St. Paul School: ‘Learn. Service. Lead. Succeed.

St. Paul School Catholic Schools Week Schedule

Saturday, Jan. 26: Student greeters before 4:30 p.m. Mass; Winter Carnival featuring games, carnival food and prizes, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 28: Kickoff STREAM activities for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Math; features building tasks and learning of soft skills such as communication, collaboration and critical thinking

Tuesday, Jan. 29: Reading within Houses, which are groups of students from all grades, named after saints, with older students partnering with younger students to read

Wednesday, Jan. 30: Mass at 9 a.m.; family night with Chip Richter concert from 6 to 7 p.m., doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 31: Ice cream social provided by St. Paul Home and School Association

Friday, Feb. 1: faculty vs. students volleyball game at 2 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 3: Annual spaghetti dinner cooked by Frank Zamarelli, family and friends, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., $8 for adults, $5 for children age 5 to 10 years old, free for children under 5, carryouts available, sponsored by St. Paul Home and School Association.

Every day: Scholastic book fair, STREAM activities and collection of items for Centro San Pablo, including non-perishable foods, baby supplies like diapers and wipes and toiletries for all.


SALEM — Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.

That’s the theme that St. Paul School Principal David Pancurak said sums up what Catholic schools strive for with every student.

That’s also the theme for this year’s Catholic Schools Week, which kicks off Saturday with the 4:30 p.m. Mass, followed by the Winter Carnival from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul School. (See accompanying story for complete schedule)

“We put students as our top priority. They’re in the center of the educational experience,” he said.

The school that serves students from preschool through sixth grade recently mailed out postcards to promote a St. Paul School education, inviting area families to schedule a tour by calling 330-238-1855.

The postcard is also good for two free carnival tickets and free registration for new students.

“We want the community to know we’re here,” Pancurak said.

St. Paul School has been around since 1904 providing a Catholic Schools education, but he said there are some myths that they continue to bust: high tuition, must be Catholic, must live in the Salem school district and no transportation.

Currently, students from six different school districts are St. Paul students, with Salem, Youngstown City, South Range, West Branch, Southern Local and United all represented. Not all students at St. Paul School are Catholic — in fact, about 36 percent are non-Catholic and come from different religions. All participate in school liturgies, religion classes, retreats and service projects.

Pancurak explained that if a student’s district of residence is within 30 minutes or less from St. Paul School, the home district will provide transportation or compensate parents for their cost of transporting their child to school. St. Paul also offers before and after school care to accommodate parents who work, allowing them to drop their child off earlier and pick them up later. There’s a teacher present, they do activities and serve breakfast and after school snacks.

As for tuition, the cost for the school to educate each child is $6,650, but the tuition charged for families is $3,300 for each child who’s Catholic and $4,800 for each non-Catholic and there are scholarships available. Ohio Edchoice through the state of Ohio is based on income and qualifying individuals will have the full tuition covered. Scholarships are also available to anyone, both from the Diocese of Youngstown and from St. Paul School, which has tuition angels and the St. Paul School Foundation. The scholarship window is open now and remains open until April.

St. Paul had expanded to include junior high grades, but went back to pre-K through sixth grade as a cost-saving measure and due to a lack of enrollment at the seventh and eighth grade levels. Positions left open from people leaving were not filled.

“Our enrollment did not decline even though we cut two grades,” Pancurak said.

The staff includes eight full-time teachers and one each of part-time teachers for music, art and STREAM, which stands for Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, Art and Music. There’s also one part-time school aide, one part-time preschool aide, two part-time cafeteria workers and one full-time custodian, Matt Navyac, who replaced longtime custodian Dave Plegge, who retired in June. Rev. Robert Edwards of St. Paul Church oversees the school as pastor, with Pancurak as principal.

“We focus on problem-based learning, through our STREAM initiative,” he said.

Student progress is measured by standards-based assessments instead of letter grades, looking at student ability to meet the standards.

Pancurak also said “our school security in the past six years has tightened up tremendously,” adding that there’s more to come in the near future.

To learn more, visit the school’s Facebook page for St. Paul School Salem or the website at