JFK school leader looks to the future

WARREN – A new media commercial that will begin airing locally was unveiled last week to parents and students to showcase what changes and additions are planned for the 2013-14 school year at John F. Kennedy High School.

Brian Sinchak, president at JFK, recently shared plans for the upcoming school year at the ”State of the School.”

“Too often schools simply send home a letter at the end of the year and invite everybody back in August. We want to make it part of our school family to look forward to the next year,” Sinchak said.

He talked about upcoming changes and additions during a 90-minute presentation, including the short media campaign video that showcases students and programs.

”The commercial is very compelling,” he said.

He said the campaign features students from both campuses and highlights commitment to producing students who are ”innovative, prayerful, articulate, resilient, compassionate and global.”

Jillian Phillips, director of communications and advancement, said that for the third year in a row, all ninth-graders will be presented an Apple iPad2, which is a gift from the JFK alumni.

Also planned for next year, JFK will accept international students to be part of the student body.

“Just as we have had our students attend schools in other countries, we are welcoming students here,” Phillips said, noting some will be from China and countries in Africa.

The new partnership with international students will enrich the classrooms, Sinchak said.

”We welcome them in partnership with our innovative World Class Program; a focus on national and international business, culture, history and social justice issues,” he said.

Sinchak said Phillips explained that tuition at JFK remains the lowest of any school in the Youngstown Diocese due to the fact that the school is the only K-12 combined school in the diocese. It includes the JFK Upper Campus for seventh to 12th grades and the JFK Lower Campus for kindergarten to sixth grades.

Sinchak said other changes include updates to the school’s security systems, expanding technology offerings, expanding course offerings, restructuring of the athletic department, launching a K-Day leadership retreat and the sale of the ”Kennedy Prays,” a new book containing a compilation prayers written by students.

Students are working on a new project for peace by folding paper cranes that represent prayers to be said for victims of violence.

Sinchak said the school is praying for peace and healing for victims of violence, such as the students at Newtown, Conn., and also for the victims of abuse.

Students are more than halfway toward the goal of 1,000 cranes. Once folded, students hope to display 500 at the upper campus and 500 at the lower.

For information, visit the school website or call the school at 330-369-1804.