What are your thoughts about the academics at Sacred Heart?
With regards to the humanities, particularly social sciences, the concept of integration has been the hallmark of our program since the 90s. Beginning with integrating English and history, then included library research and other disciplines (science, math, religion, etc) to make the program more complete. We start this integrated approach for history in 7th grade. The benefit is that the students see how inter-connected the world is. After continuous exposure to an integrated curriculum, once the students are in US they then form their own connections between history and literature, history and religion, history and science, etc. One of the strongest aspects of our academic program is the willingness among faculty to work together. We are a very congenial group of people who see the benefits of working together to enhance the students learning.
What does being a member both as a faculty and alumni of the Sacred Heart community mean to you?
I attended the Stuart Hall for boys school and felt very cared for there by the RSCJ. Now I am doing much of that as a lay person. I truly never thought I would be able to give back in such a direct way. Not having many nuns at the school, we as lay teachers have to step in and provide what they have for so many years. It is a chance to really make a difference.
Why did you choose to work at Sacred Heart?
It was the positive feeling I had about my own educational experience and the nurturing that came with it. Walking into this building I was immediately reminded of my childhood and I felt it would be a great fit to be a valued member of a community. It’s not just an independent school. It’s not just a Catholic school. Sacred Heart is a whole other thing entirely – in a good way!
What have you learned about yourself by being a part of the Sacred Heart community?
I have learned that with care and consideration what I get back from my students is so much more than what I put in as a teacher. It is really unbelievable. Every day I learn so much about myself from my students – about being a caring individual, a patient person, the fact that I don’t need to be in the center of attention to be important, etc. The students are genuine and loving and want you to be part of their lives. Even as fourteen and fifteen year olds (I predominantly teach the 9th grade) I am already seeing in my students someone who can – and is – changing the world.
How have the values of the Goals and Criteria affected your time here?
What I like about the goals and criteria is that they help build a focus when sometimes in life it is hard to focus. They aren’t just part of my life here at school, the goals and criteria are part of my life in general. They even influenced my decision not to purchase a Honda Pilot!
What special characteristics of Sacred Heart make it feel like a second home?
The friendships and the community life among the adults and the students. We are very serious about our academics but also have a lot of fun – I do a lot of laughing with the students and faculty. We don’t just produce amazing students but also spectacular people. As a community we go through a lot of happy times, but also a lot of tough ones and that is when you see how we pull each other out and are there for each other – the type of things you would expect from your family.
Describe the feeling you had on your first day of school this year.
I was a little nervous but that dissipated the moment when I walked into the classroom – my favorite place to be. I’m actually glad I was nervous. It showed me how much this job means to me.
If there was only one word you could use to describe what Sacred Heart means to you, what would it be?