” said Mandy Entringer, teaching in the first year that STM has had a first grade. “I can share a big part of my life with my students. I get to pray with them, I get to talk about Jesus and my prayer life, and I get to share all of that with them. And that’s a huge part of my life. Not being able to share that would be hard to do; so that’s a huge blessing for me.”

Because of the shortened school week due to inclement weather, students continued to celebrate Catholic Schools Week Feb. 1 through today.

Celebratory activities included visits to nursing homes, singing songs for residents and coloring pictures for them. Other celebratory events recognized the parish, staff, community and vocations. 

For additional information about St Thomas More Catholic School, call 692-6796.

Contact John Kubal at

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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