Growing up, my parents made it clear that to get anywhere in life, you need to set goals, have a strong work ethic, and be honest with God and yourself. Being raised in a Catholic family, my parents placed a lot of emphasis on the value of education and faith. My sister and I both attended St. Mary’s Regional School and Lebanon Catholic High School in Lebanon, PA. We attended Mass every Sunday as a family. My parents made sacrifices over the years to send us both to Catholic grade school and high school. And to them, I am extremely grateful.
I received a great education in Catholic school. My grade school and high school became more of an extended family, we grew up together very much like siblings. We had a daily routine of prayer and respect for God and the church. It was a safe environment with small classes and one-on-one interaction with teachers. Our classes were lessons with those of morals and good behavior.
I attended Alverna University, a small Catholic College in Reading, PA. I graduated with a BA in Elementary Education. After college, I moved to South Jersey and began my teaching career at St. Nicholas in Egg Harbor City. After 3 years, I returned to my home town and began teaching P.E. at St. Joan of arc in Hershey and Price of Peace in Steelton. I later returned back to South Jersey where I began teaching at St. Vincent de Paul.
I love teaching in a Catholic school. I love the closeness that our school provides. I love being able to teach religion daily and provide my students with the same foundation my parents were able to provide for me. St. Vincent’s is a school that is faith-filled, family-centered. We are true to our Catholic tradition. Children learn to serve others.
I am also very fortunate that my two daughters, Riley and Makenzie, attend St. Vincent’s. There was never a doubt that when I had children, they would attend Catholic school. I wanted them to experience what I had.
I send my daughters to Catholic school because a child, once shy to speak in class, is soon becoming whole while reading prayer intentions at the school mass.
Because you may find your child apologizing at the end of the day for something she said at the beginning of the day simply because of what she learned in religion class.
Because teachers, staff and students show up to help serve a Thanksgiving meal to those less fortunate.
Because your principal knows the students and cheers them on by name.
Because teachers, parents and students pray for and rally around a family member who was sick, a baby soon to be born, or saying goodbye to a classmate.
You see, our Catholic school is more than just a school. It is a deeply invested community. And in a world, grown increasingly cold and harsh, a community of faith and warmth is an immeasurably important springboard in these young kids’ lives, and in ours.
Undoubtedly, St. Vincent’s prepares the mind. But, by God it prepares the soul as well. Catholic schools are proud of what our kids do, but love them for who they are.
If you are considering a school community for your child that is rich in academics and routed in faith, please consider calling, visiting or touring St. Vincent’s. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed!