Retrospective on 2022-2023


As the 2022-2023 school year here at Seton Catholic Central comes to a close, we take the time to look back on what made this year special. This year has been a flurry of different emotions for the Saints. With new administration and teachers, we were part of the first year of a new era here at Seton under new leadership. Our athletic teams and clubs have had great success this year, the Saints have taken several exciting trips, and debates surrounding the dress code and phone usage in school have occupied our attention. The Voice of the Saints has also had our most successful year yet with 65 articles published this school year and more than 3,231 unique story reads in total! Those impressive stats are thanks to you, our readers! In celebration of this past year at Seton, here is a look back on what made it unique and was as a quick review of a few impactful world events that caught our attention this year.


Senior Sign-offs

As our final school year comes to a close, the class of 2023 would like to thank all the classmates, faculty, and staff that helped us along the way. And even though we’re happy to be finished with high school and done with the trials that come with it, we know that we wouldn’t be the people we are today if it wasn’t for this school. We wish for future students to make the most of it and not be afraid to have some fun on the journey. So long and farewell from the senior class of 2023!

New Clubs!

Seton introduced a handful of new clubs this year for students to partake in! Mr. Lucia introduced the Gothic Cinema Club, which meets every Tuesday to watch and discuss horror movies. The club tracks down the beginnings of the Gothic genre all the way to silent film-making, but it has transitioned to a more randomized selection featuring cosmic horror, folkloric horror, and well everyone’s favorite, the 80s slasher films. And there’s no better place to enjoy them than Mr Lucia’s almost menacingly stained old couch. Senior Vincent Arlequin founded the Project Crusaders Club with the aim to “…create a safe, welcoming, accepting, and faith-supported school environment for all students, regardless of race, religion, creed, gender, and background.” The club is a student-driven initiative, and tackles big questions of society and equity as it looks to improve these conditions, especially for students who are new to Seton. The club meets Wednesdays in Mr. McDonough’s room, including both free discussion and project work. We’re excited to see how these new additions to Seton’s extracurricular activities prosper in the next coming years!

New Faces Among Faculty and Staff

This year, Seton students have seen a multitude of new faces around the school. Here’s a recap of all new teachers that arrived in the 2022-2023 school year. Although he was only here for one year, Mr. Wan made his presence felt. The business teacher’s impact on the school extended far beyond his business class and he quickly became a favorite among students. For the past school year, Ms. Iltcheva was the new triple threat of teaching here at Seton, delivering classes in science, computer science, and theology – and we wish her the best in her new position in Florida. The math department had a revamp this year! Mr. Pianella, Mrs. Crane, and Mrs. Burke all joined the school as math teachers, and they’ve all done a great job this past year. Mr. Monachino and Ms. Caezza began this year as the new principal and president. This shift in administration has begun a new era at Seton, one that holds exciting new possibilities for the Saints. Finally, Mrs. Isaacs joined the guidance department this past year and with Masters Degrees in both psychology and social work, she brings her expertise to grades 7-9.

Sports Successes

Saints Athletics has had a successful year! Here’s a look back on the biggest wins and awards from this year! Boys Lacrosse fought all the way to the sectional finals where they eventually fell to Chenango Forks. The boys had a great postseason run which included a nail-biting Section IV Semifinal game against Chenango Valley. Riley Callahan, John Ricci, and Rory Callahan were all named to the All Section 4 Class D First Team! The Girls Tennis team finished the season as Section 4 Co-Champions, won STAC, and finished undefeated! Joy Neureuter, Natalie Crowley, Ann Mc Nair, Lucy Atkins, and Emma Nagorny all were named as STAC All-Stars.

