Volunteering ensures Catholic education remains viable


Sarah Palen began volunteering at Seton Catholic School in Ottumwa about three years ago, when the first of her two sons, Nick, began preschool there. She started out as a helper in Seton’s after-school program and now works as the paid coordinator of that program. Nick, 6, is in kindergarten at Seton and Isaac, 4, attends the all-day preschool.


Sarah’s volunteer efforts at present include the Frost-Free February fundraiser and the school yearbook. She plans to recruit a friend to help her with the yearbook. Sarah’s husband, Richard Palen, is president of the Seton Catholic School Board. In addition, he’ll soon be cooking chili for the Chili Supper fundraiser, scheduled Feb. 4. Over 500 people are expected for the chili supper.

“Volunteering is one way to ensure that Catholic education stays viable in a small community,” Sarah said. “We love to help with as many fundraisers as we can to help offset the cost of tuition.”

She and her husband send their sons to Seton because “we like the smaller class sizes, the family atmosphere, connecting with staff and students, and keeping God at the forefront of the school day.”


—Barb Arland-Fye

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