As we enter Catholic Schools’ Week, I want to take a moment to thank you for your dedication to St. John LaLande School. I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach your child. Your family’s choice to devote your trust, time, talents, energy, finances, and, of course, your most precious gift, your child(ren), to this fine establishment is so appreciated.
I am, admittedly, more than a little sentimental about St. John’s. It’s a school that grabbed me in thirteen years ago with the chance to substitute teach for Kelley Knust’s 3rd grade class. After not too many days here, I knew there was something about St. John’s which entrusted my heart & my future, along with my children’s (whom I did not yet have), to this special school. And that special something was and IS God’s love. I continue to feel it strongly today, 13 years later, when I walk the halls and teach in these classrooms.
You see, I’m a product of a very strong public school system. You will not hear me utter negative words about public schools; I am grateful for my own educational experiences. But after I came to know Catholic education here at SJL, it became so clear to me that I was missing something, and that something was faith with my education. I took hundreds of hours of French and Spanish, hundreds of hours, and they were wonderful. I don’t seem to speak French and Spanish very often these days; yet I use my faith every hour of each and every day. I learned in classrooms with cutting edge technology. Technology is wildly important, but how important is it if one cannot teach Christian morals and values that are necessary to have with the power of technology? Google and Siri can get me through most of my technological queries. Google and Siri do not help me navigate through moral dilemmas or tough times, yet my Catholic faith does.
As our world grows increasingly secular, it is a breath of fresh air to watch my own children, your children, and every child who attends this school participate in Adoration, weekly Mass, Confession, pray the Rosary, pray before snacks and meals, recite morning prayer, and so on. I am NOT implying that we are perfect; I do not turn a blind eye to our weaknesses. But knowing that our strength is our faith, well, folks, that is how I hold my head high and know I am doing what’s best for my own children and for yours. We may not be the right educational establishment for every child, yet I’m confident we are the best for yours and for many more whom I pray will find our doors.
Thank you for all of the sacrifices you have made and will continue to make to give your child a Catholic education. You will not begrudge one dime or one hour you’ve given this school when your babes are raised into happy, holy, educated, well rounded young men and women. I am now and will remain eternally thankful to you. For if you did not choose this school, I could not teach here. Thank you and God bless!
With Much Respect and Love,
Mrs. Jennie M. Gaffney