Why choose a Catholic education?
|All Saints Regional School, Masontown|
Frank and Doria Rychtarsky Jr.
Erin, second grade
We chose a Catholic education for our daughters because we believe it’s important to keep God in the schools. The small class sizes were also considered in our decision. This means our girls can receive personal attention if needed. Reports show that children who attend Catholic schools score higher on aptitude tests. All Saints also offers extra-curricular activities for children in all grades. A Catholic education means that our girls get a quality education, both in academics and religion. Because of the size of the school and the interaction between all the grades, the children become friends with not only children in their class, but all grades. The morals and leadership skills instilled in the children are also reflected in their behavior, both in and out of the classroom.
|Aquinas Academy, Greensburg|
Terry and Amy O’Shea
Moira, fourth grade
Delaney, first grade
Catholic education reinforces our foundation of faith taught to us by the Catholic Church. The teachings of Jesus Christ are a part of their everyday curriculum. Often, we are bombarded by media and a society that have lost respect for family and faith. Catholic education strengthens the value of family and faith. Teachers and school administrators have the same beliefs in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church with the respect for life — respect for all people. At Aquinas Academy, our children are able to grow in an environment where dependence on God and prayer are encouraged. Celebrating Mass with the children at Aquinas is a gift. To hear them praise God in song and prayer and celebrate the Eucharist together is powerful.
|The Cardinal Maida Academy, Vandergrift|
Gregg and Melanie Poydence
Luke, fifth grade
Frank, third grade
Melanie: I attended The Cardinal Maida Academy (CMA), formerly St. Gertrude School. My Catholic faith is very important to me. I believe the reason I have a good understanding of my faith is because I attended a Catholic school. I made lifelong friendships at St. Gertrude’s. Many of those friends also have their children attending the school. Because of my experience, I believe that my children will make friendships that last a lifetime, their love of God will continue to grow, and the experience will plant the seeds for strong moral character. It is honestly and truly more to me than a "school" or "education." It is a foundation for a way of life - a way to be reminded daily of Jesus Christ and God’s love. I am proud to say that it is more than a school; it is my family!
|Christ the Divine Teacher School, Latrobe|
Alan and Becky Emanuele
Angela, fifth grade
Joseph, first grade
Maria, CDT alumna
Our Catholic faith is very important to us. In choosing to send our children to Catholic school, we know they are able to practice their faith as well as strengthen it in unison with their daily curriculum. We know they are instilled daily with both moral and spiritual values. They are reminded throughout their school day that God is a part of their everyday life, in every decision and in how they should treat others. We believe creating this solid foundation is essential in raising our children to become strong in their faith. It is reassuring to know our children are in a school system that will nurture our same morals and values. We are grateful for our Catholic schools.
|Conn-Area Catholic School, Connellsville|
Dennis and Rita Martin
Christopher, sixth grade
Melissa, senior, Geibel Catholic Middle-High School, Connellsville
Gina, junior, Geibel Catholic
As parents, we try to give our children the very best. We start to guide, nourish and discipline our children from an early age. Enrolling them at Conn-Area Catholic and Geibel Catholic Middle-High School was certainly the right path. We are both graduates of these schools. The bond that was created between teachers, administration and classmates is still strong today. Our children are getting a great education in a Christ-centered environment with small classroom sizes and one-on-one interaction between student and teacher. It certainly helps to know that your children’s friends and family share the same values. The friendships they have made and the guidance they have been given will follow them the rest of their lives. Certainly with today’s troubling economy, it is a strain financially, but well worth the sacrifice.
|The Divine Redeemer School, Ford City|
Ron and Nicole Gribik
Emily, sixth grade
Ron: We choose a Catholic school education for our children for several reasons. First, my brothers and I received a Catholic education from (the former) Ford City Catholic in the 1970s. This experience gave me the confidence to send my children to Divine Redeemer. Most importantly, I liken a Catholic education to the popular concept of home schooling. Most parents are interested in home schooling due to their ability to instill family values while providing a safe environment at home. I think a Catholic education provides my children with these values while providing safety as though they were in our home. The beauty of it all is that they receive this while being educated by trained professionals.
