It has been a fascinating six months since I started as the Executive Director of Saint Albert Catholic Schools. The communications office of the Diocese of Des Moines asked me to write an article about implementing the strategic plan at Saint Albert. I have written and submitted it to them. Hopefully, it will appear in whole, or at least in part, in the upcoming edition of the diocesan newspaper. I wish to give you an early look at it.
Producing Abundant Fruit
No grass has been growing under our feet at Saint Albert Catholic Schools. We have been on the move implementing initiatives that will lead us into a dynamic and thriving future. Catholic education is strong in Southwest Iowa.
The last six months have seen numerous changes at Saint Albert. New leadership at multiple levels has resulted in a dynamic team approach to governance. This has brought unity among the school community. That is no small feat when you are talking about an institution that goes from six weeks of age through grade twelve.
Catholic identity has already been enhanced with some simple additions. One of the favorite additions is school-wide prayer offered each morning via the intercom. This unity of the whole school sets the tone for each classroom to then pray in a more intimate fashion in their own room and at the appropriate age level. Specific endeavors such as this help demonstrate the unity of the Body of Christ.
Academic excellence is essential. The leadership team evaluated existing data to determine next steps in building and enhancing our academic product. Some ideas have already been implemented because of these assessments. One example is an ACT test preparation course for our high school students. Equipping students to do their best in school and in life is the ultimate goal.
The fine arts program has already seen multiple enhancements with four new pianos and a new electronic keyboard. The emphasis on the fine arts program was put on display in December as we produced an all-school Christmas festival. This was much more than a concert featuring both band and choral members. It was a celebration of faith from the childcare center all the way through high school.
STEM programs have received a huge boost in recent months. Successful grant writing and other fundraising endeavors have made this possible. New computers, 3-D printers, and supplies for robotics competitions are just the beginning of what we hope to see down the road.
A large facility such as Saint Albert requires a significant amount of maintenance. A facilities manager was hired to oversee this important function. Our external curb appeal and internal environment have both improved because of this addition.
Finally, it takes money to keep the school up and running efficiently and effectively. Thus, an intentional effort has been directed toward establishing a development and advancement office. We hired an advancement person and an alumni relations person to launch a new and vibrant outreach to our alumni and supporters. Staying connected to the people invested in our school and community is vital. We are now poised to do that much more effectively.
No grass is growing under our feet, but we are producing an abundance of good fruit at Saint Albert Catholic Schools.