Growing Catholic school gets new space

Entering its third year of service to the community, Mother Theresa Academy in Clifton Park will start the school year in September with a new larger space.

The school, which began with 19 students its first year, has seen record growth, with 46 student enrolled last year.

The privately owned Catholic school will move from its 1,800-square-foot space behind the United Methodist Church at 10 Old Plank Road to a 5,200-square-foot space on Route 146 in Clifton Park.

Joyce Maddalone, director and founder of the academy, is also a licensed real estate broker and was able to locate the space for the school with ease.

The new school will offer a media center; play room and cafeteria, where Shenendehowa Central Schools will provide a hot lunch to the students.

Going into our third year, these are things we want to be able to provide our students, said Michelle Emirzian, teacher administrator for the school. "We want to make it more like a school rather than a daycare."

The academy offers programming through age 7; however, the school plans to add a grade each year through fifth grade, according to Emirzian.

Emirzian said the school provides a traditional Catholic education with a focus on both academics and values.

"We believe children should have a well rounded set of skills," Maddalone said.

The school provides those skills through a 90-minute literacy period and Mother Theresa values of the month.

Each month the students are introduced to a Mother Theresa value, which they learn about and discuss throughout the month, Emirzian said. She said the values include patience, responsibility and respect.

"Academically, you can be smart person and not have moral values," Maddalone said.

Emirzian said through these lessons and weekly chapel, the children as young as 3, learn morals and pray.

She said as far as teaching other disciplines outside of literacy, the students are separated into groups based on their skill level allowing for students to excel at their own pace.

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