Catholic Schools Week: Notre Dame juniors reflect on Catholic schools


By Anna Kottenstette

Catholic schools consistently provide their students with many things, such as the freedom of expression, constant support and opportunities to succeed.

Attending a Catholic school allows me to do many things throughout my day that young people in the public system cannot. These are simple things, such as saying the Pledge of Allegiance and expressing myself through prayer. These are two things that I appreciate most about Catholic Schools.

Nowhere else is the right to free speech more literally applied. Here at Catholic schools, we do not have guidelines on what can and cannot be spoken about. This provides for a more well-rounded education. 


It was my parents’ decision that initially landed me in Catholic schools in 1997. However, if I were to be given the choice today, I would not be educated anywhere else.

Although the population is not in the thousands, or even upper hundreds, I feel surrounded with peers who share in my beliefs and teachers who want nothing more than to see my generation prosper and grow with a strong, virtuous base. This base will continue to be laid for years to come, allowing myriads of students to succeed just as it has allowed me.

By Jerica Skalinski

I have never felt unsafe in my school. I’ve never had to worry about being bullied or having things stolen from my locker. I’ve never dreaded going to school. My school is my second home, a place that I look forward to attending each day; this is because I have the privilege of attending a Catholic school.

As we celebrated Catholic Schools Week I realized how lucky I am to be able to live out my faith in my school community. Most of us were sent to this school because our parents knew it to be a wonderful institution of integrity and principles. We weren’t given a choice (at a younger age), but I feel confident that if given the choice today, we would all remain at this Catholic school.

The people at this school are my family. We have gone to school together since our grade school years and have been able to learn and grow in our faith together. I cannot explain, in full, the impact that this establishment has had on my life and the lives of others. Its influence fills every aspect of our lives, and will remain with us forever.

By Zach Champion

Education is one of the defining opportunities presented by democracy. Our nation, known for its many freedoms, has proclaimed throughout its history the importance of the right to pursue any goal you desire with a foundation of knowledge to back you up, and in turn provides the necessary resources for any of its citizens to do so. Our support of schooling for youth is immeasurable by the rest of the world’s standards, but even in the state-funded public school systems you can’t find all of the freedoms and privileges available to us at a Catholic school.

In public schools God’s name is minimized and personal beliefs are hidden behind a barrier of law. Here we are free to express ourselves religiously without bounds, and the faith which is the pinnacle of our being can be presented without fear of ridicule or punishment. 

The benefits to this environment can be found in every department — nowhere else is a Christmas music program presented in favor of a winter one. Nowhere else is science class opened with a daily prayer and every student able to look at every issue from a religious perspective. 

For all these reasons I am truly thankful to be a part of my school, and would accept no other institution as a replacement.

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