Neumann students kick-off year with focus on future Print this post

Staff Report


St. John Neumann Catholic High School students kicked off their school year with a focus on their future. During the first two weeks of school in Naples, students participated in a variety of workshops relevant to their upcoming year and beyond.

“We wanted our students to get excited about the upcoming year and about their future,” said Laura Roszkowski, Director of Guidance and Counseling. “By exploring and using innovative proactive solutions and resources, we arm our students with every resource available to start off on the right foot. This philosophy helps students feel more confident in achieving their immediate and long-term goals.”

Students at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples participate in mid-August worskshops which helped them plan for the future.

For the past three years, the upcoming 2018 graduating seniors have spent a considerable amount of time in and out of school focusing on life beyond the Neumann campus.

“With so many resources accessible now for our students to explore life beyond high school, we wanted to take everything they have learned and help them start routing their own personal map of their future,” Roszkowski said.

Students at St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples participate in mid-August workshops which helped them plan for the future while also taking advantage of the Apps on their iPads to learn about career options and scholarships to college.

Seniors immersed themselves for two days covering numerous college application topics. In addition to calculating their GPA’s for Core and Bright Future scholarship eligibility, they explored how to find scholarships they qualified for, organized their letters of recommendation and requests for senior year recommendations, met with English teachers to discuss and review their college essays, reviewed college applications, and applied to some of their choice colleges.

“As well as our open-door policy for accessible college counseling, our seniors have met one-on-one quarterly with faculty advisors since their freshman year,” said Denise Szedelyi, Advisory Program Director and English teacher. “These meetings ensure each student meets and exceeds their personal goals for life beyond high school. By having a two-day workshop at the beginning of school, we have energized and excited each student for the upcoming year and their future.”

Over the summer, all students were assigned several novels to read for their grade level. This summer assignment was used for three purposes; for enhanced reading applications, upcoming math or history projects, and lastly, for MLA (Modern Language Association) style format and citation research papers assigned during the two-day workshops.

“With current research showing that most college freshman have never written a research paper longer than 4,000 words, or being familiar with MLA format, we focus our ongoing efforts in strengthening our student’s writing skills and comfort with MLA formatted papers” Szedelyi said. “By doing so, our students start their college experience understanding what’s expected from them academically.”

Sophomores and Juniors spent time one-on-one with English teachers and in peer groups enhancing their understanding of MLA style and citation. Moreover, they reviewed proper format, research skills and how to use specific websites like for enhanced writing and avoidance of plagiarism.

As one of the few Southwest Florida schools in the area that use advanced technology for their educational platforms, St. John Neumann adopted replacing school books and wasted paper with individual iPads in 2012.

“Since we kicked off the program in 2012, the students and faculty have embraced the era of technology,” Roszkowski said. “The world is literally at our student’s fingertips – I could not imagine going back to the old way of teaching. For those of us that have learned how easy using the iPad for learning is, we can sometimes forget that for incoming Freshmen, using the iPad for almost everything can seem overwhelming at first.”

The workshops the freshman took part in focused on the most popular Apps used in Neumann’s classes.

“The faculty realized this early on, so having the incoming Freshmen spend two days in a workshop learning how to use the iPads for their schoolwork and research really helps them adjust quickly” said Neumann Principal Sister Patricia Roche, FMA.

Indeed, all St. John Neumann Catholic High School students are being prepared for the future.

For more information about St. John Neumann Catholic High School, please visit

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