|Geibel Catholic Middle-High School, Connellsville|
Rusty and Louise Mechling
Beth Erin, senior
Britt, sixth grade, St. John the Evangelist School, Uniontown
Rusty: Our children’s path to Geibel Catholic began 20 years ago when Louise and I chose to enroll our oldest daughter at St. John the Evangelist School, Uniontown. Laura and Emily entered the school shortly thereafter, and Britt is currently a student there. Our decision to send our children to St. John’s was a rather easy one, considering that Louise was one of 10 siblings who passed through the same halls. Her parents, James and Mary Louise O’Brien, as well as my mother, Eleanor Burns Mechling, were some of the first students to attend the school in the 1920s and 30s. We reflected on all of the positive things that our family had experienced within the Catholic school environment: excellent academics, spirituality, morality, and the discipline promoted by priests, teachers and administrators. This convinced us that Catholic education was the best course. At Geibel Catholic, our expectations have been realized as our children have enjoyed and benefited from their time there.
|Mary Queen of Apostles School, New Kensington|
Ray and Darlene Polinski
Rebecca, eighth grade
Rachel, sophomore, St. Joseph High School, Natrona Heights
It is said that religious education should be fostered at home. True as this may be, we felt this was such an overwhelming responsibility. We knew we could not do it on our own. We needed help. By choosing a Catholic education, we had peace of mind knowing that our children would be in an environment that daily fosters their faith. Our family is truly blessed to have had the privilege of experiencing Catholic education for the past 11 years. Our daughters are receiving an outstanding academic education in an environment that emphasizes the fundamental teachings of Christ. They experience the development of both mind and soul. We had once read, "You have only one chance in life to make a masterpiece, so mold carefully." By choosing Catholic education, we can honestly say we are witnessing the creation of true masterpieces.
Greensburg Central Catholic High School, Greensburg
Joe and Connie Peluso
Joseph Jr., senior
Franca, GCC alumna
We chose a Catholic education for our children because we were influenced by its reputation for academic excellence, affinity with the mission and tradition of the Catholic faith, and its reputation for developing students both intellectually and spiritually. We believe that a strong elementary and secondary education that applies Catholic values and principles is the foundation that will continually influence our children’s personal, professional and spiritual lives. Catholic schools have encouraged our children to harmoniously balance academic excellence, athletics, and their social, civic and spiritual lives. Greensburg Central Catholic has fostered and nourished a spirit of community in a faith-based, wholesome environment for 50 years. The world needs this now more than ever. Catholic education is a wonderful marriage of Catholic values and quality education that prepares students for navigating life’s vicissitudes.
|Mother of Sorrows School, Murrysville|
Sam and Lisa DiNinno
Sammy, third grade
Joey, first grade
After researching the Catholic schools in our area, we found Mother of Sorrows to be a perfect fit for our family. A Catholic education at Mother of Sorrows School means a quality education coupled with a spiritual foundation. What our children receive is not only advanced academic training from highly educated teachers, but a gentle guidance of faith formation and spirituality. It is essential in today’s world for our children to receive God’s Word on a daily basis. As parents, we have a duty to educate our children’s minds to give them a secure future. But we also have a duty to educate our children’s souls to be stewards of Christ. We owe this to our loving God who placed these precious children in our care. The superior education that our children receive at Mother of Sorrows School more than allows us to achieve both of those goals. As Proverbs 22:6 states, "Teach your children right from wrong, and when they are grown, they will still do right."
|Holy Trinity School, Ligonier|
Thomas, seventh grade
Morgan, fifth grade
I believe that a child with a Catholic education is starting off on the right foot in life. Catholic school students are not only provided with an unparalleled education where God is at the center, but with a strong foundation of religious morals and values. The small class size allows each student to receive personal attention, and the dedicated teaching staff creates a family-like atmosphere. I am confident that a Catholic school is the most secure atmosphere for my children and that they will flourish both academically and socially.
