Principal’s Corner: August 1, 2019–New, New, New


Message from the Principal


Hello St. Al Families,

I hope you have all had a wonderful summer thus far.  While we still have a month to go before school, your school staff have been busy cleaning, planning, and preparing for a great year ahead.  This year we will have some new staff, new events, and a new schedule (kind of).

We have added another new staff member, Kelsey Sweet, to our St Al’s community.  She comes to us from another area preschool and brings a wealth of knowledge and certification in early childhood learning.  She is an energetic and motivated addition to our teaching staff. She has a huge heart for children and what we do here at St. Alphonsus, having been a student here herself.

This year we will be looking to add a few new events that will assist parents with school items and receiving information.  Our first new event will be August 20th.  This event is designed to help all families get a head start on the school year.  It does not replace our event on the first day of school, but rather allows the planning and business end to happen sooner and the social piece that first day to be purely that.  August 20 we will have tables for FACTS, school fees, Parent Club, spirit wear, and more.  This is a float in/float out kind of event so stop by when you can.

I wanted to announce a slight change to our school schedule this upcoming year.  After meeting with several schools in the area, speaking with other principals, working with our teachers, listening to parents, and looking at several years of students’ scores, we have worked out a schedule for middle school that will provide a 7 period day allowing math five days a week.  This increased the amount of math instruction but maintained the gender separation we previously had with core classes. With this full week of math we are also able to expand our math program, providing additional classes for students outside of our typical offerings.

This change in the schedule required us to add five minutes at the beginning of the school day.  The school day will now begin at 8:25am instead of 8:30am.  A full example of the schedule will be available soon.

Finally, I want to say thank you to Lizzy Scholz who has been helping with our newsletter and website this summer.  She has been a huge help as we have been working toward the upcoming school year.

Have a wonderful few weeks and I hope to see you all August 20.

Thank you,

Kathleen Daspit
St. Alphonsus Parish School

SeafoodFest Volunteers Needed!

Get an early start on your Volunteer Hours for the 2019-2020 School Year.  It’s Time St. Al’s to Shine at Ballard SeafoodFest

When:  Sunday July 14th 4pm to about 7:30pm

Where:  Ballard Seafood Fest Salmon BBQ and Crab Shack

This is tons of fun and is the last shift at the Salmon BBQ which means that, if there is leftover salmon, you get to take some home!

Sign up now!

Principal’s Corner: June 14 2019 – Last Day of School Edition!

Congratulations to all of our students!


While today we recognized some for their achievements here at St. Alphonsus, I would like to take a moment to recognize all of our students.  We have a stellar group of kids here in our community.  We stand out in public as a beacon of God’s love and light, receiving compliments from other groups and event/location coordinators alike.  I am so proud to serve this group of young students and I can’t wait to see what they will accomplish.

Thank you,

Kathleen Cifu
Principal, St Alphonsus Parish School

Principal’s Corner: June 13, 2019

Hello St. Al family and friends,

We have reached the end of our school year. It feels like just yesterday we were welcoming everyone back and introducing ourselves. This year was full of opportunities for learning as we welcomed new staff and took on new content with new classes. This year we saw the establishment of our endowment, the start of new traditions like Saints month, and the celebration of established customs that always bring us together as a community.

Thank you for welcoming me as your new principal this year. I have truly enjoyed getting to know our students, staff, and parents. I am excited to continue learning more about everyone as we head into the 2019/2020 school year.

Moving ahead, the work does not end Friday. I will continue prepping for next year by filling our open positions, continuing our work on accreditation by finishing up our self-study, and researching new Science curriculum. I will also be working with several others to continue enrollment efforts, growing our community for the fall.

This summer, the office will officially close June 28. While I will be working at the school for the rest of the summer, I will be unavailable from June 21-July 5. As many of you know, I am getting married and will then head off to my honeymoon a few days later. If you find you need anyone at the school, Charleen Sweet will be able to help until June 28. I will be back in the office July 9.

It is hard to believe my first year with you is ending but I am ready to begin the work God has in store for our second year together.

Thank you,

Kathleen Cifu
Principal, St Alphonsus Parish School

Principal’s Corner: June 6, 2019

Hello St. Al Family and Friends,

The year is almost over but we still have so much to look forward to.  With so much going on, I will keep this week’s message brief.  I sent an email this week that helped lay out all of the exciting activities coming up in the last days of school.  Make sure you watch your email closely, as last minute reminders are coming your way from a number of sources.  Also, please note that we needed to cancel Coffee & Conversation tomorrow due to set up for the Spring Concert and Junior Olympics.

I hope everyone has a fantastic end of the week.
Thank you,

Kathleen Cifu
Principal, St Alphonsus Parish School


Principal’s Corner: May 30, 2019

Hello St. Al Family and Friends,

This week we said goodbye to May and welcome the final two weeks of our 2018-19 school year.  It seems as though the year has flown by, but we certainly packed in a lot of learning and excitement.  Soon we will be saying goodbye to some and getting ready to welcome others.  Let us remember though, it is not over yet.

