In August, school leaders from across the 10 county Archdiocese of Milwaukee convened with leadership from the Office for Schools. While our meeting was practical and logistical in many regards, it was also a terrific opportunity to reflect together on our core mission as Catholic schools. Dr. Kathleen Cepelka, superintendent of schools, and Springs graduate of the class of ’65, reminded us of the defining characteristics of Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Here they are, with some brief description of what the characteristic expects schools to strive for:
1) Evangelizing with the Church. We are not private schools with independent agendas, rather we have a unified mission rooted in the Gospel. As such, we urge our students and families to engage with parish communities as well as the school community.
2) Distinguished by Excellence. We pay attention to details, are places of order and beauty and strive always for the better. The mission is evident in actions and culture.
3) Educating the Whole Person. We are spiritual, intellectual, social, moral and physical beings. We are all dignified children of God, made in the image of our creator. All students are recognized and affirmed by name each day.
4) Accessible to All. We strive to be inclusive learning communities in every dimension, and our goal of accessibility is evident in enrollment, hiring and academic strategies.
5) Steeped in a Catholic Worldview. Catholic Social Teachings are integrated across the curriculum and into student life experiences. We strive to develop compassion and empathy within students as well as global consciousness about our human connectedness.
6) Sustained by Gospel Witness. School leaders, teachers, coaches, counselors and parents should strive to be role models of moral and prayerful people, teaching by our lives more than by our words.
7) Shaped by Communion and Community. We strive to be learning communities of faith, love and care. Visitors observe “see how they love one another.”
8) Centered in Jesus Christ. We are schools where all educators and parents grow in relationship with Jesus. We embrace Jesus as a partner in our midst.
At SMSA, we aspire to be an exemplary Catholic school, one that embraces the call of these characteristics as we shape our life together on the Ledge!
Our Lady of the Ledge, pray for us.