Principals end the year by looking forward

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Janet Eaton explains the priorities for the next school year at a principal meeting Thursday, June 1, in Good Shepherd Hall at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. (Advance photo)

Janet Eaton reminded the 46 school administrators of diocesan Catholic schools that the purpose of a Catholic school isn’t so much about the alphabet wall strip as much as the crucifix above that strip.

Eaton, the superintendent of Catholic schools, said she asked the administrators at a meeting Thursday, June 1, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to evaluate what they do using three points:

• Are we converting hearts?
• Is this working?
• Are we evangelizing?

“If something that they are doing does not fulfill one of the questions, then it is probably time to re-look at matters,” she said. “Sometimes this takes great courage.”

Eaton explained that the overall priorities for Catholic schools next school year are Being Boldly Catholic, Managing Fiscal Resources, and Investing in Educators.

Success at every school

“We saw success in every school this year as these priorities have and will continue to guide our decisions. Our successes came in all shapes and sizes,” she said.

“For example, we asked each principal and faculty to pray together daily last school year. Some prayed before school and some prayed after school. Teachers commented on how much the prayer meant to them individually and how much better they knew their coworkers because of it.”

Eaton said she was sensitive to the principals’ needs at the end of a school year.

“When I first came to the diocese, I wondered about having a meeting in June because as a former principal my desk was filled with the prior year and I couldn’t even begin to concentrate on the upcoming year.

“I have great respect for our school administrators because they asked for this meeting so that we have the opportunity to preview with them anything that’s coming about for the upcoming year.”

Feasibility study

The superintendent added she is grateful to the faithful of the diocese for supporting the upcoming capital campaign.

“It’s June 8 right now and we still have schools without teachers for next year.”

First and foremost, in hiring we want teachers who are committed to the mission of Catholic education, she said. The campaign will help parishes and schools pay teachers a family wage. “We realize, that we need to help our educators keep their lights on in their houses and pay their bills to be competitive,” she said.