If my math is correct, I am entering my 29th year as a student, teacher, and administrator in Catholic education. From pre-school to grade-school to high-school to college to my job at St. James Academy, I have been through a LOT of Catholic school.
I think there’s something special about Catholic education. I am entering my 11th year at St. James, and the reason I stay is the mission: passing on the Catholic faith to the next generation. This MISSION statement is part of the Great ComMISSION Jesus gave us all: bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. I get to do that for a living. I get to go to Mass, talk about my love for Jesus, and pursue Him within a community, all while on the clock! What a gift.
Another reason I love my job is that I get to meet hundreds of new people every year. These people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds, and each one has their own story. We tell every person who walks in our doors that we will strive to meet their needs the best we can whenever possible, whether the need is for more freedom to pursue passions or extra supports to overcome obstacles. From our Advanced Placement program to our Student Services department, we try to create a community of believers woven together to help each student become the person God created them to be.
This isn’t easy, though. We need organizations like EMBRACE who can provide resources that Catholic schools have so often lacked, both human and material, practical and spiritual. Catholic schools have often said “no” to students with special needs because we feared we couldn’t give them what they need; now we are trying to say “yes!” to students and trust that God will do the rest! It’s a challenge, but one we can continue to tackle together, and it’s just one more way to evangelize the culture with the love of Jesus Christ.