I am Angela Johnston, and I have been a principal for 18 years. Before that I was a music therapist working with adjudicated youth. I am blessed to be surrounded by children every day, and I feel lucky to be a part of helping them learn and get closer with Christ. Having been doing this for years, I see a lot of change every year. We are trying to grow every day and working to eventually become Saints. It has been a beautiful journey for sure.
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At our school, we have been instructing with the Virtue program created by Lumen Ecclesiae Press for over seven years, so it has become the language of our teachers, the office, our parents, and therefore, our students. It is important for them to learn the language, whether it be directly or indirectly, by observing others using it, so that they can implement it into their life. It takes time, but it is practicing virtue that helps them be the best person they can be and allows them to be the person that God calls them to be.
Implementing the Lumen Ecclesiae Press’ program began soon after finding out about it; once we heard about it, learned it, and talked with Sr. John Dominic about it at her school, we started using it at ours. We were blessed to be able to see the many different things they are doing and the remarkable impact of all of it on both the students and the staff; it inspired us to bring it to our school. In every classroom, teachers have a list of all the virtues on the walls, which we then correlate to the colors of Sr. John Dominic’s program. This allows the children to better understand the categories of virtues. With this program, it is important to take it and make it your own. We have had to figure out how the program fits within our school and curriculum and have made adjustments accordingly.
Since we started the program, we have seen the students implement the virtues in their own lives. It is beautiful to see this program come to fruition and to see the students understand it to the point where they can identify virtues in others. Seeing these students have a thorough grasp on such important concepts is beautiful and rewarding. As an administrator, I see first-hand that the fruits generated from the programs are priceless. It changed the dynamics of our school, and that is when you know you’re moving the right direction. We can confidently say that those virtues are becoming a lived thing — a lived action by the students, the faculty, and the parents.
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