Some will say I’m a hypocrite and question why pay for education when I will have to pay for college. I went to catholic school from grades first through twelfth. I think part of the reason was because our church and school was across the street from our home growing up. I have been asked many times why as a public school educator I enrolled Harrison in a Catholic School. The reason goes deeper than you think.
I never stepped inside a public school until I taught in one. Catholic school was a perfect fit for me. I didn’t mind wearing the same uniform everyday. I enjoyed praying before school started. We went to mass every week as an entire school. If felt like family.
See I just didn’t attend Catholic school we were raised catholic. I was so excited when I became an altar server. But I never wanted to be a nun. I went to St. Bartholomew and Our Lady Queen of Heaven for elementary school. Those eight years of catholic schools helped me. I was the kids who needed to pray, who wasn’t afraid to say a special intention aloud. I thank God for the sacrifice that my family made for us.
Since my sissy went to Bishop Foley, that meant that I had to go to Bishop Foley for high school. I am so glad that I did. I am still in contact with friends from first grade all the way through high school. In high school I was the only black person in the class of 1990. That was a positive experience for me. I never thought I was better than anyone else because I went to school in the suburbs. But I learned to interact with a diverse group of people. I learned about other heritages and customs.
Rob was the one that actually pushed for Harrison to attend St Hugo. He set up the interview with Sr. Margaret and took the tour and brought me all of the information. It bothered me that Sydney couldn’t have that experience, but she had a different road to travel.
God knew that Harrison would need St. Hugo over the next several years. He made friends quickly. He enjoyed going to mass and was always concerned with the community service projects that they did. We met some amazing families and teachers. I even connected with my friends from high school and their children. St. Hugo was our place of refuge. It was our rock.
One day Harrison let his emotions flow and he told me that he didn’t want to leave his school and his church. He said he was supposed to go to Brother Rice with his friend Eli. He wasn’t trying to hurt my feelings, he was expressing his emotions and I had to respect that. When we moved to Delaware I found a catholic school for Harrison, it was 45 minutes away. I knew that he would need more help and spiritual guidance because of the move and the divorce. I enrolled him in Holy Cross. When I wasn’t working I could take him to school and also drop Sydney off to school. Then I would do parent pick up dismissal for both kids. It was great to be there for my children.
When I was blessed with a full time teaching job. Harrison started public school in middle school. It took time for him to adjust. He was an anxious kid like I was in school. But I believe that he had the foundation that he needed that will help him in life. You might not understand it and that is okay. Catholic school gave me more than just an education. In my heart I know that it did the same for Harrison. He keeps reminding me it is time for his Confirmation!
From a proud catholic school girl,