By Megan Erbacher
The Message assistant editor
What better way to start your day than with coffee and a breakfast bite, according to Laurie Schopmeyer, interim principal of St. Benedict Cathedral School.
Across the Diocese of Evansville, prospective students and their families were invited to visit diocesan Catholic schools, which hosted various Take a Tour Tuesday events, similar to an open house, on Nov. 14. St. Benedict offered visitors coffee and donuts, tours of the school, and an opportunity to learn more about Catholic education and financial aid.
“Visiting the school during the day allows families to observe the daily operations and experience the overall atmosphere,” Schopmeyer said. “By considering our families' needs, we can ensure that everyone can see our school in action and discover firsthand why they should choose St. Benedict for enrollment!”
St. Benedict is located at 530 S. Harlan Avenue in Evansville. Schopmeyer said open houses are vital in creating a positive and informed educational experience.
“They allow for interaction, exploration and dialogue between schools, prospective students, and their families, contributing to a smooth transition into the school community,” she said.
Jennifer Stute, the school’s Parent Teacher Organization president, was available during the event to offer tours of the school and answer questions.
Stute, a Reitz Memorial High School graduate, recalled fond memories of growing up and attending 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Benedict Cathedral with her family, then enjoying lunch at her grandma’s house. Her grandma, who is 97 years old, played a big role in Stute’s decision to send her twin children, Mason and Lainey, to a Catholic school.
“Not only is the education amazing, and the teachers are amazing, but I see that my kids have a full understanding of their Catholic faith because they attend a Catholic school,” she said. “They have a much more well-rounded understanding of their faith and what their faith means. I think that’s huge.”
Stute enjoys attending Mass with her kids, who are in fifth grade and have attended St. Benedict since prekindergarten.
“That’s my favorite,” she said. “Seeing the kids so excited to talk to Father Alex (Zenthoefer), answer his questions and be involved in Mass.”
St. Benedict is like a second home for Stute’s children.
“I feel safe with them here,” she said. “They love coming here, and they love their teachers and the environment. Those things are very important, that they see these welcoming faces, smiles and people on an everyday basis because this is their second family.”
Schopmeyer has served as an educator in Diocese of Evansville Catholic schools for 24 years.
“My passion for teaching and my current interim (principal) position allow me to incorporate and communicate my Catholic faith daily when making educational decisions for students and families,” she said. “I enjoy making positive connections with students. My approach to conversations involves empathy and a sincere commitment to assisting students in achieving success.”