HARTFORD – SS. Cyril and Methodius School has received $1 million from an anonymous donor.
According to principal Joy Chlus, the school, which she said has provided a quality, faith-filled education to city students for more than 100 years, will spend considerable time determining how the money can best be used.
"When I received the news from the archbishop [Henry J. Mansell], it was like we hit the lottery," said Mrs. Chlus. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime windfall, and we need to give thoughtful consideration to how to spend the donation wisely."
She said, "We can definitely use the money to expand and improve our programs, and [for] tuition assistance." She described the school as "a very diverse community with very diverse needs."
Father Adam Hurbanczuk, pastor of SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish, said the gift could possibly go toward expanding the school’s academic programs and buying technological equipment.
He said he hopes that making such improvements would help to increase student enrollment.
Mrs. Chlus said the current enrollment is at about 120 students, who attend prekindergarten through eighth grade, but that the gift may help that number grow.
"I’d like to shoot for 200. That’s my goal."
The same anonymous donor contributed $2 million to St. Augustine School in March 2011. Since then, St. Augustine has experienced a renaissance. The school has enhanced its Spanish and music programs, expanded its after-school activities and made much-needed repairs to its classrooms and playground. It also has seen its enrollment double.
Dale R. Hoyt, superintendent of Catholic schools, said he envisions the same success for SS. Cyril and Methodius.
"We are deeply grateful to the anonymous donor whose generosity will make such a positive impact on Saints Cyril and Methodius School. This gift will allow a wonderful school to further enhance its excellent offerings and attract more interested families to the high quality of its educational program. The benefits of [the] Saints Cyril and Methodius elementary school experience are numerous and will be further multiplied by the blessing of this welcome philanthropic contribution," said Mr. Hoyt.
SS. Cyril and Methodius School first opened in 1904 on Governor Street to 117 children in two classes. Felician Sisters, who still are at the school, arrived the next year.
The current school opened in 1923.
Information about SS. Cyril and Methodius School is available online at