If she was a bit nervous, nobody who was watching in person or at home could tell.

Five-year-old Verena Belldina was one of the many students who dazzled during St. Louise de Marillac School’s annual talent show, held Feb. 5 as the culminating event of Catholic Schools Week.

“She decided all on her own to sign up for that, picked out her outfit and did a dance she learned from Borelli’s dance school in Bethel Park,” said Seashal Belldina, Verena’s mother. “I thought she was so brave for a 5-year-old to do that.”

Seashal joined other parents of students at the Upper St. Clair school in watching a live stream of the talent show, as staff and faculty members organized an event that continues St. Louise’s commitment to everyone’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Principal Ken Klase served as master of ceremonies for the talent show, which featured students served up an assortment of song, dance and comedy during a thoroughly entertaining afternoon.

Some highlights included sixth-grade teacher Katie White and her first-grade daughter, Penny, wrapping up their dance by trying to teach it to their principal, and fifth-grader Betty Glyptis playing “upside-down piano,” with her lying face-up on the bench while her fingers extended backward, playing her piece flawlessly.

The event also provided opportunities for students who are learning remotely to participate from their homes.

At St. Louise, students were treated to numerous other special activities during Catholic Schools Week, such as bingo and trivia games, character storytellers and a visit from the Kona Ice truck.

The week also celebrated the school’s resilience during the pandemic, as it has been open for all but a few days of in-person instruction during this most challenging of academic years.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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