St. Michael School hosts open house for prospective families

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CRANFORD, NJ — St. Michael School is celebrating 95 years of academic excellence.

They recently offered two open house sessions for parents to have a tour of the school and be introduced to teachers.

Located at 100 Alden St., Cranford, St. Michael is a faith-based school community for children in prekindergarten through eighth grade.

Kristina Reilly of Cranford has a daughter who is almost 4 and is very interested in having her attend St. Michael. “We wanted her to have religion, discipline, structure in uniform — not battles that come with schools. More conservative and religious-based learning,” she said.

Gina Wicik of Garwood is the mother of a 3-year-old girl. “It’s a good foundation for her education,” she said. “Education (in a Catholic school) is far superior to public school. It’s important to us that she learns the ‘Pledge of Allegiance.’ St. Michael is constantly fundraising for outside of the religious community.”

“They have a giving tree,” Reilly said.

“It opens conversation,” added Wicik. “Not everybody is as lucky as you. It instills in them (the children) to give back and appreciate what you have.”

Both ladies did their own research on the school beforehand.

Wicik said, “The principal is fantastic. Classes are smaller.”

Kerry McMahon, who recently moved to Cranford from Morristown and has children in kindergarten, prekindergarten and a 1-year-old, was at St. Michael gathering information and “scoping out the scene.”

She said she thinks it’s a possibility she may send her children to the school. “I go to church here,” she said. “I’m looking for a well-rounded sense of community, good education, a feeling of succeeding — academically, socially, physically, all of the above.”

Laura Kompany, marketing coordinator for the Home School Association, confirmed that with smaller classes, the school offers a sense of community. “Teachers and the principal are very hands-on,” she said. “Sandy Miragliotta (the principal); she’s just amazing. You feel like you’re home.”

Kompany, whose own children go to St. Michael, said, “I fell in love with the school. I would recommend it to family and friends. Students are good kids. Kids have good friendships. They’re well taken care of here.”

Angela Edmonds, a volunteer tour guide, has three children who attend St. Michael. “It’s a good environment to raise kids. Kids make a lot of friends,” she said. “I went to Catholic school. It’s all I know.”

Deb Palacio, president of the Home School Association, said, “I just think it (the school) has great values and character building. Many children leave and go on to all kinds of careers. They are taught to be good people by example. It’s a tight-knit community, an old-fashioned family schoo. Academically, kids are prepared to excel. We love that we can have a Christmas tree and talk about religion. Older kids monitor younger ones. It’s a privilege to send our kids here. School means a lot.”

St. Michael is a multi-generational school for Palacio and her family. Her mom attended the school. She did. Her children did, as did her sister, brother and their children.

Miragliotta, who has been the principal at St. Michael for 20 years, said, “I love this school.”

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Photos by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta