By Hazel Brewi – Holy Name Catholic School Administrator
These words embody the goals of Catholic education. As students, families, teachers, and staff return from Christmas vacation and enter a new year, these words can provide direction for everyone as they approach the joys and challenges of this new beginning. Holy Name Catholic School (HNCS) partners with our diocese, parish, families, and community to present students with opportunities that will guide our students on a path to be active members of our community and a force of change in the world.
Our students need both faith formation and academic excellence. HNCS continues to present a dynamic educational program designed to prepare students for the future. This year the school has been blessed with the addition of Anna Sherman as the Director of Religious Education. Students love going to her class and eagerly volunteer for chances to serve and read at school Mass. Our classroom teachers, Diana Coffin, Crystal Vail, Barbara Strote, Joyce Keppinger, and Amanda Pilgrim, work tirelessly to ensure students are gaining the skills and strategies needed for their academic progress. Since 1946, teachers at HNCS have ensured that students get a balance between the integration of faith and positive life skills in the classroom alongside strong academic standards.
Students appreciate weekly opportunities to spend time working on service projects. This year our service projects have included litter clean up around our neighborhood, tidying the church, and visiting the elderly at Peace Health and the Pioneer Home. In the coming months, we will be collecting peanut butter and jelly for the day shelter, continue making visits to the elderly and collect items for Easter care packages to US service members overseas.
Success is an everyday achievement. Even the smallest advance is the first step for students toward a brighter future. The student population at HNCS this school year is vibrant and diverse. Around sixty percent of our elementary students qualify for tuition assistance and Title I funds. With the support of our Title I reading aide, Debbie Nance, many of our students, who struggle with reading, are making marked progress every day. It is a blessing to watch all of our students grow, but particularly those who must put extra effort into their studies being able to persevere.
Success also comes in many forms. It is a core principle of Catholic education that every student, family, and member of our learning community deserves recognition of their dignity as a person and their work.
The dynamic program presented at HNCS integrates the essential skills for life, responsible use of technology, problem-solving, service to others, and self-discipline. Each trimester students who exhibit strong behavior exemplifying skills, caring, cooperation, effort, friendship, initiative, integrity, perseverance, respect, leadership, and responsibility, are honored alongside students who achieve awards for academic excellence.
The HNCS program is only possible with support from Holy Name Parish, the Diocese of Juneau and our sister parishes, and the community, for which we are all thankful. As we work toward improving and expanding the program for next year, we are asking for your continued financial support, ideas, and volunteer time. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” We hope that the continuation of Holy Name Catholic School’s mission will empower our students to be active, thoughtful, and caring members of our community and a powerful force for change in the world.
Hazel Brewi ,
Administrator, Holy Name Catholic School