National Catholic Schools Week was celebrated January 31 to February 6, 2021. Catholic Schools Week is a time when schools celebrate their uniqueness and their communities.  Special events, projects, and masses take place to honor the gift of the Christ and service-centered education available at Catholic schools.

Often during Catholic Schools Week, schools host open houses or welcome families for guided tours. For families looking to find the best school for their children, this is a critical time.  While schools often showcase special programs, like art, music, or athletics, this year’s overwhelming sentiment is that the greatest asset of a Catholic school is its people.

“Teachers are the unsung heroes,” shared Donna Lauro, Principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Scottsdale.  Mrs. Lauro has been a teachers’ aide, teacher, principal, and parent at OLPH, making it her second home for many years.  Her love for the school and its community runs deep, but this year she is singing the praises of her teachers even more loudly than usual.

Lauro expressed her gratitude for her teachers as immeasurable, and stated, “I have witnessed a dedication to teaching that extends beyond a 12-hour day.  There are teachers meeting virtually with students before and after school, they are working through lunch, they open their classrooms earlier than they ever have before, and their creativity with the few who may be remote is remarkable.  I wish I could repay them one hundredfold!”

Sister Joanie Nuckols, BVM, Principal of Xavier College Prep, is amazed by her teachers’ innovation and care for the students throughout the past year.  She marveled at teachers’ work by stating, “My hat’s off to each and every teacher!  Students have been fully engaged and learning thanks to teachers’ uses of a variety of techniques that keep educational quality and integrity intact.”

Sister Mary Jordan Hoover, O.P, Principal of St. John Paul II Catholic High School in Avondale, reflected on the work of the faculty at her school this year with pride and gratitude.  She stated, “Nobody would call teaching during a pandemic easy.  There are so many challenges, especially for the online students.  Teachers have modeled a commitment to learning as they learned new ways to reach and to teach students.  Several of our teachers, in embracing the situation of hybrid instruction, quoted Saint Joan of Arc who said, ‘I am not afraid for God is within me; I was born to do this.’”

God bless all the teachers!

To learn more about the Catholic Schools in the Diocese in Phoenix, visit this link.