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The Nest Fund for Teacher Development and Retention

How can you express appreciation and gratitude for a teacher who has educated and inspired so many? A group of alumni from classes as generationally diverse as the sixties, the early 2000s and 1990s understood that teacher salaries at Kennedy Catholic prove to be a huge challenge for our dedicated educators. Led by parents and alumni and current President Melissa (D’Amore) and Matt Joseph, the group has raised $10,000 with a goal of $25,000, to earn a matching grant of $25,000. This will seed an endowment to award our teachers what they have earned.


  • The average Kennedy Catholic teacher earns 45% less than their public school counterparts.
  • The Dioceses of Erie has had to greatly reduce financial support, and teachers are feeling the impact.
  • Continuing education for teachers helps to create a positive work environment.

While our initial goal is $25,000, we want to raise more. Of course the larger the initial investment in the endowment, the more generously we can draw down to award our teachers. This effort will be an ongoing, open giving opportunity. Thank you in advance. To donate online, scroll to the online giving form below.


We are so thankful to all of our donors who contributed to The Nest Fund for Teacher Development and Retention. With your generosity, we will be able to support our teachers with increased professional development opportunities, income bonuses, and instructional resources. By helping our teachers, we in turn help our students.
The Nest Fund is an ongoing campaign. Our hope is to see the fund continue to grow so we can provide even greater assistance to our faculty. The Nest Fund is addressing a very real need in the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools. If you have not taken the opportunity to contribute, we ask you to prayerfully consider doing so today.

Questions? Contact Melissa Joseph, President at

A gift to the Kennedy Catholic Annual Eagle Campaign is an easy way to help our students. As in all Catholic and independent schools, fundraising bridges the gap between tuition and the actual cost of educating your child. As a small independent school, we have many needs that are not covered by tuition, but that are necessary for the stellar education you expect.

Our commitment to enrich each child’s spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development has never wavered through the pandemic. But its’ challenges have taken a financial toll. Each year we hold fundraising events like the Play for the K, our Gala and our annual appeal request (Kennedy Catholic Annual Campaign) to benefit general operating and scholarship funds. Because of COVID-19 restrictions in 2020, we were unable to hold these events.

A gift to the Kennedy Catholic Annual Eagle Campaign is your opportunity to get involved and make a difference. This year, all donations will go toward the initiatives of tuition assistance and COVID-19 mitigation. Thank you for your consideration in supporting the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools. The support of donors is vital to our success in carrying out our mission:

“The Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools is a regional college preparatory Roman Catholic school system, from Preschool through Grade 12. We are committed to providing spiritual inspiration, exceptional academics and extra-curricular activities as all of us strive “to serve Christ” (Christo Sevire).”

Please contact President Melissa Joseph, with any questions or to learn more about ways you can support our mission. Other ways to give can be found here.

Testimonial from the Miller Family

We transitioned Glenn to a Kennedy Catholic in 8th grade as we wanted him to get comfortable with the school before the important high school years.  The transition was very easy for him.  Everyone made him feel comfortable and his grades were better than we all expected.

When the transition to remote learning took place our local public school took 2 weeks to begin learning from home.  Kennedy was ready in a day.  After the first week of everyone adjusting to the new learning environment Glenn excelled and made highest honors the second two grading periods.

Glenn really enjoyed his teachers and they were readily available to him during the remote learning experience.

– The Miller Family: Dr. Glenn, Roberta and Glenn
Current KCHS Parents

Testimonial from the Gealy Family

The dedication of the faculty at SJPII has always been exceptional, however it was on full display throughout this past year. Mrs Tiefenthal was available whenever we had questions- not just during typical school hours. The classes that were continued transferred seamlessly to remote learning. We especially enjoyed the zoom story times and virtual field trips. I believe that we were given enough tools to keep our children on track and in a way that I was not left feeling overscheduled. This was important to me because as I worked from home and at the office, we were able to complete the assignments at our convenience. I take comfort in knowing that the Kennedy Catholic Family of Schools has proved the ability to adjust the classroom accordingly to these uncertain times.

-The Gealy Family: Michelle and Maryleigh
Current SJPII Parent

Testimonial from the McGoff Family

I’m so thankful for the St John Paul II elementary family! The teachers are wonderful and go above and beyond to help all of their students. The teachers are easily accessible for questions or problems. Because the parent teacher connection is so great, the transition to remote learning was so smooth. Messages from the school and teachers were received multiply times a week to keep us updated.

– The McGoff Family: Robert, Elizabeth, Isabella, Gabriella and Mirabella
KCHS Alumni and SJPII Parents

Testimonial from the Rosa Family

The thing that stands out to us in addition to an amazing education, is the family feeling you get from being part of this school system. Starting with the teachers and administrators, they go above and beyond to make sure each student is getting exactly what they need to succeed. Whether it is the principal putting on a band-aid or a devoted teacher staying after school and working during the summer tutoring a struggling child. They really care. We are so happy we chose the KCFS for our children.”

– The Rosa Family: Lewis, Elizabeth, Abby and Andrew
Former KCFS Board & Committee Member & KCFS Parents

Testimonial from Carol Shields, M.D.

“Kennedy Catholic welcomed me into its wonderful nurturing environment. Kennedy planted the seed of my career and taught me discipline, integrity, and loyalty – 3 assets for success. That opened the door to an excellent University, then Medical School, and now blossomed into a top tier medical practice in Philadelphia. My roots remain at Kennedy.”

– Carol L. Shields M.D., Class of 1975
Ocular Oncology Service, Co-Director Wills Eye Hospital