New teachers held to high standards Print this post

Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)


August marks the start of a new school year for the thousands of students who attend Diocese of Venice primary and secondary schools.

While each school is unique, one thing that will link them together is their Christ-centered teaching based in sound fundamental Catholic values. To accomplish this, Catholic schools partner with parents to teach and exemplify the faith, respecting the uniqueness of each child while fostering responsibility and community.

Diocese of Venice Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Kristy Swol address new Diocesan Catholic School Teachers during an orientation meeting on Aug. 1 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice.

During a new teacher orientation meeting at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Venice on Aug. 1, those new to teaching in the Diocese were reminded that no matter what course they teach, they are all teachers of religion and the faith. Diocesan schools encourage an open discussion of faith at all grade levels.

“It is who we are,” said Dr. Kristy Swol, Diocese of Venice Superintendent of Schools. “Everyone needs to remember that having a Catholic identity makes us special.”

Whether teaching theology or the sciences, all faculty and staff in the schools are “first and foremost educators of the Catholic Faith… Your job is to teach children how live a strong faith life, accompanied by Jesus Christ.”

Within the Diocese of Venice, there is a faith dimension in all aspects of schools, Dr. Swol added. Most importantly, it is not just teaching how they grasp their faith, but it is demonstrating the applicability of faith in all aspects of their lives.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane addresses new Diocesan Catholic School Teachers during an orientation meeting on Aug. 1 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall in Venice.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane greeted the new teachers and welcomed them to the Diocese and thanking them for making a commitment to Catholic Education, adding that they are very much in his prayers.

Reminding the teachers that they set an example by their actions, not only in the classroom, but in their lives, Bishop Dewane said “the students can and will look up to you. Take this seriously.”

Several of the new teachers come from public schools and expressed their joy about now being able to talk about God and their Faith in the classroom.

Throughout the day, the new teachers also learned about their certification requirements, continuing religious education opportunities, the importance of following the law and the student handbook, as well as rules on the use of technology, ethics and also how to stop bullying and harassment in the education environment. Each of these topics covered is deemed crucial in allowing the new teachers to be better prepared for the coming year.

Dr. Swol noted that the teachers have an obligation not only to their students, but to the parents, the public, and their profession.

Ashley Fox, Diocesan Director of Religious Education, spoke about the Catholic Identity and the opportunity to instill strong faith values. She stressed the need to know what the Church teaches before answering a question.

Throughout the day, Dr. Swol stressed that the standards of education within the Diocese are expected to be high. This is at every level and likely surpasses where they may have previously taught.

All Diocese of Venice Catholic School will be opened by mid-August.

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