By Dr. Daryl Hagan, Superintendent of Catholic Schools
Special to The Message
National Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 26-Feb.1) recognizes the value of Catholic education in educating our young people so they can reach their full potential. We acknowledge the vital role of parishes, pastors, administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers in this effort. Moreover, we celebrate our students as they are formed in the faith and acquire the skills needed for the 21st century. A key event each year is “Come and See.” The students and faculty of our 26 Catholic schools invite prospective families to a diocesan-wide open house from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. local time on Thursday, Jan. 30.
Come and see for yourself the difference a Catholic education can make and hear your child say…“I am creative! I am successful! I am prepared! I am committed to service! I am worth it! I am a world changer! I am a disciple of Christ! I am kind! I am a leader! I am smart! I am inspired! I am faithful! I am safe! I am prayerful! I am a problem-solver!”
As a diocese, we have much to celebrate from our accomplishments during the first semester of school. We recognized the 2019 Catholic Educator Award recipient, Holy Trinity Catholic School, for its successful vision and implementation of Catholic education in Dubois County. The school has experienced growth in enrollment, rigorous academics and an increase in parent involvement – all while living out its mission to come to learn and go forth to serve while trusting in Divine Providence.
Academically, students in our diocese continue to score well above the state and national averages. The Diocese of Evansville was in the top 10 school districts with combined scores on ILEARN. Thirteen schools are in year two of implementing the Leader In Me through a generous donation from the Koch Foundation Excellence Grant. Additionally, students competed and earned four state titles (two soccer, one football and one Spell Bowl). Most importantly, all 26 Catholic schools have focused on the diocesan school theme, “Christ – Yesterday. Today. Forever. 75 Years of Living the Faith.” We have responded as disciples of Christ to the #EVDIO75 Challenge in numerous ways that reflect our mission of evangelization.
Contact your local Catholic school and experience the events planned to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week. This week is a great opportunity for all of us to see what our students are accomplishing and thank the pastors, administrators, faculty, staff and volunteers who give so much of themselves to educate our children. I also encourage all new families to come and see for yourselves the difference a Catholic school education can make. Catholic schools are part of our future as a church and nation. May God bless our schools and all who contribute to the important work they do on behalf of the children of our parishes and communities.