To Our Inspiring Sacred Heart Families,
With the utmost sincerity, you do inspire me every day. You inspire me because this great responsibility you have as parents is bearing such incredible fruit, which I see daily in who your children are. Who would have thought that our students would be so excited to see me in their rooms, at lunch, and at recess that they would literally cheer when I come? Who would have thought that they would want to stop and talk with me, give me a high five, and just light up that I am with them? Well, for starters, you would have thought that, and God would have also. In my wildest hopes for the reception I would have coming here, I never imagined a joy this profound, an energy this vibrant. God bless you all for sharing this gift with me.
God has also given us the gift of our mission: academic excellence, faith formation, and service to others… giving witness to the message of Jesus Christ. I would like to update you on this mission alive in our school. Our teachers have joined me in looking at their instructional practice with a deep reflection, through the research and amazing techniques presented in Teach Like a Champion. They support my request to see weekly lesson outlines focused on clear, daily learning objectives with directly aligned assessment, which research demonstrates leads to higher achievement for our students. This is not an easy, check-it-off-the-list type of a task, but is rather a process that requires real effort and a genuine willingness to look at instruction with renewed vision. This kind of effort can only come from a faculty that is committed to joy, committed to our mission, and filled with love. What a grace to see that here.
I see our faith and service to others of course in our faculty, but I want to focus for a moment on our staff. Being a new leader means I focus on my role differently. As I have tried to bring great emphasis on faith, mission, and community, on being with our students as much as possible, our support staff has had to do work differently than in years past. This also is not an easy task, but has been a process of looking at roles with more openness and flexibility than would typically be possible. Yet in the hearts of our amazing assistant principals, our administrative support staff, our nurses, our IT department, cafeteria staff, and maintenance, this has not only been possible, but has been work carried out with love for our community and a deep support our mission. Very few individuals would take up these changes with such grace and poise, and I ask you all to celebrate with me this great gift from our both our faculty and staff. At the same time, our School Board is taking up a call to renewed focus and joy from our Board President, Mr. Wayne Coffey, and is doing passionate work to ensure the fiscal responsibilities of our School truly are sustainable, and truly serve the needs of our families. I am inspired to work with these talented, dedicated volunteers whose individual and combined wisdom far exceeds my own; God has blessed us with genuine leadership in this dedicated team.
I would close with a focus on our students, who show me faith formation and service to others every day. Consider these two anecdotes. In both morning and afternoon announcements I have asked students to reflect with me on Christ’s call to love others. We can only have a fulfilled life if we center our days on love, and the great challenge of our faith is to do so even with those we do not like. When I call our students to love others, they listen. So many of them have been able to repeat this message back to me when I visit their classes and truly hear that loving God, others, and self leads to fulfillment, peace, and joy, even with those we do not immediately like. I’ve also seen our students gather for Beads of Strength, an afternoon rosary group, and seen about 40 students take the time to pray together, with many leading the prayers in a given decade. These students show greater capacity for faith and loving others than I could at their age, and this gives me great hope, great joy, and great life. This is not something that just happens. This happens because all of you support our call to love others, support our faith, and support our school.
When we go forth through this second full month of school, let us say each morning, let us say often through the day, “this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!” Assuredly, He has called us together for His kingdom, and that work is taking on greater focus and purpose with each passing day.
God bless you all,
Zachary S. Coyle
At Sacred Heart School, we recognize each person as a living expression of God’s love. We accept each person as intrinsically good and deserving of unconditional respect. We believe each person is unique, having special talents, abilities and needs. We believe that each child is a multi-dimensional child of God. We accept responsibility for fostering not only a child’s intellectual growth, but also for fostering a child’s spiritual, emotional, social, and physical development.
The message of Christ is central to all that we do at Sacred Heart School. As a faith community, we are striving to build God’s kingdom on earth. In the words of Archbishop Oscar Romero, “ This is what we are about: We plant seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.”
So, welcome to our Catholic school! We invite you to join us in our mission to cultivate in our students the knowledge, attitudes, skills and virtues that will enable them to be serving members of our world in a manner reflective of Judeo-Christian values. May Jesus Christ, the model of all teachers, be our encouragement in this important ministry of Catholic education. Surely, He, who said, “Suffer the children to come unto me” will bless our efforts in His name.
Accreditation: Sacred Heart School is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement by having met the requirements established by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission and Board of Trustees.