Saint James Catholic School staff named ‘community heroes’


October 3, 2018


ARLINGTON, Va. –  Thomas Polera, Chief Fire Marshal and Emergency Manager for the City of Falls Church, has nominated Fr. Patrick Posey, Pastor; Rich Blickendorfer, Business Manager; Sr. Mary Sue, Principal; and the entire staff of Saint James Catholic School for Employees/Community Heroes of the 3rd Quarter of 2018.   “St. James Catholic School and its church community have been instrumental in the support of forwarding emergency management principles within the school and church campus setting,” said Mary Gavin, Chief of Falls Church Police.

According to Police Chief Gavin:

  • Every year without delay Saint James Catholic School coordinates a back-to-school meeting with the Falls Church Public Safety Team to explore all needs, goals and new best practices.

  • Each year, Sr. Mary Sue, principal, and her staff enhance their toolkit for safety and engage all human, technological and physical assets to fortify the campus for the utmost safe, healthy and enriching environment.

Additionally, Saint James Faculty and staff received the latest training in August for intruder/active shooter response measures.  They were the first entity in the City of Falls Church to receive such training.  In the attached photo Tom Polera, Emergency Manager for the City of Falls Church (white shirt) instructs members of the faculty in the appropriate measures to take down an intruder (Pictured Lt. Joe Carter of the FCPD)

The Leadership at Saint James also graciously allowed the Falls Church Police Department to utilize their classroom/ lecture space to teach Falls Church City Employee ALICE training amongst many other community events throughout the year. “Fr. Posey, Rich Blickendorfer, and Sr. Mary Sue have demonstrated selfless, compassionate and strategic leadership in their efforts at Saint James, and it has become a model example of cooperation which supports the entire Falls Church community,” said Gavin.