By Principal M.C. Heffner,
The Catechism of the Catholic Church confirms the need for Catholic schools for our families. It states, in part, “As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. Public authorities have the duty of guaranteeing this parental right and of ensuring the concrete conditions for its exercise.”
As the principal of Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School, I am often asked – why Epiphany? Why Catholic education? My answer is rooted in the Catholic belief beautifully articulated in our Catechism.
Choosing a Catholic school ensures that parents are selecting educational partners who are unapologetically faithful to our Catholic identity. We ensure it is woven throughout our rigorous curriculum and extra-curricular offerings. We engage our students and families to live our Catholic faith through daily prayer gatherings to begin our school day in the courtyard, participation in weekly school Mass with student servers, live “Saints Alive” performances by our third graders, and by supporting our partner parishes’ sacramental preparation programs.
Our 3 Crowns recognition program – which honor the Feast of the Epiphany and the three kings – actively supports positive traits that build success for students and support family values. Recognizing student efforts to practice and live by the 3 Crowns is a critically important part of our culture.
Each crown – Academic, Character, and Spiritual – focuses on a given trait that changes with the months. For example, November’s Academic Crown trait is “punctual;” the Character Crown trait is “dependable;” and the Spiritual Crown’s trait is “forgiving.” Throughout the month, the teachers and I will discuss the meanings of these traits and what it looks like when we put them into practice. Teaching positive traits that support good citizenship and our Catholicity are integrated into who we are and what we do. This is done during morning prayers and integrated into classroom work throughout each school day during the month.
In my first two years of service at Epiphany I have been blessed to work with teachers and staff who are dedicated to ensuring that our students are prepared for any challenges of high school. We provide a rigorous education without high stakes testing pressures. Instead, we create an environment that fosters and develops analytical thinking skills through innovative educational practices.
One recent and exciting initiative is the installation of 23 new Cleartouch Interactive Boards throughout our campus. In addition to the 1-to-1 iPad program in grades K-5 and a 1-to-1 Chromebook program in middle school, these interactive boards are empowering both our students and teachers to instruct, research, collaborate, engage, and learn in ways that include traditional methods, but go beyond traditional means.
Students engage in both analytical and creative thinking while they solve real-world issues, determine the best ways to live out our faith’s works of mercy to serve others, and have fun guiding independent research projects. The excitement permeating our campus is truly motivating and inspires me to do all I can to support this wonderful Epiphany community.
So, why Epiphany? Why Catholic education? Catholic schools, especially Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School, are rooted in the Catholic belief of school choice. We partner with our parents to provide the best education for children; an education that supports positive emotional development, nurtures healthy young adults through games, exercise and athletics, and embraces a Faith that is unapologetically Catholic.
We are Epiphany Cathedral Catholic School, and we welcome you to join us.
Visit us online at www.ecstigers.com or www.facebook.com/EpiphanyTigers.