Weekly Letter (Oct 23 ’17)

Dear Parents and Students,

As an educator, I can speak to the vast amount of personal time teachers spend thinking about their students and their families. It is not unlike the worry and fears, joy and pride a parent holds for their own child and family.

 On the weekends, as a teacher, I purposefully worked to focus my attention on my own children. As school principal, it is exponentially more difficult to keep such focus. This weekend was not exceptional in my struggle as I made significant mental efforts to pay attention to my 8th grader’s excitement in attending high school open houses and preparing for his Confirmation Commitment Mass.

 Even though it’s my third go around on this particular merry-go-round, it is my first time doing so as Star’s Principal. This title, I am discovering, doesn’t stay in the building on Fridays. And so, throughout the weekend, I bumped into Star families who I otherwise would not yet have met or who have already graduated. Each meeting was as personal and professionally fulfilling as it was unexpected.
While I temporarily lost my 8th grader in the throng of prospective students roaming the high school halls, I realized something.
As we each continue to struggle with all that has changed here at Star, it is equally important to realize and truly see how so much has stayed the same.

  • Star teachers and parents are still deeply committed to the fulfillment our school mission. (The classes’ Gala projects are beautiful!)
  • Our children are excitedly gearing up for Halloween. (All costume rules still apply!)
  • Star’s student leaders are reminding us each to be Active Faith-Filled Christians as they continue to coordinate projects to feed the hungry and gather clothes for those struck by tragedy. (Yes, the emphasis of “new” for the socks & underwear made me laugh.)
  • During Sunday the school and parish Confirmandi gathered at Mass to commit to their special journey toward becoming adults in our Church. (More than once, from both school families and parishioners, I was told how wonderful it was to have school families share in the Mass again.)

It is all of this together which makes us a uniquely Catholic school. For as we are rocked by so much change, this remains constant: Catholic schools are special because our lessons are not about “tolerance.” We teach forgiveness and “love.” We encourage students to have faith in God by assuring them that God has faith in them. Yes, teaching children academics is very important, but pales in the light of teaching a child to accept and share God’s love. This unchanging aspect of our school spirit is embedded in the Sisters of St. Joseph of Corondelet’s charism and is an intrinsic part of Star’s foundation: “We are moving always toward the profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction.”

So, perhaps this is why it is so difficult to separate my thoughts of our school family from those of my own – so much of what is Star is inherently part of my family’s home life, too.

As we embark on the busy-ness of this week, may we each strive to find God’s love in ourselves and seek to discover His loving presence in one another.

Thank you for all you do,

Mrs. Theresa Poon

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