Queen of Angels Catholic School, North Huntingdon
Brian and Carla Goetz
Andrew, seventh grade
Mark, fourth grade
We chose a Catholic education for several reasons. Along with an excellent academic experience, our boys have the opportunity to study our Catholic faith, pray openly and freely, and put their Christ-centered faith into action every day and all day. It reinforces the Christian values we work to instill in our children. We enjoy watching our boys grow in their faith. Our children have wonderful teachers that challenge their behaviors in a loving, caring environment. The challenging curriculum provides a solid foundation for our children’s future. The service component allows our boys to learn the value of helping others. The Catholic school environment meshes worship and action into their daily lives.
|St. Bernard School, Indiana|
Jeremy and Pam Grata
Jacob, sixth grade
Jordan, fourth grade
Pam: We chose a Catholic education for our children because we wanted more for our children than just academics. We wanted the values that Christ teaches embedded into our children. A Catholic education means that our children will learn Christ’s teaching, and they will learn how to work with others with kindness and giving. At St. Bernard’s, our children have practiced giving to others; they are often doing community service projects. I often hear my children talking about ways to raise money for those in need. I have seen my children pray when they thought I wasn’t watching. I have also heard my children protect those who couldn’t protect themselves. If you want your children to come home from school feeling that they can give to the world more than it gives to them, I would highly recommend sending them to Catholic school.
|St. John the Evangelist School, Uniontown|
Steve and Melanie Bilohlavek
Allison, fourth grade
When we evaluated schools in our area, St. John the Evangelist offered what we were looking for: academic excellence; structure (uniforms and dress code); discipline; and a faculty and staff committed to student development, both academically and spiritually. Having our faith, values and beliefs reinforced while our children are at school allows for one more opportunity to elevate an awareness of God. It also educates our children on the importance of understanding the relationship between God and us and in making Jesus’ ways a part of our daily lives. Catholic education is an excellent way of learning in a traditional classroom setting while adding the dimension of our faith, values and beliefs. This forms a foundation and guiding light for the challenges along one’s path of life.
|St. John the Baptist School, Scottdale|
Joe and Kim O’Wade
Kaylin, fourth grade
Our Catholic faith is important to our family. Catholic education is a prominent extension of our family; our Catholic values are being practiced outside our home to make a complete circle of our faith. Catholic education offers a better opportunity for learning because of its smaller class sizes. This gives our children a secure family feeling. "We Know Your Child by Name" is a reality, which gives us a comforting feeling. In conjunction, Catholic education teaches the common values, such as respect for elders and others, which otherwise may not be taught outside the home. Finally, Catholic education provides a place for education and Catholic values to co-exist, giving our children the freedom to express their beliefs.
|St. Mary (Nativity) School, Uniontown|
Paul and Laura Buckel
Joshua, seventh grade
Emily, fifth grade
Jonathan, first grade
Jacob, junior, Geibel Catholic Middle-High School
Julianne, freshman, Geibel Catholic
Our choice of Catholic education was made long before our children were born. A good education, as well as raising our family with good Christian morals and values, is very important to us. We also wanted to continue the strong tradition of Catholic education in our family. We now have six beautiful children who have benefited from Catholic school; our oldest is in college. Throughout our children’s education, we have experienced an extended family whose Christian values reflect our own. From the clergy and administration, to the teachers and parents, everyone gives their all to make our children’s learning experience the best it can be. We are very happy with the choices that we’ve made for our children. They are happy and are growing into confident and caring young men and women. Thanks be to God!
|St. Sebastian School, Belle Vernon|
Jason and Alta Marie Bialon
Jason Jr., third grade
Ava, second grade
Jason: We value our children attaining an education within a Catholic framework where religious aspects and ethics are incorporated into the entire curriculum. My wife and I both attended Catholic schools, and we are pleased to be able to provide our children with a Catholic education. It is an investment in their future that includes personal development, in addition to the academics. Two of our children have severe food allergies. The entire St. Sebastian faculty has been very accommodating to our needs and shown genuine concern. We have received calls from parents who want to send birthday treats to school but don’t want to exclude our children or jeopardize their safety. We are grateful to be part of a school where the faculty and families have shown such love and kindness to our children.
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