Catholic Schools Week: Student Tells Her Story

Catholic Schools Week:  Student Tells Her Story

Danielle Lippert, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

I’ve attended Catholic schools my entire life. I don’t know it any other way. I learned the first thing I loved about Catholic schools rather quickly. I was able to talk about my faith. I remember people telling me that they didn’t take religion classes at other schools. As a 6-year-old who constantly had God in her life, I didn’t get it. It had become such a regular thing to me that it didn’t make sense to me that my neighbors didn’t learn about God like I did.

The second thing I love about Catholic schools came to me in middle school. My teachers truly care about me. I am not just a number or a name to these teachers. I am so much more, and they make sure they learn about who I am as a whole person. I remember writing a journal response in middle school about people making fun of me for my height. When my response was returned for corrections, I corrected it and turned it back in. It wasn’t until about a month later, when I was cleaning out my binder, that I noticed the words scribbled on the last page. “I wish I would have known about this.” My teacher didn’t just correct the paper and hand it back to me. She showed me that she truly cared about what I had gone through, and even though it was too late, she wanted to fix it.

The whole idea of teachers truly caring about me reinforced itself in high school. I went through a lot during my first year at Notre Dame, and my teachers were with me and helping me every step of the way. I don’t know what I would have done without this overwhelming support from my teachers.

The third thing I love about Catholic schools came to me as I was about to graduate from the eighth grade. I loved my small and tightknit class. I grew up with these people. There were about 30 kids in my class who had been there from the very beginning. We watched each other grow into the people we became. My classmates saw me through so many stages in my life. They saw me at my best and my worst. We were with each other so much that they were more like my brothers and sisters than my classmates. I got the experience of tightknit classes that I wouldn’t have gotten with a class of 200 kids.

As I’m coming closer and closer to my senior year of high school, I get more and more scared. I’m not going to have this tight, loving and holy atmosphere with me everywhere I go, but that brings me to the fourth thing I love about Catholic schools. I will always be a Comet. I will always be a Triton. I carry pieces of Holy Family and Notre Dame with me everywhere I go. Some day I am going to leave this school. I’m going to stop talking to people I used to talk to every day. It terrifies me, but Holy Family and Notre Dame have taught me that I can do anything in this big, scary world. They have taught me how to be a well-rounded person. I’ve not only become better academically, but I’ve also grown as my own person. Catholic schools develop the whole person. Catholic schools have developed every single part of me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for the experiences I’ve had through Catholic schooling.

As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, I’m reminded of why I love my school and why my parents sent me here. Catholic schools are so much more than what people assume. They have taught me so many things that I could go on and on about. I have one thing left that I will never be able to stress enough. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my Catholic schooling. From my teachers to my friends to my family, I wouldn’t be the person I am without Catholic schools.