For boys basketball, Andrew Erickson was named to the All-Section IV First Team, and surpassed 1000 career points! Andrew Erickson and Johnny Hopf were both named STAC All-Stars as well. Several members of the golf team finished as All-Stars including Joe Tiderencel, Evan Wenzinger, Chad Haykal, and Luke Stanton. The golf team were Section IV champions! The brand new Saints Boys Volleyball Team took home first place in the Section IV Championships! Ava Olsian was named to the STAC All-Conference Swim Team and finished 11th in the state in the 50m Freestyle. Moving on to soccer, George Phillips was named a STAC All-Star for his play. In girls soccer, Christa Schanbacher, Sarah Lewis, Erin Derr, and Anika Smith were named All-Stars as well! Mason Gault and Rosalia McLaughlin were named to the STAC All-Division Cross Country team.

Faculty Farewells

Since she first came to Seton forty-three years ago, Mrs. Simpson has left a profound impact on the school. Having taught math, chemistry, engineering and environmental science courses over her years, she’s truly helped foster countless curious and engaged students. Post-retirement, she plans on traveling the U.S. Her interest in history already has her setting course for national parks and civil war monuments. Mrs. Simpson’s final message to Seton is “Good luck and enjoy.” We will miss the popcorn from chemistry demonstrations and walks outside in environmental science, along with making ice cream for lab, once she’s gone. We wish her good luck in her travels as well.

Sr. Brigid O’Mahoney first came to Seton thirteen years ago, and will truly be leaving it a far more loving and compassionate community. Her favorite memories of the school come from engaging students in service projects, specifically when she would take students to Haiti. “It was just a remarkable and truly life-changing experience for everyone,” she reminisced. Sister Brigid’s reasoning for retiring stems from a desire to help people, specifically immigrants and refugees. When explaining it to Voice of the Saints, she compared her last service projects to golf: “I’m on the back nine of life…I want my last shots to be really good ones. I want to spend the last portion of my life while I still have some energy and some wits about me to help the poorest of the poor.” Her final goal is to celebrate and following the example of Christ. And that means that we expand and expand and expand our capacity and willingness to love.”

Mrs. Murphy, our guidance counselor, will be officially retiring from her 55 years of service to the school. In talking with Voice of the Saints, she mentioned how this school has led to making countless faculty friends and students she still keeps in touch with. Her post-retirement plans include traveling (ideally through Europe) and visiting her grandchildren in college. “It’s been a pleasure. It’s always been a learning experience; you have to learn something new every day to keep yourself going. I think you have a fine staff here and they’re going to do wonders for the rest of the time.”

We will also be losing Mrs. Gosney, who has taught P.E. for 34 years, as she is retiring. Having taught at every CSBC school open during that time period, she has too many fond memories to pick a favorite. Her post-retirement plans include spending more time with her kids and grand-kids. Her final words of advice to Seton are to “Do your best, be yourself, love one another, and always be humble and kind.”

Mr. Basile will be leaving Seton but not the Catholic Schools of Broome County. Stepping back from his current position as Boys P.E. teacher, he will be moving to the elementary schools and teaching gym class there. We know he’ll do amazing training future Saints.

Mr. Donovan, our Head of Maintenance, will also be leaving this year. He has dedicated so much time and effort to our school, along with his kindness and humor. He will be remembered as someone who was always willing to lend a helping hand and go above and beyond what was expected of him.

Although she’s only been here for one year, Mrs. Iltecheva has brought so much to our school community as our 7/8th Theology teacher. We’re glad to have been a stepping stone on her teaching journey.

Mr. Wan, our Business teacher, will also not be returning next year. Although we will miss his guidance and teaching, we wish him the best of luck in any future business endeavors.

Ode to the Founding Father of Seton Journalism

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the resignation of Mr. Van Vleck. He’s taught countless classes over the years, such as Spanish, Philosophy, Journalism English 9, Creative Writing, and Research Writing. He’s one of the most rigorous and thorough teachers in the school, but he still maintains kindness and thoughtfulness in his teaching. We here at Voice of the Saints know him as our journalism teacher and the founder of our paper. Mr. Van Vleck went out of his way and campaigned tirelessly for this paper, and in doing so has truly left a legacy at the school. Mr. Van Vleck will be teaching Spanish at Chenango Valley High School in the fall. We wish him the best and are eternally grateful for everything he’s given not only to our paper but to the school.

