Catholic School Matters Top Five

Last week, I launched the New Catholic Schools series–15 podcasts in all focusing on new construction and new developments in Catholic Schools.  It’s important that we recognize that there are places where Catholic schools are expanding and thriving.  Last week’s podcasts included the stories behind St. Michael’s HS outside Mobile, St. Eliz Ann Seton HS in South Carolina, St. Michael the Archangel HS in KC, St. Ignatius Elementary outside Boise, and St. Francis Catholic School in beautiful Billings, Montana.

On Monday, I’ll talk to Sara Alkayali, the founding principal and ACE  Remick leader of Frassati Catholic Academy in Denver.  This is an entirely new Catholic school in its 1st year is growing and Sara has a great story to tell about their adoption of the classical model.

On Tuesday, I’ll talk to both Paul Gagliarducci (Project Manager) and Dr. Paul Harrington (Head of School) for Pope Francis High School in Springfield, Massachusetts.  After one Catholic high school in Springfield was destroyed, the decision was made to build an entirely new consolidated high school.  It’s a story of overcoming devastation and of consolidation, too.  The new school will open this fall and will be the biggest Catholic school construction project in the country.

On Wednesday, I’ll talk to Nick Morgan, the founding principal of Epiphany of Our Lord Catholic School outside of Houston.  He’ll share the plans for the school (scheduled to open this fall) and his vision for learning.

On Thursday, I’ll talk to John Rocha, the founding Head of School for Ozark Catholic Academy, scheduled to open its doors this fall in rural Tontitown, Arkansas.  The school represents a long-time dream for Northwest Arkansas.

On Friday, I’ll talk to Annette Zaleski, the founding principal of the new St. Jeanne de Lestonnac High School in Temecula, California.  The school is scheduled to open this fall.

You can always subscribe to the podcast here.

Top 5:

Happy President’s Day!  I hope you are enjoying this little mini-break.  This week, I’m continuing to focus on new Catholic schools in my blog and podcasts but am also presenting some great educational articles.

  1. At the top of the American Catholic News section, there is a great feature story on Dr. RaeNell Houston, the superintendent for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Listen to my podcast interview from last fall with Dr. RaeNell here.
  2. As the immigration debate rages, Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners has a great article examining the Christian ethos of immigration reform. Replacing a family-based immigration system with a merit-based system has implications for our values.  Is economic value the best way to value citizenship?
  3. 6 School Culture Building Components,” a blog by Dr. Toby Travis, is a great reflection on building school culture. There’s a little bit of insight for everyone in this.
  4. I recommend you read the editorial “Gun Control is a Pro-Life Issue” as well as the NPR article entitled “Is There Any Way for Schools to Prevent Shootings?” and the story of the victims “Musician, Budding Scholars, Wrestling Coach, Soccer Player Among Fla. Shooting Victims.” We need to do a little bit of everything—put the story in context, figure how we can improve school security, and grieve the loss of our fellow Americans.  Gun violence is not a technical problem with a simple fix.  But that doesn’t mean we should give up trying to resist this “new normal” which has become a ritual for disaffected teens.

Have a great week!