by Principal Kevin McShane, Holy Trinity School
Sunday, January 29, marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. At Holy Trinity School, we mark the week by celebrating the many people who add so much to our school and the parish generally. While sitting at 9:00 AM Mass on Sunday, you will undoubtedly find yourself surrounded by kids in navy blue shirts!
We celebrate something different each day of the week:
Academics: highlighted by our school spelling bee and a cursive handwriting contest
Community Service: with an assembly from Fr. Bill O’Neill and his work with Jesuit Refugee Service and student service projects.
Parents: with a teacher-sponsored morning coffee and an all-school Mass.
Teachers: when students are invited to dress as one of their teachers.
Students: when we will also be celebrating House Arrupe Day.
Some of you might remember that in the 1990s, Catholic Schools used the marketing phrase, “The Good News in Education.” I believe that mantra is apt today and that HTS is a great example of it. By any measure, our school is thriving. We are fully enrolled; we have robust application pools; our 8th graders continue to matriculate to the finest schools in the area. All of this means our finances are sound so that we are able to pay our share into the parish cost-sharing plan.
At HTS, there is much to celebrate in our daily work. Through the pandemic, our community has remained united and supportive, our students have continued to grow and learn, and our teachers have been exemplary leaders, educators, and role models. We have instituted a new reading curriculum, updated our Spanish program, introduced a Wellness class to process our feelings after coming through the pandemic (Cura Personalis in action), and added more time in our schedule for mathematics. In fact, our current 8th graders had the highest average High School Placement Test scores we have seen in six years. We even compost our lunch leftovers and utensils!
More importantly, our students continue to develop as Young People for Others. Many of our service initiatives are started and led by our students, such as aid to children in Ukraine, a drive for feminine hygiene products, and, of course, every Wednesday, sandwiches for the McKenna Center. Our students seek to serve others in the way that they can best—whether that be our kindergarten class creating Thanksgiving centerpieces for SOME or our 6th graders supporting the parish refugee program through a bake sale this past Fall. Instilling the importance of social justice for our students remains a priority from PreK through 8th grade.
Finally, and most importantly, the Good News, the Gospel, is not only present in the education at HTS, it is at the core of what we do. Our daily prayers and our daily Examen remind us that Love Matters Most and that God loves us all just as we are. Our students not only grow in faith, they do it through the lens of Ignatian Spirituality.
This week and every week, we celebrate our community, being part of the mission of this parish, our terrific students, our supportive and engaged parents, and our world class educators.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!