This week’s From the Heart author is Marcia Baronovic Renken ’72, 8th, Principal.
The gift of a Sacred Heart education is multifaceted. It is the building of a relationship with God, the community, and with oneself. This experience is rooted in the Five Goals and their criteria. There is no specific ranking of the goals in terms of importance. Each stands on its own, yet they are connected, affirming you cannot have one without the other.
Goal V – Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom – is the goal that wraps its arms around each person as he/she aspires to identify gifts and talents, acknowledge and respond to challenges, and strive to reach his/her potential.
The Academy of the Sacred Heart embraces the criteria of Goal V in obvious and more subtle ways.
- We intentionally provide leadership opportunities at all grade levels — leading prayer, making a presentation, or recording the weather on the class bulletin. These offer varying degrees of importance, but nonetheless are valuable as an opportunity for leadership.
- Allowing students to wonder, imagine, and create is an important aspect of their development. Challenges and situations they will encounter as adults will require initiative and out-of-the-box planning and thinking. Providing, cultivating, and supporting opportunities for free thinking and dreaming will allow for effective problem solving. There is always untapped potential when time and space are provided.
- Students are allowed to make and acknowledge mistakes. While this is not always comfortable, we want to create a supportive environment that ensures understanding and growth are the outcomes.
- Exposing our students to new experiences, service sites, and club activities allows for the development of empathy, compassion, listening, and collaborating. These opportunities may spark interest and a deeper level of commitment because of this exposure.
- Developing clear, direct, and open communication is a focus of our interactions with students. They need to know that their voice matters, their perspective is valued, and they are a member of the community. Hopefully, this adds to the development of courage and confidence. Always engaging with respect and truth, strong communication skills are a desire for our students.
Goal V is my personal favorite. It invites growth, which can be uncomfortable and provoke some anxiety, but is the natural yearning of every human being, recognized or not. The growth to one’s potential is invited, encouraged, and celebrated at the Academy. May we all be so fortunate as to embrace Goal V!
— Marcia Baronovic Renken ’72, 8th, Principal