Dear Supporters of Catholic Education,
As I was catching up with my mom recently, the discussion of Catholic education made its way to the forefront of our conversation. We spoke of the most important aspect of the presence of God and Christ in the classroom and the focus on character development that is so prevalent in the Catholic educational setting. Our conversation then led to a more personal spin in which we discussed the experiences of my siblings at Newport Central Catholic High School.
I am the oldest of eight children and six of my siblings have graduated from the school on The Hill, another is currently a sophomore and my youngest sibling will enroll at NCC in four years. While conversing, I began to validate the amount of tuition that my parents have and will spend on Catholic education while living in a school district that boasts their standardized test scores as an accurate measuring stick for preparation for the real world. The sacrifice that they and so many other families have made to entrust a school to not only educate their children, but prepare them for this world is inspiring. As a matter of fact, we could probably build an extra wing on the NCC building with the tuition my parents will end up paying for my family to graduate (I will see what I can do, Dad).
As the conversation continued my mother mentioned, “I am amazed that every single one of you found your niche at NCC. Not most of you, but all of you.” I began to rationalize this and I quickly realized how right she was. Academically, a number of my siblings have found success in Honors and AP classes, while others and the same have found accommodations in NCC’s Academic Enhancement Program. Other siblings have found success on the stage as major and minor characters in the spring musical, while those not as vocally gifted found a place on the playing field or hardwood. We all found social circles in which we were comfortable, which have led to life-long relationships of friendship and some marriage. Predictably enough these different experiences have led to variations of life callings including a sibling in the dental field, a Marine and now college graduate, and a high school teacher after studying in Rome. Others are yet to complete their journeys, but one is working on his masters in exercise science major, and another to become a teacher. As for the two youngest, who knows where they will end up with the talents they behold; however, I am confident that Newport Central Catholic High School will help them find their niche, because of the experience that I have had on The Hill.
I am a 2003 graduate, former full time teacher, current coach and current part time teacher and Director of Institutional Advancement at Newport Central Catholic. I have seen this school from so many different angles and no matter the hat that is bestowed upon my head, I see Christ at the middle of the decisions made at this school. He is the “Why” of Newport Central Catholic. Do our administrators or teachers proclaim, “I am doing this in Christ’s name”? No, they do not. They go on humbly serving those around them as Christ did. With Christ at the center of all that we do, we move students into the center circle with Him for after all we are all made in the images of Christ. The decisions made at this school are in the best interest of the students and therefore Christ.
Like Christ, our teachers hold students accountable for their decisions, but realize that every student is unique and the diverse socioeconomic backgrounds that our students come from create circumstances that cannot be treated as objective. Teachers demand a high standard of work and discipline through Honors and AP class, while also showing a loving understanding by giving students extra time on homework, or adapting quizzes and tests. These challenging strategies and accommodations are how we are preparing students for the real world. The individualism tailored for every single student at our school is defining and inspiring.
What I have witnessed as just as remarkable is second nature of giving of the community and alumni bases of Newport Central Catholic, Newport Catholic and Our Lady of Providence. People will show up when called upon in a last second email to give time and talent. Others will write six digit checks to donate to a cause to improve our students’ experiences. The giving of our Catholic community is what allows Newport Central Catholic to help every student have a unique experience and find their niche just as my family has and will.
Our mission at NCC is to help every student find their niche, but what we are ultimately doing is helping every student find heaven. This is not possible without the help of our community. The donations of not only money, but of time and talent are inspiring. I am truly moved and humbled to see such overwhelming support and sacrifice from alumni, our community, and parents like mine in the name of Catholic education. Thank you for all that you do for us!
Kenny Collopy - Director of Institutional Advancement
The above article was featured in the January 26 Special Section (Catholic Schools) of the Messenger on Page 18. Please visit link to the Messenger Publication.