Discovering personal greatness in pre-school through grade 8 students - Burlington, Vermont

President’s perspective: The Mater Christi “Feel”

December 12, 2017

Dear Mater Christi Families,

I’m a math guy.  I like data that can be quantified.  But when I ask families what it is they like about our school, over and over I hear about “the feel” they have when they enter the doors and walk the halls.  And though it is difficult to quantify, I know what they mean.  My wife and I felt the same way 10 years ago when we first visited the school as parents.

The “feel” of the school, however, is not just a vibe, but rather the product of a very deliberate choice to know and love our students.  At the State of the School meeting in October, Brent Tremblay, our middle school Social Studies teacher, spoke about student-centered learning.  The keystone of this approach, in his estimation, is knowing each and every student personally.  This opens the door to relationship, trust, and the ability to challenge and care for students.

And none of this is by accident.  As an administration, we work hard to minimize busywork and bureaucracy for our teachers so that their focus can actually be upon students.  It is difficult to be “student-centered” if you don’t have the time to center upon them!

I have been meeting with families of students new to the school this year, and have invited their feedback and impressions.  The overwhelming testimony I hear is that their sons and daughters love being here.  Some of the quotations from families in the recent article about Mater Christi in the “Best of Burlington” magazine perhaps explain why:

“The teachers take time to learn everyone’s name.  Everyone in the middle school feels included.”

“All the teachers know each other and they get along.”

“Whether it be the programs, the teachers, or the openness to continually improve their experience, all of it makes Mater Christi a great choice for our children and our family.”

Or perhaps it’s just the feel.

In Mercy,

Tim Loescher