Steps for Students preparations kick into high gear

January 24, 2017

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School held a kickoff party to encourage students and the school community to participate in Steps for Students. Photo courtesy of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School in Houston.

HOUSTON — Registration is underway for the 12th annual Steps for Students, which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 18, and is comprised of a 5K Run/Walk (8 a.m.), a Post-Race party (9 a.m.) and the Steps Sunrise Mass (6:30 a.m.) at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in downtown Houston. The race is one of the largest Archdiocesan events and brings together all 59 Catholic schools, which are located in the 10 counties of the Archdiocese and serve more than 19,000 students. 

On Feb. 1 at 11 p.m. registration fees increase from $15 to $25 per person. Anyone can register and designate their registration fee and any donations collected to their chosen school team, which will greatly help them reach their fundraising goals. 

“From 11:01 p.m. on Feb. 1 until Feb. 17, registration fees increase to $25 per person, and although you can still designate the fees to your team, it’s really a great idea to get your family and friends registered before that registration fee goes up,” said Dr. Julie Vogel, superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese. “Registering couldn’t be easier, and it only takes about five minutes online. I want to personally invite all school and parish communities, businesses and friends of education to register today for the 12th Annual Steps for Students.” 

School communities are earnestly building their teams.

St. Laurence Catholic School (SLCS) currently has the largest number of registrants with more than 500 people signed up.
Suzanne Barto, principal at SLCS, said the school opened their computer lab in October to allow families the chance to sign up early and support the school.

“There were paper ‘steps’ on the floor with a sign pointing them to the computer lab,” she said. “We thought if we made it easy and had staff available to help on a day when they were all coming up anyway, we would have the most impact. It definitely worked.”
Barto said the school is currently introducing incentives and are hoping that the funds will increase.

“Our incentives this year are geared around getting in ‘shape,’ since that goes with the theme of a race and is typical after the holidays,” she said. “We have drawings for Fitbits at our Catholic Schools Week pep rally and grade level incentives where the students can wear athletic wear or crazy hair. We are hoping that the amount goes up quite a bit in the next few weeks as the excitement builds.”

St. Ambrose Catholic School had the largest team last year with more than 675 members, which included all 300 of its students and about 28 teachers. They are a past winner of the David Guite Spirit Award at the event.

“We are very a closely knit community,” said Judy Fritsch, principal at St. Ambrose. “As a family we like to work together for the betterment of the school. We have generations of families that have been coming here, and as a family we work together and we have a good time.”
To encourage students, Fritsch said they offer fun incentives, including free dress days and a color run.

“It’s very much community spirit,” she said. “We encourage each other and there’s friendly competition among teachers and classes.”

Join the Steps for Students 5K Run community by: 
1. Supporting a school team or individual student by donating to his or her fundraising page;
2. Making a donation directly to Steps for Students (supports Archdiocesan Tuition Assistance); or
3. Signing up to become a volunteer. Volunteer opportunities are open to anyone aged 14 and up (14 to 17 accompanied by an adult). To sign up and help with race day and pre-race day duties, visit

Steps for Students underwriting supports tuition assistance, which allows families to give their students the gift of a quality education that will prepare them for the future and it also allows schools to raise funds for needs in their own communities.

For more including registering, signing up to volunteer and donating, visit