Karen Regan is the head of school at Bishop Garcia Diego High School, and she explains how the Catholic education aims to teach the whole student.
How is Bishop Diego working to prepare students spiritually as they head toward college and career? The specific purpose of a Catholic education is the formation of young men and women who will be good citizens of this world, loving God and neighbor, and enriching society. A Christian attitude is at the core of everything we do.
Bishop Diego’s “core values” reflect a commitment to respect, perseverance, and compassion. How are these values integrated into the curriculum and student experience? School leadership, faculty, staff, students, and parents model a definite respect for each other. The core values provide the standards and guidance to maintain the good order indispensable for the pursuits of spiritual and personal development and intellectual excellence. The core values are intended to assist in achieving the delicate and necessary balance between freedom and restraint and are based on learning and meeting the standards and traditions that guide how we relate to each other, our school family, the community at large, and the environment.
Can you break them down for us? Respect. We believe that the well-being and dignity of humanity and the stewardship of the environment are important, God-given responsibilities. We welcome and treat all people with reverence without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, political ideology, gender, age, or other physical or personal characteristics. We abide by laws, adhere to established community standards, and reflect on our emotions, values, attitudes, motivations, mind-sets, and personal attributes as we pursue lives of grace consistent with the Gospel message.
Perseverance. We are steadfast in performing our responsibilities and pursuing our goals with honor, integrity, vigor, and tenacity despite frustrations, mistakes, setbacks, and other obstacles that make our task difficult or seem impossible. We resist temptations and pressures to give up or quit, choosing instead to persist. We adhere to ethical Christian principles even when it is detrimental to our relationships, social standing, careers, or economic well-being. We are accountable for the consequences of our choices and recognize that personal accountability assists us in realizing our God-given potential.
Compassion. We display the trait of empathy by consoling, comforting, calming, supporting, serving, and showing mercy to others. We take ownership of our lives and acknowledge our power to choose what we think, say, and do as gracious and charitable members of a multicultural society. As a faith-based school, our educational mission is to teach students to respond to their baptismal calling, which includes the “giving of oneself” to others. The philosophy of the school incorporates this concept and requires all students, regardless of creed, to perform a minimum of 100 hours of service over four years as a graduation requirement.