Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A biased review

     In preparation for Catholic Schools Week, I was asked by our local Queen of Angels School principal to work on a short essay describing five facets of our school community.  This would be for our diocesan newspaper, the CATHOLIC ACCENT, and would be limited to 150 words.  I cannot even get started in 150 words, so I put my thoughts on paper yesterday (600 and some words) and then condensed to a more reasonable 199 words -thank God for word count on the computer).  I thought that I might share the "longer version" with you today.  We are very proud of our regional school.


     As we proudly celebrate our twentieth year of excellence as Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School serving the Penn Township, Herminie, Irwin and North Huntingdon area, we are gratefully rooted in nearly one hundred and fifty years of Catholic School identity, spiritual strength and academic excellence in schools at Immaculate Conception, Saint Agnes and Saint Edward.  Our strengths and our challenges help to build a school community that embraces the theme for this year of "Raising the Standards".  Raising the standards of our educational and formational program is readily embraced in order that we can become bearers of the standard of our faith in both Church and society.  The world of today and tomorrow needs leaders who are standard bearers of the Gospel message and examples of Christ centered lives.  We strive to provide those standards through lived experiences, strong academics, and creative roles of service among families and within the community.

     In looking at what we do in order to describe who we are, we find that what we do, which some may find extraordinary, are seen as very ordinary to us.  We see them as normal rather than exceptional.  That, too, is a part of our strength, for our task as leaders is to transform the ordinary into something extraordinary, and in doing so, to make living a Christian life very ordinary indeed.

     Since actions speak louder than words at times, our areas of outreach and service include participating in school-wide and family oriented service activities for hospitals, service personnel, shelters, nursing homes, the needy, both locally and in Kentucky and for hurricane Sandy victims, and food bank projects, to name just a few.

     These service projects help us develop our Catholic identity, along with a very Catholic spirit within the school building and programs.  Included are daily religion classes, weekly liturgies and prayer services, seasonal prayers and activities as well as great uniforms that proudly reflect who we are.

     This Catholic identity is possible through our Faith Formation which integrates songs, stories, bible knowledge and Catholic prayer into daily curriculum, along with formal and informal teaching approaches into such formation.  We are blessed with the active participation of our priests in the school, and in teaching in the Middle School curriculum.

     Our extracurricular activities are many, and in a special way touch upon not only athletics but also the development of the fine arts programs.

     Lastly, but most importantly, our academic excellence continues to be outstanding.  Thanks to a tremendous faculty and administration, all of the children are treated with respect and value.  Our test scores are great, evaluations are positive, achievements on many levels outstanding, and a great spirit among students, faculty, parents and administration provide top quality academic standards.

     Queen of Angels School is justifiably proud of her twenty years of existence, and is firmly committed to the future development of our students.

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