Head of School Blog
Susan Tyree Dempf, Ph.D.

Expanding our Community with Goal IV

Dear Academy families and friends,

This week we continue our deep dive into the 2020 Goals & Criteria of Sacred Heart Education, specifically turning our attention to Goal IV – Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to the building of community as a Christian value. The ‘tagline’ of this goal ‘community’ is often first considered as the social opportunities membership in the Academy family affords. While this is important and helps to build camaraderie as well as shared bonds with both the Academy and other families, alumni, faculty, staff, Board members and friends, Goal IV challenges us to go beyond our first thoughts of this beautiful community of Christ’s heart.

Goal IV offers us a form of cultural norms and sets out for each of us a way of being and interacting. Starting from the most basic belief that all are created in the image and likeness of God, Criteria 1 calls us to “promote the inherent dignity of the human person” and asks us all to engage in relationships grounded in respect and inclusivity. As an outflow of that experience, Criteria 5 asks all members of our school community to “practice and teach the principles of non-violence and conflict management” in “a spirit of peace and reconciliation.”

School leadership is identified in Goal IV as a key player in the development of community as a Christian value through the Criteria calling for “a conscious effort to recruit students and employ faculty and staff of diverse races, ethnicities and backgrounds.” Likewise, socio-economic diversity is valued in the Criteria as the Academy is called to allocate financial resources that support this, both through admissions and the experience lived by our students.

Criteria 2 of Goal IV draws our attention to “educating all members of the school community to the charism, mission and heritage of the Society of the Sacred Heart.” Several weeks ago in Thursday Mail, I spoke directly to our understanding of Saint Madeleine Sophie’s charism to prepare us for a deeper understanding of this Criteria. The celebration of the Feast of Mater Admirabilis as well as the upcoming Feast of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne are also expressions of our engagement with our shared heritage.

Growing from our local community to a more expanded understanding of the community to which we belong, within Goal IV we, as a school, are asked to engage as a member of the Network of Sacred Heart Schools in the United States and Canada as well as those around the world. In today’s Thursday Mail you will hear of how the Academy hosted a gathering of the Society’s Provincial Team, Network Board Chairs and Trustees as well as the Heads of Sacred Heart Schools. We do this annually as the Academy of the Sacred Heart is the launching off point for the foundation of many other Sacred Heart Schools and the final resting place of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne who, along with her companions, brought Sacred Heart education to these lands.

In conclusion, Goal IV is rich in its direction for how we experience community and how we strive to extend ourselves outward from this historic campus.

Wishing you all a blessed week and a joyful celebration of the All Saints and All Souls feast days,

Dr. Susan Dempf
Head of School