St. Florian seventh-grader fights to save school

2014-01-15T00:00:00Z St. Florian seventh-grader fights to save schoolJennifer Pallay Times Columnist
January 15, 2014 12:00 am  • 

One seventh-grader at St. Florian School has taken action to save the school she loves. Jennifer Dejanovich, a seventh-grader at the Catholic school in Chicago’s Hegewisch neighborhood, started a Facebook page to bring together those who wish to help the school, which is among those to be closed by the Archdiocese of Chicago for financial reasons.

Dejanovich has attended St. Florian since kindergarten and would like to graduate from it after eighth grade like her older sisters.

“All of my three older sisters got to graduate (from St. Florian) and me and my little sister won’t.”

During a meeting Thursday night, parents were told the school would close in June. Dejanovich said her classmates are sad and mad and that one of her teachers, who has taught at the school for 26 years, was crying.

“I love all of the teachers and the classrooms. I’ve been there for a very long time. I can’t imagine leaving the school,” Dejanovich said.

On Saturday, she started a Facebook page titled “Save St. Florian” and by the time we talked Sunday night, the page already had 470 likes.

The page includes St. Florian related news, such as the “save St. Florian” meeting that occurred Tuesday night. It’s also been a place to suggest ideas for fundraisers and other ways to keep the school afloat.

Suggestions included car washes, an online charity, having an antique sale and asking local big businesses like Ford Motor Co. for assistance.

Dejanovich said she wants people to know about the school’s situation and having to close. Those who wish to donate money can contact the school she said. The number is (773) 646-2868.

If St. Florian closes as planned, she is not sure where she will attend eighth grade.

“A lot of people will go to Annunciata (School in Chicago’s East Side neighborhood) but my mom was talking about moving and going to another school,” she said.

A previously planned pancake breakfast fundraiser will still take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Jan. 26 in the school gymnasium. “We’re still going to have it,” Dejanovich said and she encourages people to attend.

St. Florian is the last Catholic school in Hegewisch. It celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2007. Hegewisch’s St. Columba Elementary School closed in 2001.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. She can be reached at

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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