Catholic education could return to Canton in a new way

WWNY Catholic education could return to Canton in a new way

CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - A 90-year tradition of Catholic education ended in Canton last year. But now, it may be coming back in a new way.

Little feet should again grace the former St. Mary’s school. And they’ll be seeking the same thing: a Catholic education. But in a new way.

“St. Catherine of Siena Academy is a K-4 school and we’ll be using the Catholic liberal education model of educating,” said Devon Sutton, Siena Academy board member.

That education will be full of things that might seem forbidding, like Latin, grammar, theology, the classics. But proponents say it has worked other places.

“We do want to impart our faith to our children. And the other part is this model of education inspires wonder in a child. And a hunger for learning,” said Sutton.

When St. Mary’s School closed last year, parents looked for ways to continue Catholic education there. They saw the Catholic liberal education model as a way to do that.

“We are an independent school in the Catholic tradition,” said Sutton.

Tuition and donations will support the academy. It will not get financial support from the diocese or parishes. But it will adhere to diocesan educational standards.

There are priests serving on the school’s formation committee. They were attracted by its philosophy.

“This vision of forming the whole person in the great intellectual tradition of Christianity,” said Rev. Stephen Rocker, Siena Academy formation committee member.

Siena Academy wants to have between 15 and 25 students for its first year. It will house all grades in one room for now.

Grades will be added as children graduate into them. Siena Academy’s ambition is to open a high school by 2026.

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