Sr. K Celebrates 60th Jubilee

Seton was proud to honor Sister Kathleen Joy Steck with her 60th Jubilee this year, which marks six decades as a professed sister. A ceremony with Bishop Lucia in Syracuse was followed several weeks later with a mass here in Seton in which she was honored for her contributions. The mass occurred on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (May 31st) and was accompanied by a lunch-in for guests.

Growing up, Sister K never expected to be a sister, especially for sixty years. After professing as a sister of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1963, she started working in Catholic schools all over the country. When she came to Binghamton in 1986, she decided this was going to be her final stop. Having taught at St. John’s and Seton, Sister K has touched countless students and taught them the true meaning of faith and resilience. Seton is truly grateful for her impact and proud to honor her for everything she’s accomplished.

One Year With Principal Monachino and President Caezza 

Amidst several faculty new-hires, Seton’s administration has also seen a big change with the appointment of ex-vice principal, Mr. Monachino, as the new principal, and Dr. Carter’s replacement Ms. Caezza, as President of the Catholic Schools of Broome County. The two have faced a changing environment within Seton and have adjusted to their new positions. The following is a brief consolidation of how Seton’s new administrative body has fared this past year; what they’ve overcome; and what changes students may have noticed this year and will notice in the upcoming school year.

Seton’s Mission Statement Undergoes Revision 

Seton’s new mission, finalized by President Caezza’s Strategic Planning Committee, will be in effect come the next academic year. It is the following:

The Mission of the Catholic Schools of Broome County is to provide a comprehensive education to every student in a faith-based environment, fostering a culture of academic excellence, moral integrity, and a sense of community. 

The committee employed the efforts of faculty, parents, administration, and students to revise the old mission statement and refocus its message to better cohere with Seton’s developing action plan. According to President Caezza, the “action plan” consists of five identified concerns that will include “goals and objectives around those concerns” to optimally address them. And although President Caezza has yet to divulge the specifics for the sake of confidentiality, the action plan will be finalized on July 24th and approved by the Board of Directors at the August meeting.

Talk of Budget Shortfalls Circulating the School 

It is no secret that Seton has experienced some loss of faculty and tuition money from students, and Seton’s community members have begun to take notice. But according to Mr. Monachino, Seton’s budget is not overextending itself,  and Seton continues to have a “balanced budget.” The principal source of revenue for Seton is tuition money, and with nearly all of the school’s exchange students now graduated, that revenue has decreased significantly. “We’re being creative and trying to find other ways to best utilize what we have without cutting programs,” Mr. Monachino says. “In fact, we’re probably expanding programs next year.” But to do so, the school would have to cut some classes that don’t receive enough students to merit a full classroom. Students may have noticed a few staff changes as well; with some of Seton’s older faculty retiring, the school has begun looking for suitable replacements.

Curriculum Alignment Program

The newly formed Curriculum Committee, according to President Caezza, is trying to create “consistency across the three elementary schools, horizontally, and then vertically K to 12.” To accommodate for the transition between elementary and middle, and then eventually onto high school, the Curriculum Committee has decided to develop students’ common “skill set” for all stages of their academic experience. For math, for example, the Committee has adjoined this goal with a curriculum program called Envisions, which has developed sample math kits for grades K through 8, in order not to change the method of teaching as students move across their separate academic levels. President Caezza said that the CSBC theology experts met on March 10th to create a spreadsheet of what each teacher would teach at each grade level. “Everybody’s going to be using the same resources,” President Caezza explained, “so, if a student were to start second grade at St. John’s, and then they moved to all saints, they walk into the same [classroom]”.


