Back to School: Welcome to our ASH Parents!

It is with a real sense of joy that I welcome you all back to school for the 2015-2016 school year! I hope that you have all found some time in the months of summer to enjoy some special time together with your daughters and to nurture your spirit through leisure and relaxation.

While we have only been back for a total of 6 days, it seems to me that the girls have returned with a little extra kick in their step, glad to be back, and looking forward to a great new year at Sacred Heart. After several days of in service for our faculty, I think the same can be said for all of the educators here this evening: we are beginning the year prepared, ready and enthusiastic about our new start.

Each morning when I walk through the front gates of the school, I look up at the statue of the Sacred Heart and I quietly receive again the call to service here at this school. With quite a bit of humility, I realize what a sacred trust we share with all of you as parents for the education of your girls. I thank God for the trust given to us, for you as parents and for your daughters who are on their journey life and growth.

St. Madeline Sophie Barat, our Foundress, said that for the sake of ONE child she would have founded the Society. ONE CHILD—That conviction and that intention shapes everything we do here at Sacred Heart and it shapes our aspirations for how we do it
For all of our faculty and staff here, I want to assure you that that one child is your daughter at this school.

This past summer at Sacred Heart has been a whirlwind of construction. Just as the environment of St. Charles and Napoleon Ave that surround us, there have been trucks and hard hats everywhere this past summer. On the first day of school, we opened our gates and doors to our girls with some new improvements on the Rosary campus—a thoroughly renovated dining hall to enhance our students dining experience while at school, a brighter and more welcoming gathering space in the parlor and a new Cornerstore where the popup PJ’s is back and where there is a new space for meetings, studying and relaxing for our girls and you, our parents, and our alums. Please stop by these spaces while you are here this evening!

Hopefully, many of you have already visited our new virtual space—our website! It is online now and it is going to be a great way to keep you informed and all of us connected in our Sacred Heart community.

Besides bricks and mortar changes, we also hired a new Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Veblena Finkenberg. Veblena hit the ground running and she is working with all of our teachers to strengthen and align our curriculum and instruction across divisions, align our curriculum maps and support professional development. We are on a very good path this year in this regard, and, later on the agenda, Ms. Finkenberg will share say a few words to you about her hopes for the coming year.

This year, we have also added to our program an ACT/SAT testing specialist who will assist the students in mastering testing skills. We have many plans in place for the coming year to support academic excellence, as well as the social, emotional and the spiritual growth of your daughter.

All of this activity represents our desire and commitment to you and your daughters to provide them with an experience of God’s abundant and loving heart as shown through the care and presence of others here at Sacred Heart. At Sacred Heart, You can be sure that your daughter is learning to love God, experiencing the sensitive care of her teachers, and that we are laying down a strong foundation for her educational future in wonderful, challenging, and appropriate ways.

So, together, we begin a new adventure on the path of the 2015-2016 school year. To celebrate this journey, I chose a quote from one of our former Superior Generals, Sr. Janet Erskine Stuart as the theme of the year. In closing, I will share it with you.

Life faces you with courageous challenges at every step of the way. You are on the path, exactly where you are meant to be right now—and from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, of love.”

May your life story be richly blessed in the coming year! Please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you or your family. You are certainly in my prayer and the prayer of the Religious of the Sacred Heart.

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