Class of 1991 Alumna, St. Mary's Parent - written in 2014
As both an alumna and a parent of children who currently attend St. Mary’s School, I can attest to the gem that it is.
As a graduate, I was able to assimilate into public high school culture, participate in various sports & clubs, and excel scholastically. The work ethic I developed at St. Mary’s and the confidence in my capabilities that I built there helped me become valedictorian of my Bellevue East class. I earned several scholarships to various universities, including a 4-year full ride Regent’s Scholarship to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. I ultimately decided to take advantage of a scholarship to the University of Norte Dame, where I majored in Psychology, minored in Computer Applications, and graduated with honors. I had a few offers from Fortune 500 companies and accepted one of them. After a couple of years I left that opportunity for another, also a Fortune 500 company.
As a parent, I see in my children what I came to recognize and value in myself - that attending a Catholic elementary school allows them to learn about their faith, live their faith, and grow in their faith as part of their full, normal day. It isn’t compartmentalized. It’s not just something they do once or twice a week. It isn’t an “activity” like all the others fighting for space on the family calendar. It’s an umbrella over everything that they do. Faith formation and religious education begin at home, but it’s such a blessing that when they leave our door and pass through the one at school, what we teach and value is also being taught and valued by the wonderfully talented staff at St. Mary’s.
While there are larger budgets elsewhere that allow for brand new this and brand new that, I take a step back and ask myself what “this” is all for? What are we working toward and is where my kids attend school helping them in that pursuit? Of course I want them to be successful (which can be defined so differently in our society), but what I really want is for them to be responsible, honest, caring, hard working, and selfless. I want them to contribute to their community. I want them to make the world a bit better than they found it. I want them to, in the words of Gandhi, “Be the change they wish to see in the world.” I am so thankful that my husband and I have a partner in St. Mary’s School, to help what we want for our children become a reality.