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Our Lady of the Presentation Catholic School

Inspires Spiritual and Academic Growth 

As Lee’s Summit’s only Catholic K-8 grade school, Our Lady of the Presentation stands out but never stands alone.

“We are a community, and families realize the importance of this now more than ever,” says Principal Jodi Briggs along with Assistant Principal Marianne Organ. “We pray together, learn together, grow together and take care of each other.”

Like other Missouri schools, OLP closed for the remainder of the school year during the pandemic. When the school closure order was first issued, the OLP students were on spring break, but the teachers didn’t get much of one. They returned to school early to learn the educational platforms for remote learning that continued through the last day of school on May 15.

“Like anything new, there were challenges and hurdles to overcome,” Briggs and Organ say, “but the OLP community has been amazing in working together to ensure the best possible learning experience in the given situation.”

The school also adapted its graduation for 8th graders held on May 14 to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions while still providing a memorable ceremony for its graduating class. 

“We pray our doors will be open to welcome students in August, but we will prepare for what might be,” they add. “We’ll review and evaluate what was successful and improve any areas in case remote learning presents itself again in the future.”

With an enrollment of 472 students, OLP feeds into St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School built in 2017. OLP also receives students from the church’s Early Childhood Center (ages 1-5) which currently enrolls 220 children.

Briggs and Organ say they’re proud of OLP’s faith-based education and high academic standards as evidenced by its national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School by the Dept. of Education. They’re also proud how the school came together with the Lee’s Summit community in 2013 to win $500,000 in the Kohl’s Campaign.

“Most importantly, we’re proud how we work together for the best interest of the students,” they say. “We have minimal staff turnover, strong, steady enrollment and families who make sacrifices to send their students here. While we welcome students of all faiths, we provide a Catholic education that enables students to live their faith daily through religion class, weekly liturgies and organized school activities.”

After 12 years as principal, Briggs plans to transition to St. Michael High School in the fall as its full-time principal, and Organ will step into the role of principal at OLP after sharing duties with Briggs this year.

Both women are lifelong area Catholic educators. Briggs taught upper middle school at OLP for four years while earning a master’s degree in School Leadership. She became OLP principal in 2008.

Organ, a graduate of Avila College, began her teaching career at Archbishop O’Hara High School teaching English and theology and served as assistant principal for 12 years at Cristo Rey High School before joining OLP.

Both educators agree that the most rewarding aspects of their roles is touching peoples’ lives.

“We manage many aspects of planning including the calendar, curriculum, textbook purchasing, marketing, fundraising, etc., but my favorite part of my job is the relationships we build,” Organ says.

Briggs agrees and especially enjoys morning drop off. “Father Tom, Mrs. Organ and I greet the students each morning, rain, sleet or snow,” she adds. “We know every child by name, and the hugs, stories and smiles are the best way to start the day. And I always love when our graduates return and share their high school experiences.”

Briggs and Organ give four reasons why they recommend OLP:

  1. “Our STAFF gives 110 percent and are here because they want to be. They love their students, provide a great learning experience and are examples of faith in action.

  2. The STUDENTS are the best. They work hard, keep us laughing and make OLP a vibrant community.

  3. The FAMILIES are generous with their time and talent and are the backbone of our school.

  4. The thriving, growing and supportive COMMUNITY in Lee’s Summit keeps our school strong.”

Look for OLP’s annual school auction rescheduled for July 10, 2020. 

www.olplsschool.org 

 “I love the immersion of faith with learning. The school feels more like a family than a school. Everyone is truly invested in my child’s growth spiritually, socially and educationally. We’re truly blessed to be a part of the OLP school family.” ~ parent comment

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