Dear Families,

I stopped by the school for a couple of hours on Thursday morning to tidy my desk after a fulfilling first half of the school year. Though the hallways were dark and not another soul was there, your Sparks were present in spirit. 

How so? Our school’s Nativity, now finally complete with the Infant Jesus, features a manger overflowing with straw, strewn about the floor. The scene was tangible proof that our students are living the virtues we teach and model every school day, as each piece of straw symbolized a good deed done by one of them this Advent season.

In A Christmas Carol, the timeless masterpiece by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge begins the story unwilling to offer a good deed for anyone. His inborn selfishness ruled his very being. But by the final pages, Dickens writes of Scrooge: “He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.”

Our wish, both now and in the years to come, is that each Spark who passes through the doors of Embers Academy becomes as good a friend, and as good a man or woman, as God intends them to be. The manger they filled together in these recent weeks is proof that they are well on their way.

On behalf of the faculty and staff, thank you for partnering with us to make this wish a reality. We wish you joy and peace this Christmas season.

See you in the new year!

Christopher Goffos

Blessing of the Infant Jesus

On Monday, Fr. Leo led our Sparks in a special blessing of the school’s Infant Jesus statue, along with additional Jesus figurines students brought from their home mangers. He encouraged our students to continue “wrapping” the Baby Jesus with generous deeds all season long!

Thank You, Mrs. Fernandez!
Our beautiful nativity scene was once again created by Mrs. Frenandez. Thank you for bringing the true meaning of Christmas front and center for our students to appreciate each day!

Sparks Sing-Along

Our PreK Sparks performed a selection of Christmas sing-along songs for their families this past Monday. It was a lively morning, complete with choreography, instruments, and a visit from Santa himself! Our littlest Sparks certainly set the mood for a festive Christmas break.

Flying into the New Year

Before heading off to Christmas Break, our Sparks received a gift from Mr. Goffos and Mr. Boville – their very own Embers wooden glider! Their special “homework” is to build their airplane at home and fly it with a friend.

We would love to see the planes in action! Take a photo and/or video and send it to airplanes@embersacademy.org to be featured in Spark News when we get back from break.

Bringing Christmas Cheer to All

As we wrapped up 2023, our Sparks made it a point to spread Christmas cheer to the less fortunate and lonely.

Kindergarten & 5th Grade made lunches for Uncle Pete’s Ministry.

Together, they made more than 100 sack lunches that will be distributed to families in need.

Mass Buddies from K & 5th went caroling at Ascension Living Resurrection Place.

They sang throughout the halls and even had some residents join them in song!

Christmas Celebrations

Our Sparks enthusiastically celebrated Christmas in the classroom on Tuesday with crafts, games, snacks, and more!

PreK4 built colorful (and delicious!) Gingerbread Houses.

1st Grade enjoyed some “reindeer games”.

2nd Grade got “hooked” on candy cane games.

3rd Grade enjoyed a tasty treat and Christmas movie.


Important Dates:

  • Sunday, December 31: Last Day to Donate to the Annual Fund
  • Thursday, January 4: Classes Resume.

There will be NO afternoon EDP or band on the following dates. Morning EDP will be available.

  • Tuesday, December 19
  • Thursday, January 4
  • Friday, January 5

The Week Ahead:
Now – Wednesday, January 3: No School

-Christmas Break


Upcoming Events:
Sunday, December 31

-Last day to donate to the Annual Fund. Donate here!

Thursday, January 4

-Classes Resume
-NO Afternoon EDP
-NO Band Class


Friday, January 5

-NO Afternoon EDP
-NO Band Class


Friday, January 12

-Spirit Day & Virtue Assembly

Who to Contact

Natalie Donado: School Office Secretary
Uniforms, school supplies, hot lunch, Extended Day Program (EDP), and general questions about the school day.

Sylvia Casaletto: Office Manager
Medical and allergy forms, birth and baptismal certificates, and student records.


Christina Williams: Director Parents Association
All families are welcome to help with the EPA! More information on volunteer opportunities are available here.

Lisa Hanretty: Director of Development
Annual Fund, Extravaganza, and other donation opportunities.

Karen Reardon: Registrar 
Information and questions about myEmbers!

Lelia Harig: Business Office Manager
Tuition and billing questions.

Christopher Goffos: Headmaster

serving students in PK3 through 5th grade

8340 N. Greenwood Avenue,  Niles, IL 60714
www.embersacademy.org  |  847.518.1185  |  info@embersacademy.org

Copyright © 2023 Embers Academy, All rights reserved.

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