Any time I walk through a Catholic school I observe what is happening and try to get a feel for the school culture. Do the people in the front office greet guests with warmth and enthusiasm? What is the demeanor of the students? Do the members of the faculty and administration have a spirit of joy on their faces? I am pleased to say that I noticed numerous positive attributes in my short time on the campus of John Paul II Catholic School.
When I was the Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Cheyenne, I appreciated a variety of opportunities to collaborate with school administrators in evaluating their schools and their programs. Some basic questions were key to getting started in our assessments.
1. Who are we as a school community?
2. Why do we exist?
3. How are we unique?
4. What do we do?
5. What do we stand for?
6. Who do we serve?
7. What inspires us?
8. Who do we hope to become?
Being able to answer these questions sets the stage for moving forward with more direct assessments. This eventually results in developing specific plans and objectives for growth and improvement. If these endeavors are to be successful, they must always be wrapped in prayer. We can never forget that our Catholic education and formation is centered on the person of Jesus Christ. If we ever lose that focus we will wander aimlessly with no real purpose.
The grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion, fellowship, and power of the Holy Spirit be with you.