Saints on the Road

Students from all grades took a variety of trips this year with Seton! The History Club made its annual trip to New York in November. They had the chance to visit Ellis Island, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Times Square, visiting historical sites and taking part in tourist activities.  In April, our Swing Choir ventured to New York City to compete in the New York City Heritage Festival, winning several three gold awards! They also got the chance to tour backstage of Radio City Music Hall, and see the new Broadway show, “New York, New York ”. It was certainly a memorable experience for our young singers to look back on with pride! Over spring break, Ms. Schmidt led her annual trip to Europe with a group of twelve students. They visited Croatia, Slovenia and Italy, getting to experience different cultures, foods, and ways of life! Towards the end of the year, eighth graders had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. for three days. Their activities included touring the nation’s capitol, visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian Zoo, and more! Seventh graders traveled to Frost Valley, where they took part in various outdoor activities and had the chance to connect with their friends and nature on a deeper level. Our seniors took their final school trip to Hershey Park for a day of fun before they graduate. We look forward to seeing these trips (and more) next year!

Exchange Students from India

Seton has a few exciting changes it will encounter in the next year. As we bid a thankful farewell to our departing teachers and staff, we look forward to welcoming new faces to our community. The 2023-24 school year will also bring new faces from around the globe! As you may have read in our article “Journey to India: What Could it Mean for Students?”, Seton will try out an exchange program with Christ University in India.

In the fall of 2023, a group of students will travel with Ms. Schmidt to Christ University for two weeks, each being paired with a host student. Then in spring 2024, these “host” students from India will visit Seton, staying with the same students that they hosted in India. We’re excited to send off our students to experience new cultures, and welcome international students to our own home!

Middle School Phone Ban

Midway through the school year, the 7th and 8th grade classes suffered what they considered a tremendous loss: privileges to their phones. The ban was deemed necessary after an incident occurred with middle school cell phones during school hours. Seton’s administration decided to revoke the privileges of the middle schoolers to freely carry their phones, or use them in class. Instead, they would need to keep their phones in their lockers or deposit them in Mrs. Edwards’s room at the beginning of the day. A move like this stirred up a division in opinions among students. Many faculty, and some students, argued that the phones had become too much of a distraction both inside and outside the classroom. Work was not getting completed, and when it was, it was often ill-conceived and not personally done. Phones being used in class disrupted others and hindered learning. The lack of phones, in theory, should contribute to a healthier education overall. On the other side of the argument, many students, especially in the middle school, were extremely vocal about this loss. They claimed that they had the right to their own property, and that the school shouldn’t be allowed to seize it all day. Students argued that it wasn’t fair that not all grades had to submit their phones, and that the lack of phone or even ringer would prevent them from seeing important updates, like emergencies and schoolwork.

Chat GPT

The latter half of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 have seen rapid development in the way of Artificial Intelligence, from writing, to music, to art, to voice, and more. With the increasing capability of AI came its increased usage, especially from students looking to catch a break from their assignments, leaving it in the hands of programs like ChatGPT to do it for them. This sudden but widespread use of AI to complete assignments has raised concerns in educators and analysts, who warn that AI will replace the student’s ability to independently think and compose, making them lazy and dull compared to students of previous generations. They also warn that if we continue to rely on AI, it may affect fields across the workforce as well, replacing paid human labor with artificial workers, a development that has already begun to take place in several industries. We may look back on this school year as the year that AI first started to impact both our educations and professional careers.

Looking Ahead

What will next year hold for The Voice of the Saints? Although journalism may not meet during the school day as a scheduled class, there has been significant interest in continuing as both an independent study elective and as a club to both encourage new journalists and the continued contributions of our veterans. Readers can expect to see more sports coverage, more hard-hitting editorials and careful investigations. Expect to see profiles of new faculty and celebrations of student achievements, as well as close attention to the upcoming exchange program and our new curriculum alignment endeavors. But most of all, you can expect to see quality, in-depth and thoughtful writing on the issues that are important to our Seton Community.