December 3, 2016

When it gets dark,
the stars come out.

 —American Proverb
During this season of Advent, when the nights grow longer, and the year comes to a close it is an ideal time to stop and appreciate the stars. Not only the stars we see in the night sky, but those many stars who have made a difference in the lives of the students and their families at Seattle Nativity School. Just as it is not possible to appreciate every single star in the night sky in just a brief glance, neither is it possible to appreciate all of the lights that shine for Seattle Nativity School in a single newsletter. So, for this brief glance, we focus on one constellation.
From the days of the building and the feasibility study, through our inaugural graduation last June to today, the passion and talent of the O’Brien family has shone and been present every step of the way. They are several of the many lights that illuminate this Nativity story. Breaking the cycle of poverty through education was an idea that resonated with Mike O’Brien. He stepped up to the challenge during the feasibility study, offering his expertise from his work in the world of finance.

The early years included recruiting board members, creating budgets, reaching out to potential benefactors, finding a location, and hiring a qualified staff. His drive to do all of this while running his own business is indicative of his zeal for such a great mission. That energetic light soon spread to his family.

Cindy O’Brien, Mike’s wife, brought her love of books to Nativity in the form of a library. With a few boxes of books donated by St. Joseph School, the shelves began to fill. A highlight for Cindy was watching once reluctant readers flourish as they became avid readers obsessed with books. Today, the library includes over 2000 books, organized and database coded for the Accelerated Reader program. Cindy loves to see the students’ eyes light up when a new book arrives!
Inaugural Graduation on June 23, 2016
(L to R) Fr. Jeff McDougall, S.J.,  Mr. Edward Nelson, and Mr. Mike O'Brien
As a college sophomore, Ellie O’Brien became a valuable asset as a volunteer helping with the non-profit aspect of the operations of Nativity as well as working in its very first Summer Academy. She was moved by the passion and commitment that her parents showed for the school.

Matt O’Brien was attending Seattle Prep when Nativity was moving from an idea to a reality. As a voracious reader, Matt became the library consultant with a male perspective to his librarian mother, Cindy.

The youngest O’Brien, Annie, began sharing her talents as a junior in high school during the summer months with the Nativity development office. Her love of working with people led her to Study Hall tutoring. As she fulfilled her community service hours for her high school, she found her own desire to serve growing. Annie felt that she received a unique gift from the students of Nativity.

The greatest joy for the O’Brien family was the Inaugural Graduation of June 23, 2016. After many years of dreaming, planning and working for Seattle Nativity School, a particularly poignant moment for Mike O’Brien was when he, as a representative of the Nativity Board of Directors, was able to deliver a deserving handshake to each graduate as they crossed the stage. It grew dark as that evening ceremony ended, but as people departed, and even though the sky was overcast, many stars could be seen.

Ms. Judy Shafer, Development Director and Fr. Jeff McDougall, S.J., President
Open to Growth
Our students continue to grow as a community with their classmates, supporting each other daily. This school year, many opportunities to grow and build community in the greater Seattle region have became available. Through sport, service, spirit, STEM and special guests, Nativity students are actively seeking opportunities for growth.
Special thanks to the collaborative efforts of St. Therese Catholic Academy (STCA), the CYO League and Seattle Nativity School volunteer, Vince Iaci. Their work made it possible for our students to participate in soccer, cross country and basketball on combined STCA CYO League teams. Currently over half of our students are enjoying playing basketball!
Solid Ground's Giving Garden at Marra Farms provided our students with a great opportunity to serve the community through an end-of-season garden clean-up. We spent a sunny fall day in the fresh air moving dirt, pulling weeds, cutting plants back, turning soil and working together as farmers. Marra Farms provides fresh produce to local food banks including Providence Regina House. Farm-to-fork at its best!
Many of our students are participating in Robotics with the Seattle Vex IQ League comprised of 18 teams from six schools. The program encourages problem solving, collaboration and friendly competition. Students are often cheering for each other, offering ideas and celebrating each others' successes.
S  T  E  M
In November, we welcomed a team from Presence Labs of Seattle and their virtual reality headsets. Every student experienced a virtual reality trip through outer space, games or a music app. We are grateful to Greg Enell and his team for bringing state-of-the-art technology to Nativity for a hands-on experience!
S P E C I A L  G U E S T
Seattle legend Art Oberto visited recently providing great stories and sage wisdom. Art grew up at Our Lady of Mt. Virgin Parish and School and was thrilled to return to the school halls. His biggest piece of advice: "be persistent and be polite!"  Thank you Art!
We are pleased to present our first Board of Directors' Impact Report. Thank you for sharing your gifts and bringing joy to our students and their families. We are grateful!
The 2012-2016 Board of Directors Impact Report

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Hour of Code

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Mass of the Immaculate Conception, 8am

Friday, December 16, 2016
Mass and Christmas Lunch

Save the Date!
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Meet Me @ McRory's
6-8pm @ FX McRory's

Please contact Judy Shafer about any of the event details.

Annual Fund Campaign
Please consider an end-of-the-year gift to our Annual Fund Campaign.
Offering a tuition-free
education to qualifying families
opens up opportunities in the
greater community and serves
those in need.
There are several
options for giving:

Stock Transfer (download PDF)
Mail in a Giving Form (download PDF)

Please feel free to contact
Judy Shafer, Director of Development 
with any questions.
Michael Mott, Chairman
Mike O'Brien, Treasurer
Fr. Peter Ely, S.J., Secretary
Richard Barth
Janet Chess
Michele Godvin
Sonya Johnston
Diane Kocer
Jim Mallahan
Dave Matter
Fr. Jeff McDougall, S.J.
Samir Mehta
Fr. Jeff McDougall, S.J., President
Mr. Edward Nelson, Principal
Mr. Brian Kelly, Director of Operations

Ms. Judy Shafer, Director of Development
Mr. Sam Bennett, Teacher of Mathematics
Ms. Caroline Corsone, Teacher of Language Arts
Ms. Meredith Pentzien, Teacher of Science
Mr. Alex Cooper,
Teacher of Social Studies & Religion

Ms. Anna Olson, Administrative Assistant
Mr. Michael Ervin, Operations Assistant
Copyright © 2016 Seattle Nativity School, All rights reserved.
December 2016 E-News

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2800 S. Massachusetts St., Seattle, WA 98144
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