Patriot Perspective: Catholic Schools Week shines light on appreciating others


Caroline Cooney

Sophomore Ben Blessing reaches for a donut in front of teachers Courtney Von Lange, Louise Geczy, and Tess Gauthier who assisted with handing out donuts and water bottles in celebration of Student Appreciation Day. On Thursday, Feb. 2, students were recognized by the school for their effort throughout the year. Catholic Schools Week also included a Teacher Appreciation Day on Friday, which honored teachers and faculty members, thanking them for their hard work. These two days were a positive experience for every member of the community.

Junior Anna Kotula slowly drags her feet toward the front doors, feeling the lack of sleep weighing her down as she walks into school. She stayed up late the night before working on countless assignments and studying for several tests. Her exhaustion feels like a lead weight until Campus Minister Zac Ufnar cheerfully smiles, opens the door for her, and says, “I appreciate you!”

On Thursday, Feb. 2, faculty members came together during Catholic Schools Week to celebrate students and express appreciation for their hard work. This year, unlike past years, students were given a donut in the morning along with a bottle of water. The donuts were baked fresh on Thursday morning by the Safeway bakery.

This unexpected surprise put a smile on many students’ faces. Classmates were seen walking down the hallways with a donut in their hands, chatting with huge grins plastered on their faces. However, the day grew increasingly better when multiple teachers told their students how much they appreciate the effort they put into their classes.

Every day, students spend several hours on homework, studying for tests, quizzes, and other assignments, so hearing that their hard work does not go unnoticed was a great way to celebrate Catholic Schools Week.

Later in the day, an email was sent to students from President and Interim Principal Richard O’Hara. He expressed his admiration for the student body and recognized the affection teachers share for their students. “Never forget for a second how much you are appreciated and loved, by all of us, by precious people in your lives, and by the infinite God who made us all,” O’Hara wrote.

In addition to this unexpected day during Catholic Schools Week, on Friday, Feb. 3, teachers had their turn in the spotlight and were allowed to dress down in comfortable clothes for the day. Not only this, but also they were offered a selection of breakfast pastries in the teachers’ lounge, which were donated by parents.

Teachers earned an extra bit of love from members of the National Honors Society and the senior class. On Friday, Jan. 20, the NHS held a meeting to inform students of an upcoming project. They planned to write letters of appreciation to teachers and other faculty members that they felt had made a difference in their lives.

Two letters were addressed to every faculty and staff member, and included kind messages thanking them for everything they have done to help students throughout this year or past ones. This contribution to Catholic Schools Week allowed faculty to understand their importance in students lives and to read first-hand the amazing things they contribute to our community.

Ultimately, the coordination of these two days brought about good feelings and unexpected smiles. It created a positive atmosphere as both students and faculty alike felt as though their hard work was not going unnoticed. It gave time for everyone to express their appreciation for one another and left a positive atmosphere over the course of two days. In order to organize these days, the JC faculty and student body had to come together as a unit to make the other feel appreciated.

Students constantly spoke about the unexpected morning treat and teachers beamed over their letters.

Seeing positivity spread throughout the hallway was a perfect way to highlight Catholic Schools Week.

The appreciation shown to each part of our community was a gift for everyone. The school worked together in order to express messages of acknowledgment, and overall, this positivity should not be confined to a two-day event during Catholic Schools Week.

Each member of the community should always feel appreciated for their hard work and dedication to their jobs.

As students, we should openly voice the gratitude we have for faculty members, whether it is for a kind lunch lady who always gives extra fries or the science teacher who never fails to help out.

We see these staff members each and every day, yet how often do we fail to say thank you?

With this in mind, teachers should do this same. Everyone deserves recognition, whether they are the students who actively participate in class or the students who study hard each night. Each member of the student body works toward a goal and puts effort into something they love.

The dedication put into Catholic Schools Week had a positive impact on faculty and the student body, and therefore, this spotlight on appreciation for everyone’s hard work should be more than once a year.

Whether it is Catholic Schools Week or a regular school day, we ask students and faculty to thank those around them. The potential for positivity is endless if we only remember to share appreciation for the little things in life.