Ask me why I support St. Theodore school

Published 9:33 am Friday, January 29, 2016

Guest Column by Sue Amundson

At St. Theodore Catholic School, we are diligently working to strengthen and promote our school. Over the past two years, we have worked to share our story and get the word out to the community about the wonderful educational opportunity St. Theodore School can provide.  St. Theodore Catholic School has reached new heights as we achieved some goals we had set for ourselves. These goals included developing and starting a pre-kindergarten program, receiving accreditation through the Minnesota State Accrediting Association and the designation of being a Blue Zones School.

Sue Amundson

Sue Amundson

As we worked to reach our goals, we completed a comprehensive survey of parents, parish members, stakeholders and general community members. One message we heard loud and clear is that people did not know enough about our school and what we had to offer. Our school offers so many wonderful opportunities for our students and our community. My job as principal is to implement these programs, but also to tout our accomplishments and invite others to join us.

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Last year, a dedicated group of parents and community members developed a series of reasons why every parent should consider sending their child to St. Theodore Catholic School. We began our Ask Me Why program. We have coordinated with alumni and parents to provide a number of shining examples of why they support St. Theodore Catholic School. This information has been shared in church bulletins and at the Freeborn County Fair this past summer.

Here are a few reasons:

Small class sizes with
personalized attention

St. Theodore Catholic School benefits students by fostering academic excellence and high achievement, educating the whole child within a values-based setting and preparing youngsters for success in life. The school provides a caring, challenging, nurturing, safe and secure environment for students of all faiths and backgrounds.

St. Theodore Catholic School students are quickly integrated into a closely-knit school environment that provides first-class learning opportunities. Students who start at St. Theodore generally stay from pre-K through fifth grade.  This environment creates a school-wide comradery between students, teachers and staff.

“The children are expected to do the best that they can and are challenged to reach their potential academically. In addition, they are expected to be respectful of their peers, teachers and volunteers.  Early on, students are presented with rigorous tasks, such as oral reading during Mass, technology integration in academics and high behavior expectations inside and outside the classroom.”  — Kelly Goskeson, parent


Faith-enriched education

Following a long tradition in Catholic education, St. Theodore school provides four R’s, rather than three — Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic and Religion.  Religion plays an instrumental role in school programing.  This curriculum goes beyond memorizing the Saints and Bible verses.  Students are encouraged to live like Jesus taught, “Enlivened by the spirit of freedom and charity.” Families and children of all faiths are welcome to learn how to be a person rooted in the community.

The Fr. Scepaniak visits each classroom on a weekly basis to expose students to the basic components of Christian faith. The school and church are closely connected in providing ample opportunities to instill Christian values into the daily classroom experience. The students are also provided with an early opportunity in public speaking as they begin reading at Mass.

“As a veteran educator and a parent, I have seen and experienced what a faith-enriched education can do for a student’s success. Faith builds community, and community builds young people with a strong sense of confidence and self-worth.

“A faith-based foundation in education offers guideposts for young people that help them navigate the challenges that being a teen present.” — Lisa Hagen, alumni parent

We will be celebrating Catholic Schools Week Saturday through Feb. 5, and there will be many opportunities for parents and community members to learn more about our school. Watch for school tour and open house opportunities. Enrollment is always open and new students are welcome.


Sue Amundson is the principal at St. Theodore Catholic School.