Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week
Pope Francis has said, “educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.” The Greek philosopher Plato wrote: “the object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.” When I consider education through the prism of beauty and love, I absolutely see the faces of our SMSA faculty and staff! What a privilege it is to serve students and families alongside the fine people who take up the craft of classroom teaching and learning on the Ledge everyday. While we can never claim to be a perfect group of educators, I have no doubt that our teachers love their students and sincerely aim to help them recognize and encounter beauty. As Catholic educators, it is especially important to us that our students see life in all its expressions as a beautiful gift from God, and learn to demonstrate personal and communal respect for the dignity of all people.
It has been said that teachers affect eternity because it is impossible to tell if, or when their influence ends. When I think about the teachers who have most influenced my path, I can still hear their encouragement and consult their sage wisdom in my daily efforts as principal. They generously pointed me toward a future career that has been a gift and blessing every week for the past 30 years! I will always be indebted to my teachers.
According to Professor Darwin Martin, “a teacher’s job is similar to that of an electrician…to take a bunch of live wires and see that they are well-grounded.” I know that my favorite teachers helped to ground me as well. They helped me prioritize what was most important, and made sure that my actions matched my values. I see our SMSA faculty and staff serving students in this way daily. They teach lessons of character in the Ledger Way core values as much as they instruct in academic content.
Each year in recognition of dedicated commitment to the art of education and for also exemplifying the ideals of a Catholic education at SMSA, the Cabinet Leadership of St. Mary’s Springs Academy recognizes a high school teacher of the year who has been a leader and made lasting contribution to teaching and learning. Like each year, the name of this teacher will be permanently added to the wall display near our trophy lobby. I am pleased to share that this year’s St. John Baptist de La Salle – Excellence in Education Teacher Award is presented to Mrs. Kathy Bartel!
Also, the Cabinet Leadership of St. Mary’s Springs Academy recognizes a member of the non-teaching professional staff for their contribution to creating a positive, mission driven school culture. I am pleased to share that this year’s St. John Baptist de La Salle – Excellence in Education Staff Award is presented to two wonderful servant leaders, a true dynamic duo: Mrs. Bobbijo Amerling & Mrs. Amy Pickart!
Finally, a hearty thank you to our Parent Connectors who have gone out of their way to make our faculty and staff feel special during this National Teacher Appreciation Week. We have been greeted each day with affirming messages and signs and we have been showered with yummy meals and sweet treats galore! Your collective thoughtfulness has been kindly noted and greatly appreciated!
Exam Schedule and Expectations: May 18th – 21th
Semester II Exams will be administered in-person for all students this May. The following details have been finalized and shared with all students. Homeroom teachers are taking time to review each document with students.
With only seven days of classes remaining before exams, we ask the good Lord for the grace and peace to finish the school year well. May our Ledgers and their teachers feel God’s loving presence as they conclude their time together.
Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us!
Be well, God bless.
Eamonn O’Keeffe, Principal Grades 9-12