By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – As the new advancement director at Immaculate Conception School (ICS), Sandi Barrett now reports to work where she studied in grades one through eight, and graduated in 1972.
“I sometimes get flashbacks every now and then,” she said with a laugh. “My office is actually the old band room. I love being there. I pinch myself every day.”
Barrett is grateful for the core values she experienced attending ICS, which she sees continuing today.
“Certainly at a Catholic school you learn a good sense of discipline and having a responsibility for completing projects,” she said. “And there's also a real good sense of camaraderie. I's still in contact with kids in my eighth-grade class, but I can's say that from my years at Marlborough High School.”
Her children also attended ICS, which added preschool classes in 2007.
“I liked having my kids go to school there because it's a nice, small, family community,” she explained. “Even though we also have students from Hudson, Berlin, Stow, Sudbury, and from all over, it still has a small-town feel.”
Barrett's responsibilities as advancement director include managing the development office, organizing fundraisers and alumni events, and maintaining the alumni database and social media. Funds raised by events and the Annual Fund mailing go directly toward the school to help defray tuition cost for all students, as well as scholarships for those who meet the criteria for financial aid.
On Oct. 27, the ICS alumni were invited to reconnect with classmates at the first Alumni Mass and Reception, which is planned to become an annual event. Current students volunteered to greet the guests, including an ICS graduate from the class of 1933 and a family consisting of three generations of alumni.
“We were very happy with the turnout,” Barrett said. “There were probably over 100 people in the church and we had at least 75 at the reception afterward.”
There are over 4,500 ICS alumni registered and Barrett would like them to organize and increase activity.
“One of my goals is to get the alumni more involved,” she said. “The alumni who are active are typically the ones with children currently in the school or they'se immediate past parents. But some of the alumni just drifted away.”
Barrett recently started an ICS alumni group on LinkedIn. She's also compiling email addresses to improve communication. Alumni can contact Barrett at 508-481-3910 or [email protected].
“We now have about 500 email addresses for our alumni on file and we'se trying to update our database,” she said. “We want to email a quarterly newsletter to let them know about what's going on at the school. Quite frankly, we want them to become involved both physically and financially. It's important for the longevity of the school.”
Established in 1910, ICS has managed to stay open at a time when other Catholic schools throughout the diocese closed.
“A school with a 103-year history is huge,” Barrett said. “Families come back year after year, and that's a testament to the education these students are getting. A strong Catholic education is still valuable to a lot of people. They want a place where their kids can go and pray, and say the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Tours of ICS are conducted monthly. The next tour will be Thursday, Dec. 19.
“Parents want to explore all their options and plan in advance,” Barrett noted. “And we have some parents who come mid-year for different reasons, and enrolling then is certainly doable.”