Our students are working hard, and we love seeing pictures of them studying and creating.
Less visible in these weeks of distance learning are the efforts of educators, office personnel and workers who, in a wide array of ways, are keeping schooling happening for over 2,000 students of the Partnership Schools. Today, we want to highlight their tireless efforts.
Here are just a few glimpses of them in action:
Ask anyone at St. Mark the Evangelist, and they will tell you that Mr. Terrence Weeks’ job titles may include “Office Assistant” and “After-School Director,” but he is so much more. He is the first person you see at school in the morning, the last one out when after-care is over; he knows everyone, and helps with everything from paperwork to making a student feel better on a rough day. As Principal Dom Fanelli notes, so much of what gets done well and on time at St. Mark’s happens because of “Mr. T.”
Mr. Weeks is just one of almost twenty operations team members at our schools. Each one of them is still working to keep our schools functioning well–even when we can’t greet them in the main offices. Their work is truly essential for us at the Partnership.
We love this introduction that the whole St. Athanasius office team did so that new students will know who they are:
That kind of welcoming spirit and thoughtfulness is so typical of them!
In a normal school day, you could walk past any of our classrooms and see a teacher engaged in meaningful, energetic work. It may be harder to see these days, but the ongoing efforts of our teachers are nothing short of heroic. Here’s just one small example:
While Noah is rightly the Pre-K star of this video from Our Lady Queen of Angels, it’s his teacher Saramarie Colandra who has set him up to keep learning (you can just glimpse her face in the top righthand corner of the computer screen!), and one of our hundreds of engaged parents making the learning a joy.
And while we’ve certainly enjoyed the artwork produced by students at every school, it is the innovative, mostly invisible arts educators who are inspiring the creativity we see–
Like the work of Linda Smith’s students at St. Athanasius this week:
And the continuing inspiration of Becca Anderson’s students at St. Charles Borromeo:
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Note that third grader Alyssa M. didn’t just arrange an artful homage to iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo; she created her own original artwork to complement missing pieces in the scene behind her. So many of our art students are catching these kinds of inspirations from their teachers.
Yet our teachers aren’t just teaching–they are ministering.
Vincent Hale has for weeks now hosted OLQA’s “Worship Wednesdays”. The joy he gives and reflects is evident:
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Shannon Considine from Sacred Heart is so willing to share the “spirit of Alleluia” and the joy of Easter that she risks the wrath of her downstairs neighbors to share a video engaging her second graders in fun “wriggle-releaser” praise song and activity. We love that she throws herself into it, sharing not only the joy of Easter but a gentle laugh at herself for getting winded by it.
We have only a small glimpse of the Zoom classes conducted, Loom lessons recorded, Google classroom discussions facilitated, student work analyzed, feedback offered, students emailed, and parents called. Our teachers are doing all this sometimes while caring for their own children at home.
Among the other everyday heroes of the Partnership are our facilities team–or as they like to be called, the F-Troop.
George Grenier and Miguel Ramos keep all seven of our facilities in safe, clean, and good working order every day. We are especially grateful to be under their care during these unprecedented times. From helping families and staff navigate internet connectivity to overseeing specialized cleaning of our buildings, Mr. Grenier and Mr. Ramos are navigating new challenges with characteristic creative problem-solving and thoroughness, good humor, and aplomb.
Integrity, humility, hard work, and service: these are the values we talk about often in Partnership Schools. The work of so many in the Partnership models these values in action and inspires us.