Unity Between the Skaggs Schools

The inclusion of Saint Andrew Catholic School in the Juan Diego Community


At the end of the 2018-2019 school year, Saint Andrew Catholic School and Juan Diego began collaborating within their communities. With updates to the Saint Andrews website, logo, building, and even academic resources, these new changes are sure to show unity between the school’s communities.

Originally, Saint Andrew was built as a Skaggs School, and even worked closely with Juan Diego. Sister Karla McKinnie opened the school in 2008, after opening Saint Johns Elementary school in 1999. Considering the schools were originally linked, it is no surprise that the schools continue to collaborate today.

One of the ways the communities have collaborated has been through updates to the Saint Andrew library. Becky Nicholson, the Saint Andrew librarian, worked alongside Sharon Phelps, the Juan Diego librarian, to decide what needed updating in the Saint Andrew library. “We were able to determine that the computer system Saint Andrew was using had not been updated for a while,” Nicholson said. Their solution was to move Saint Andrew over to the same system Skaggs uses.” By combining the computer system with Saint Andrew, Juan Diego and Saint Johns, students at all three schools will have the opportunity to check out books that are not available at their own school,” Nicholson finished. As well as the new system, Saint Andrew was able to secure grants for new books and furniture for their library.

The Saint Andrew exterior before and after updates to the paint and flooring. (Elijah Earhart)

With the help of Juan Diego, Saint Andrew has also made updates to the building and even outdoor equipment. “We had a new play structure installed and a remodeled preschool-Kindergarten play yard,” says Natalie Trujillo, a Kindergarten teacher at Saint Andrew. The building was also given new floors and a fresh coat of paint, for a more modern look. The final addition to the building was the installment of new Smartboards in the elementary and middle school classrooms. “As a teacher at Saint Andrew, I am very pleased with the updates and support that Juan Diego’s collaboration has offered,” Trujillo finishes.

As seen in the new logo, some aspects, such as the boat and dolphin were kept from the old logo. (Elijah Earhart)

The final collaboration was an update to the website and school logo. “We updated the logo to reflect the fact that we have reclaimed our identity as part of the Juan Diego school community,” says Erin Carrabba, principal at Saint Andrew. “If you look at the logo you will see the key components of our old logo (Saltire cross, mountains, boat and dolphin), combined with the feel of the Juan Diego brand,” Carrabba finished.

Given the collaboration between the two communities, a sense of unity is shown between the Catholic schools. Students are now offered a bigger selection of books, given new playground equipment, and teachers have worked together to make these changes. “The next step for our collaboration is to deepen the connection between the schools by planning more cross-campus events, like the tree planting last spring, when Juan Diego Seniors came and worked with Saint Andrew Middle School students,” Carrabba said. “Unfortunately, with the current pandemic, some of that has been put on the back-burner,” she finished. In the future, we hope to see more collaboration between our communities.

The next step for our collaboration is to deepen the connection between the schools by planning more cross-campus events, like the tree planting last spring.”

— Erin Carraba