EDITOR’S NOTE: Kathryn Steenberge and Katherine Wegman are students at Siena Catholic Academy in Brighton.
I am so happy and grateful that I am able to go to Siena Catholic Academy. I like being able to pray with my classmates and talk about God while I am at school. We have school Masses and special events like our May Crowning. All of these things help me remember what is really important in life and how I should be living and treating others.
Siena Catholic Academy teachers are special. They teach me more than math, science, language arts, etc. They teach me how to be successful using the talents God has given me. School is difficult with lots of homework and projects, and I have to work hard. But the teachers are always there to help me do my best and be my best. It does not matter how smart I am or how much I know if I am not a good person or do not use my talents to help others. My teachers are helping me learn and grow to be a smart and caring adult who can touch the lives of others and make a difference in the world.
Both of my parents went to Catholic schools. I think they chose to send my brothers and sister and me to Catholic schools because they know the valuable education they both received. They want us to learn in an environment that teaches the same values that they teach at home. A good education involves more than academics, and I think my parents believe a Catholic education will help us learn how to best use the knowledge and skills we achieve in school. I know my parents chose Siena Catholic Academy because it does all these things.
I am so thankful that my parents chose Catholic schools. I have met many new friends at Siena Catholic Academy, and the teachers and administrators are phenomenal. I feel I am getting a great education. I also feel that my teachers and classmates really care about me.
Jan. 28-Feb. 3 was Catholic Schools Week. Siena celebrated the week with a sock drive for Saint’s Place, a refugee center at St. Louis Church; a “Souper Bowl” in which we collected nonperishable goods for a local food cupboard; and a special prayer service. I think these activities help tell the story of my school. My education at Siena involves more than academics. It involves reaching out to others and using what talents and treasures I have to help them. This is why Catholic schools are helping me learn to be all I can be and the best I can be.
I am so thankful for my Catholic-school education.
— Kathryn Steenberge, 7th grade
Catholic schools — we teach it all. How often I think of this phrase and realize just how true it is. At the Catholic schools I’ve attended, I learned much more than my numbers and letters. When the final bell rings on the last day of school in June, I’m sure to have learned much more — about life, love, friendships, and my Catholic values and faith.
Having attended a Catholic school for nearly 11 years, I find that Catholic Schools Week is a fitting way to celebrate the schools that mean so much to me. Not only did I celebrate attending Catholic schools by observing a “dress-down day,” but I also participated in the schoolwide sock drive and “Souper Bowl.” I also proudly celebrated Catholic schools by attending a prayer service in thanksgiving for Catholic schools along with more than 350 of my classmates and teachers at Siena Catholic Academy.
Catholic schools make a lasting impression on people’s lives. Both of my parents chose to send me to Catholic schools because of the fantastic experiences they had at their own Catholic schools as children. Choosing such great schools was a worthwhile decision, and I can never thank my parents enough for allowing me to attend school at such warm, accepting places.
Attending Catholic schools is something I will never regret. I am so thankful to be able to learn about and have a deeper appreciation for my faith through religion classes, prayer before every class and Mass at the beginning of every month. In addition, Catholic schools stress values such as compassion, respect and responsibility so that students can become better people while simultaneously growing closer to God. I’m convinced that the environment at all Catholic schools is one of care and togetherness. Throughout my experience at Catholic schools, the students and faculty have always been a “family,” always caring for and supporting each other. Besides having important values instilled in me and having the opportunity to grow closer to God, Catholic schools like Siena have provided lifelong friends and unforgettable experiences. At what other schools can you become the next “American Idol,” go Christmas caroling to other classrooms, play basketball against your teachers or see your principal ride an electric scooter during recess? Despite the challenging curriculum, classes are sure to be filled with lots of laughter and some very exciting lessons.
I will forever be thankful for Catholic schools because they helped me become who I am. Over the years I’ve not only learned algebra and the causes of the Civil War, but also about how to love God, respect others, be compassionate and laugh often. Catholic schools live up to their motto; they truly do teach it all.
— Katherine Wegman, 8th grade