Finding a school that fits a child's needs can be difficult, but when you find the perfect fit, it makes the long drive worth it. Students at St. Rita come from beyond the greater Cincinnati area including Dayton and its surrounding suburbs. Josiah, an 8th grader, travels 2 hours' round trip to attend St. Rita. "Josiah needed a school that would challenge him. We wanted him to get more attention and the class size was smaller than other schools," said Ann Voorhees.
With small class sizes, individualized instruction, and direct communication through American Sign Language (ASL), the Voorhees feel that Josiah has flourished since enrolling at St. Rita.
As an extracurricular activity, Josiah joined the chess team at St. Rita. "Playing chess helps me think and process information better," Josiah stated. The St. Rita chess team put their skills and talents to the test and competed against four other schools in their first tournament at Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (WPSD).
The first day of the tournament, the St. Rita team was nervous but their confidence grew as they started to win matches. In the final game, Josiahy was up against the top player on the WPSD team. It got down to each player having two pawns, a rook, and a king left on the board as everyone anxiously watched. Unfortunately, Josiah lost but his coach, Jon Berscheit, was impressed with his skill during the game. "I'm very proud of him, he almost beat the #1 player in the WPSD tournament. Josiah is only an 8th grader and his opponent was na 11th grader." The St. Rita team landed 2nd place and are looking forward to going to the tournament again next year.