Editorial — Grads offer praise for teachers

Marnie McAllister

At this time every year, the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Catholic high schools are invited to submit essays written by members of their graduating class.

The Record’s B Section this week presents 27 essays written by the class of 2023. The young essayists invariably share how their high schools have changed their lives for the better.

Many of them describe school as a family, a home away from home. They extoll the curriculum that has prepared them for their next steps.

They give thanks for their friends and classmates, where they found brother or sisterhood.

They also give thanks for the teachers who have guided them.

Like our Catholic school students, Catholic school teachers have been through a lot these last three years. They learned new technology, lectured through layers of stifling masks, and at one point they were teaching from the kitchen table while their own children took virtual lessons nearby.

It’s no wonder so many people have left the teaching profession in recent years.

If our Catholic school teachers need a reason to stay, they should hear what their students have to say in their essays.

Ava Fears of Assumption High School says teachers and students love one another.

“Teachers at Assumption love their students, and Assumption students love their teachers. … You’ll find students who leave their study hall to go talk with a guidance counselor or faculty member in the main office. You’ll see students conversing with the Flik (food) workers while waiting in the lunch line. You’ll even find an entire lunch period singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to their principal.”

Mercy Academy’s Callie King puts it this way: “We have been taught from the very first day of school here to treat others with respect and to love others as you love yourself.”

It’s the educators who instill that respect and love, both by demonstrating it and instructing with it.

St. Xavier High School’s Stephen Harris also notes the unique way their teachers blend Catholic values with academics.

“Teachers emphasize the infusion of social and religious contexts in their respective subjects. They prioritize critical thinking and communication. They foster an atmosphere of exploration and problem-solving.”

Holy Cross High School grad Ethan Scobee highlights the extra effort of school teachers and staff:

“Whether it be by encouraging students to participate in extracurriculars, creating school spirit, or simply asking students how their day is going, the faculty and staff create a strong feeling of family at Holy Cross.”

Holy Angels Academy grad Hannah State says her teachers create a loving atmosphere:

“It is impossible not to feel a sense of friendship and joy throughout the school. The teachers demonstrate a deep care and compassion for their students and want the best for them academically and spiritually.”

The class of 2023 — and their families — have a lot to be thankful for.

To this year’s graduates, if you haven’t yet, be sure to tell your teachers and school staff how much their service means to you.

To everyone else, if you know a Catholic school teacher, give them a pat on the back. They go beyond the curriculum to give our children confidence, support and guidance when they need it. They build “men of character” and “women of mercy,” as the students say.

To have such an effect on young people, teachers must give deeply of themselves.

Let us pray the Holy Spirit will help our educators also to be fulfilled in their vocation, which is so critical to Catholic education.


Marnie McAllister
Written By
Marnie McAllister
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