This time of year can be a stressful time with events, testing, commitments, etc…It can also be a joyous time too—a time to celebrate together and a time to reflect.  This reminds me of the Rosary.  In my most joyous and most stressful moments I find delight and comfort in reciting the Rosary.  Either with others or simply alone, it helps ground me; reminds me of what is really important in my life when my day seems too full, and allows me to truly rejoice during times of celebration.  Pope Leo XIII said “The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”

If you are looking for peace, if you are looking for joy, if you are looking to rejoice, I encourage everyone to pray the Rosary.  We have some free Rosaries available on the table outside the office, as well as Rosary cards.  Feel free to check them out and help yourself.

Thank you,

Kathleen Cifu
Principal, St Alphonsus Parish School

Parents’ Club Executive Board Elections

Parents’ Club Executive Board Elections

It’s election season for our Parents’ Club Board. Our Parents’ Club is an important component of our St. Al’s community that both facilitates community building and fundraising events. The events knit our community together, and our fundraising commitments fill the budget gaps.

Please read below and familiarize yourself with our list of candidates. These candidates will be joining three current board members, for a total of six members. We are grateful to the following parents for their willingness to serve.

Voting opens Thursday, May 16 and will close Thursday, May 30. Click on the link below to vote online. Please take the time to vote and show your support for the Parents’ Club.


2019-2020 Parents’ Club Executive Board Candidates

Christiana Cairns

My name is Christiana (Chris) Cairns.  My son, Alister, has been a student at St. Al’s for 3 years now (K-2nd) and is soon to be a 3rd Grader.  My husband and I have been together for nearly 20 years, dividing our time between Seattle and places around the globe.  I love volunteering, organizing events and getting my hands dirty.  Literally.  I love to garden and will find any excuse to dig in, even if that means pulling weeds out of a sidewalk garden while I am on a walk.  The reason my husband and I chose St. Al’s is the close sense of community and the incredible feeling as you walk through the doors of family.


Liz Powell

Hello! I would like to be considered for the St. Al’s Parents Club Board for a few reasons:

St. Al’s has been a blessing to our family. Our son Ronan started at our school as a 6th grader last fall. It was a big step taking Ronan out of public school, but we had a hunch St. Al’s would be good for him. After nearly a year of watching Ronan thrive, we can say St. Al’s has been a huge blessing in cultivating his love of learning/academics, robotics, spirituality and friendships.

I enjoy and have experience serving on boards, creating campaigns and events. I have found boards to be a rewarding way to give back. During the past 10 years, I have held multi-year positions with the FIRST Robotics Advisory Board in Seattle (school age STEM program), Antioch University Seattle and currently Seattle Rotary Club, where I serve as Membership Chair.

I am ready to serve the St. Al’s parents community. We felt welcomed from the first day and I would like to pay forward the generosity by serving more deliberately next year. I will be Room Parent for 7th grade boys next year, which will hopefully enhance my contribution and insights I bring to the Parent’s Club Board.

A little background on me: I am owner of RE/MAX On Market in Ballard (with my husband, John Manning) and am also a successful realtor who works with clients to buy and/or sell homes. Prior to my real estate career, I spent 25 years as a public relations, marketing and branding executive in Seattle, Portland, SF/Bay Area and France. Most recently, I led the Pac NW consumer brand team for Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world, working with some of our region’s top brands, including Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, Charles Smith Wine, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Theo Chocolate, Value Village and Starbucks. I grew up on Bainbridge Island and graduated from the University of Oregon (yes, I am a Duck!)

Thank you for your consideration!

Amanda Daylong

Amanda is the mother of 6th grader, Kelan Stewart.  Since coming to St. Alphonsus in 2017, Amanda has enjoyed the school’s close-knit community and goals of providing  high-quality education to its students.  Having “settled in” to St. Alphonsus, Prior to becoming an attorney, Amanda served as administrative staff at a local non-profit, private school in the University District, and assisted in the first steps of that school moving toward accreditation and navigating through tremendous growth.  As a St. Als parent, Amanda now would like to use her background in education and the law to serve on the Parent’s Club Board as the the school moves forward through accreditation and help our community to continue to grow and flourish.


Vote Here

Spots Available for B21 Bingo! 

Spots Available for B21 Bingo! 

Do not miss this fun evening!!  This adults only bingo event is set for Saturday, March 9, 2019.  Join celebrity bingo caller, Dave Hiscock in a rousing round of bingo, complete with sparkly daubers, bubbly drinks, tasty bites and more! Bingo and raffle prizes galore!  Cost is $60.

Please contact Maura Cannon at for additional information or to reserve your spot.


Mary Poppins JR (1)

Mary Poppins, Jr Tickets On Sale Now!

Tickets are on sale now for our Middle School production of Mary Poppins, Jr!

Tickets can be purchased online at

All tickets are $10.
(Wednesday, May 2 Preview Night tickets are $5)


Preview –  Wednesday, May 2 6 pm
Opening Night – Friday, May 4 7 pm
Saturday, May 5 7 pm
Sunday, May 6 2 pm
Friday, May 11 7 pm
Saturday, May 12 7 pm