TICONDEROGA - St. Mary's School in Ticonderoga is known for its strong academic program.
But that's not the best part of the school, according to state Sen. Betty Little.
"At St. Mary's you know you are loved - by your parents, your faculty and your community," Little told students Feb. 5.
"As you go forward," she added, "That feeling of love, knowing God loves you, will help in all the challenges you face."
Little attended Mass at St. Mary's Church to kick off Catholic Schools Week. The Mass was offered for school benefactors, like Little.
Celebrating the Mass was Father Bill Muench, assisted by Deacon Elliot Shaw.
The senator recently secured a $75,000 New York Power Authority grant to improve energy efficiency at the school.
Using the grant, St. Mary's School is installing new energy-efficient lighting and ceilings and new exterior doors and will proceed with improved weather stripping for existing windows.
Sister Sharon Dalton, principal at St. Mary's School, thanked Little for her support and welcomed her to the school.
"Sen. Little has a long history of support and commitment to Catholic education," Dalton said.
Little is the product of Catholic education. She is a graduate of St. Mary's Academy of Glens Falls and the College of Saint Rose.
She noted her parents, children, grandchildren and other relatives have attended Catholic schools.
"When I think of my years in Catholic school, things were certainly different," Little said.
She added the main message of Catholic education has not changed, though, noting the work of St. Mary's students to assist earthquake victims in Haiti, their visits to local nursing homes and community service.
"I certainly commend all the students at St. Mary's for the work they do," the senator said.
Little said Catholic Schools Week is important.
"It's an opportunity to recognize Catholic education, it's uniqueness and all it brings to students' lives," she said. "It's an opportunity to be grateful for what Catholic schools add to our communities. It's also an opportunity to celebrate the existence of St. Mary's and its wonderful students."