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Colby, Oakley schools prepare for celebration




COLBY -- The next two weeks are going to be busy ones for Laura Krejci.

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COLBY -- The next two weeks are going to be busy ones for Laura Krejci.

This week, the Sacred Heart Elementary School principal in Colby is celebrating Catholic Schools Week 2014, which began Saturday for students, parents and staff.

Activities will continue through the week for Krejci and her students. Then, on Feb. 8, Krejci will marry Colby native Mark Schwarz in Sacred Heart Church in Colby.

Krejci is in her second year as principal at Sacred Heart after teaching music there for eight years. A native of Nebraska, Krejci graduated from the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and her first job was in the Colby public school system.

When the music teacher at Sacred Heart died approximately 10 years ago, Krejci, who grew up in the Catholic faith, successfully sought that job, "and I've been here ever since. I love it."

Besides her wedding, Krejci knew the start of the second semester would be exciting.

Students will get to celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2014 not just one day, but two. They will be joined by students from neighboring St. Joseph Elementary School in Oakley.

In the past, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph -- the farthest west Catholic schools in the Salina Diocese and just 24 miles apart on Interstate 70 -- have taken turns hosting each other one day during the week. This year was Sacred Heart's turn, so it began planning its activities to host St. Joseph students Thursday.

But Wednesday was the day that worked out best for Bishop Edward Weisenburger to be in the area for a Mass. So students and staff from both schools will be in Oakley Wednesday for the Mass, then all will converge on Sacred Heart in Colby the next day to hear from some Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary convent in Wichita.

One of the nuns will be familiar to Sacred Heart. Melissa Augustine, a graduate of the Catholic grade school in Colby, will be one of the guest speakers.

Another former Sacred Heart student also will visit the school for Pioneer Day on Friday. Katera Harter will make an appearance as Miss Rodeo Kansas 2014 and take part in some activities with the students.

"Definitely a lot going on," said Krejci, who said she and her fiance have worked on their wedding "a little at a time" so they will be ready come Feb. 8.

"We've had a lot of help," she said.