August 29, 2016
Amarillo—As the 2016-17 school year for Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo continues, a collaborative effort to strengthen the three Catholic Schools in the city of Amarillo has begun.
The joint efforts of Holy Cross Catholic Academy Head of School Angi Seidenberger, St. Joseph principal David Hernandez and St. Mary’s Cathedral School principal Linda Aranda are being done to build up the three schools while helping to keep students in Catholic Schools from Montessori to graduation from Holy Cross Catholic Academy.
The West Texas Catholic reached out to Seidenberger, Hernandez and Aranda for their thoughts on this collaborative effort:
“Catholic schools have been such a blessing to me in my history as a teacher and now administrator. When I relocated to Amarillo and first began teaching at St. Joseph, I didn't comprehend that the Catholic school system was bigger than St. Joseph. The diocesan schools have always come together for an in-service day before the new school year began, but this year has been much different. The bond between St. Mary's, St. Joseph and Holy Cross has been strengthened.
“While we still compete for some of the same families, we know that we must stand together. In standing together, we become stronger and the students we serve benefit from our strength and unity. For the first time in my 16-year history of Catholic education, the principals of our Amarillo Catholic schools are sitting together, planning together and coming together to see what we can do to make our schools viable, while serving our students to the best of OUR ability, together!
Our vision in this collaborative effort is to give our schools a common vocabulary, to unify our campuses and live out our title "Catholic," as one universal school system with the same goal; to educate our students for their life on earth and to teach them our ultimate goal, to get to Heaven. I believe that a new leaf is being turned over with our schools and I feel fortunate to be a part of this new era.”
“As the 2016-17 school year gets underway, our Catholic Schools have pushed forward with a renewed sense of unity. In working with different leadership from all around the diocese, we have coordinated plans to align teacher instructional delivery methods along with different religious celebrations based on the liturgical year as well as with the specific school traditions. This goes hand-in-hand with our mission as a diocese in building unity among all peoples as we continue to build up the Body of Christ.
“In our day-to-day activities, challenges and obstacles are sure to arise at every campus, but it is with an open line of communication with each other that we will find creative and unique solutions to these inevitable hardships. Our goals align with the development of the child as a whole person and in doing so we continue to strive for ways to further develop and grow our children in both their Faith and formal education. We understand that there is more to each precious child that walks in through our school doors and this is precisely why we will provide ample opportunities for community events to take place throughout the school year so that all stakeholders in our children’s life may become a part of the culture on our campus.
“It is all for naught if we don’t maintain Christ as the center of our educational entities and value the importance of keeping with our Catholic Traditions as we celebrate Mass throughout the school week and teach religion to our children. In keeping with the Year of Mercy, we continue to grow as spiritual leaders alongside with our staff with the learning and growing that must take place for our student body and their families.”
“As parents of Catholic school students, my husband and I chose Catholic education as an extension of the Faith, morals and values taught at home. As the principal of our Cathedral School, I want this for all of our students. Parents entrust us with the minds, bodies and souls of their children.
“David, Angi and I would like what is started in elementary to be completed through a Catholic education while in middle school and high school at Holy Cross Catholic Academy. As colleagues, we have a vision of this philosophy extended across all of the Catholic schools in Amarillo: That we may truly be one community.
“Our schools (St. Joseph, St. Mary's and HCCA) have come together for team building through the COPE (Challenge Outdoor Personal Experience) Challenge, spirituality through retreats and professional development. Activities and events have been planned with our students hoping to extend that sense of community to our parents and ultimately to our parishes.”