Eight years ago I answered a job post that seemed to perfectly combine my love of working with people and my Catholic faith. Honestly, it seemed too good to be true. But when I left my interview, I called my husband and said I needed to be a part of this new exciting school. It was everything I loved! I feel so blessed to still be here almost a decade later.
On the days I arrive early to work, I love to sit quietly in our beautiful schoolhouse chapel. The calm of the school, the peace of Jesus in the chapel, and the glow of the candle all allow for quiet reflection and prayer. St. Benedict Classical Academy (SBCA) is always in my prayers during these moments. SBCA feels like a gift and I believe it is so special because of the students, faculty, and families.
My absolute favorite day of the year is the first day of school, when the halls come alive. The chatter, the joy, the virtue, the knowledge that comes flooding through the doors is electric. I feel fortunate to sit in the middle of it all, and love my daily interaction with the students. My encounters often involve an ice pack or a band-aid or simple encouragement for my visitor to take a little break. But as the students sit with me at the front desk, they talk and I listen. Sometimes they talk about a soccer game, or the big fish they caught over the weekend, but ultimately it is always a window into the wonderful people you are all raising. Our House of Faith program is just one of the many times I see this in action. This program combines our students from K-6 into mixed houses, participating in projects, lessons, and challenges each month. However, what I observe is how our older students thrive while mentoring the younger students. They are natural leaders, and they often remind me to live the St. Benedict Way and “be the light of Christ in our prayer, work and play”. Our students are special.
From where I sit, I also am blessed to witness our faculty in action. They teach with unbridled passion and knowledge, and it is infectious. They are here when the sun comes up, and here when the sun goes down. And they are focused on forming the whole child. Recently a student was asked to be excused from class to complete some make up work, and I heard the student beg, “PLEASE PLEASE can I do that after Jesus time? I don’t want to miss it, it is my favorite part of the day!” The SBCA faculty is dedicated to our mission, and they are second to none. Our faculty is special.
And then we have our families. Attending SBCA is a sacrifice, and some travel quite a distance. I know we are all so grateful you decided to send your children to SBCA. I often have to interact with parents when students are not well at school. I have three kids, and I know when you see the school name on your caller ID, you have to think to yourself, “Oh no, why is Stacey calling me now…”, but I am always greeted with a friendly voice. Thank you for making my job something I look forward to each and every day. Our families are grounded in faith and joy, and it shows in your kids. Together we move to the future, and I just can’t wait to see and hear about all the success that is born out of our little (getting bigger every day) school. Our families are special.
My own faith formation started as a young girl in my Nana’s house. I spent summers with her and we would walk to their local church every Sunday morning, followed by warm glazed donuts at her neighbors’ house. However the highlight of my summer would be the weekend of the St. Anne’s Shrine festival. The shrine was magical. I can still close my eyes and see the rolling fields, the statues, the stations, and the bell outside the chapel – it was just so wonderful. In times of prayer I often lean on these memories, which bring me peace. The morning of my interview I prayed to St. Anne (and enjoyed a quick call with my Nana!), that they would take a chance on a housewife/mother who was looking to transition back to the workplace. It is not lost on me that I found my way to a school founded by mothers/caregivers. SBCA has become the St. Anne’s Shrine of my present day. It is magical, and I feel blessed to be a part of it all.
So for all the big and small moments, for all my daily interactions with the students, faculty and staff, and for my relationship with all our SBCA families, I am grateful. I truly have the best seat in the house.
AUTHOR: Stacey Funk, Administrative Assistant & Front Desk Reception