“Those schools in Brooks are sure doing amazing things.” This comment made by my father-in-law started it all. I was four months away from graduating, unsure where I would end up, so I decided to look into ‘those schools’; after all, they were in my hometown.
I remembered the old brick building from my primary school years. Aesthetically, the outside still looked the same, but I would be forever changed by the inside. As I opened the heavy brown metal door, I clearly recall being overcome with an indescribable feeling. My heart fluttered and an overwhelming sense of peace and calm came over me. Even to this day, I cannot explain exactly what I experienced, but I do remember thinking, I need to be here.
The secretary, who is one of the most amazingly kind individuals I have ever met, greeted me at the front office. Her eyes were so welcoming and warm. We exchanged pleasantries and the reason for my visit. I took a seat, and shortly afterwards I was greeted by the principal. She too made an impression on me. Sitting in her office, not knowing her for more than five minutes, I could tell she was a sincere, kind, and compassionate soul, the kind of person anyone would want to work for. I shared my desire to do my teaching practicum at Holy Family Academy. It was a new adventure for the school to take on a practicum student, but she granted me the opportunity. We finalized plans and exchanged information, and that was the beginning of my journey in Catholic Education in Brooks.
Over 20 years later, my journey continues. Throughout the years, I have had the pleasure of teaching at Holy Family Academy and St. Joseph’s Collegiate, and currently I teach at Christ the King Academy. I have taught some of the best students one could ask for in almost every grade and subject. I have also taught the toughest of the tough, the ones others might give up on. Being able to use my faith as a guide, helped me immensely. They were the most challenging group I taught, but they had the biggest impact on me.
I am blessed to see Catholic education come full circle, as I am now teaching the children of some of my past students. The values and morals we instilled in our students then are becoming evident in the parents they are now and are reflected in their children who sit before me in class, an affirmation that we are doing good things here.
I still sense that indescribable feeling every day when I go to work. It fills me with contentment every time I open the doors. I was reignited in my faith and finally felt a sense of purpose, and I will be forever grateful for walking through those doors the first time. Trust me when I say, “Those schools in Brooks are sure doing some amazing things.” You should check them out.
Catholic Pastoral Centre Staff and Guest Writers