By Samuel Torres
The end of the school year is only a glance away. Graduating students from 8th and 12th grade anticipate their new journeys. Seniors will give final notification of acceptance by May 1 and ponder their next academic commitment, while 8th grade students have already discerned high school placements.
This is the time of year when parents and students voice the sentiment that their Catholic education has been an invaluable gift. A reflection on personal challenges and triumphs leads many to reflect on the possibilities provided by excellent instruction, faith formation and nurturing academic communities provided by our schools. This year and the preceding years have contained many small steps, and a daily commitment that culminates in the celebrated graduation. The careful attention to teaching the intellectual and spiritual dimensions of our students in a caring community is realized by student, parent, teacher, and administrator who joyfully send graduates into the next phase of development.
Each of our graduating seniors has completed the A-G college and university academic requirements needed for competitive four-year college acceptance. This standard is realized through dedicated faculty and administrators ensuring that curriculum aligns from kindergarten through 12th grade. Given this opportunity, our students do indeed have options in pursuing higher education. While attending our Catholic schools, our students have been encouraged and guided to develop a significant work ethic and are provided many opportunities to develop and dream the possibility of their futures.
Catholic schools date back to the 1800s and have undergone many challenges. In his book History of United States Catholic Schooling, Father Harold Buetow remarks that Catholic schools are a “miracle of U.S. society.” He is referring to the survival of Catholic education through the many challenges the church and schools have undergone in keeping our Catholic schools available and relevant to our families and students. Our history and the challenges of our current day have made us stronger and ever more committed to remain available for students of our time. As a diocesan community, we renew our commitment to support students attending our Catholic schools and celebrate our graduates who confidently reach out to the next level of education with faith.
Samuel Torres is Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of San Bernardino.