By Jhoanna Co, Santa Barbara Catholic School
For the Umatuna Si Yu’os
From Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, Santa Barbara Catholic School celebrated Catholic Schools Week or #CSW18 as part of the National Catholic Educational Association celebration. Daily activities highlighted this year’s theme, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
The week started with faculty appreciation on Monday, where faculty and staff who have served the school for more than five years were honored. Special awards were also given to teachers who garnered the most student votes in “Sylvan’s My Favorite Teacher Contest.”
Throughout the day, select students served as faculty and staff “mini-me’s.” This fun activity gave the students a chance to shadow their adult counterparts and know what is like to be a faculty or staff at SBCS.
Tuesday was student appreciation day. Students were treated to a presentation from the FDMS Honor Guards then spent the day playing sports and games. And, yes, there was also a basketball game which pitted SBCS faculty plus Father Fran Hezel of the Society of Jesus against the SBCS varsity players, much to the delight of the students. It was like a full day recess!
This year’s celebration was also made special with a visit from Sister Pat McDermott, President of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and Sister Aińe O’Connor, a member of the Institute Leadership Team.
Sister Marian Arroyo, Guam administrator of the Sisters of Mercy, also joined them for the visit. They viewed the Sisters of Mercy Traveling Museum, the Ysrael Hall and toured the campus. The SBCS Honor Choir also serenaded the sisters during their visit.
Wednesday was Spirit Day where SBCS students got the chance to show off their school pride by wearing their favorite SBCS shirts from previous Spring plays or Christmas plays. Some school athletes wore their uniforms, too.
*In the afternoon, the SBCS Parent Teacher Organization led by president Mr. Ron de Lima, hosted a teacher and staff appreciation party.*
The week was capped with a Talent Show on Thursday, where students were able to shine as singers, dancers, musicians and performers. As “entrance fee,” the students brought canned goods, dry goods, hygiene products, and cleaning supplies for the second Lenten “Feed the Hungry Food and Supplies Drive” of the Mercy Action Marianas Traveling Pantry.
On Friday, SBCS faculty and staff attended the 2018 Catholics Educators’ Conference at the Father Duenas Memorial School Phoenix Center.
Mrs. Victoria Ramos, SBCS kindergarten teacher and 40-year service awardee, sums up this experience best, “Celebrating Catholic Schools Week reminds me of how unique we are, what we do and how we teach. Teaching in a Catholic school, too, has strengthened my faith and that is something I will always treasure.”
* revision after print