Throughout the last quarter of the 2019-2020 school year, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Palm Beach transitioned to virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Principals reported that attendance for online classes was strong and that the vast majority of students were performing well, academically. Teachers worked extraordinarily hard to provide a strong academic program. The school reached out to parents of students who were struggling, had learning differences or did not turn in assignments. Although, having children in a classroom with their teacher is the optimal learning environment, students in our Catholic schools found that at home learning afforded some excellent academic opportunities as well. Our students were challenged academically and found strength through their families and their faith.
The Diocese of Palm Beach Office of Catholic Schools is the proud recipient of a grant from the Gerstner Family Foundation that supports scholarships for high school students who exhibit high academic achievement, service and leadership. This past school year, 54 students were honored as Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Distinguished Scholars at Cardinal Newman High School, John Carroll High School and Saint John Paul II Academy. The scholarships were awarded through an application process, which required the recipients to write a letter to Mr. Gerstner sharing with him their experiences from the past year. These letters provided excellent insight into how our Catholic school students navigated the pandemic over the last quarter by utilizing the support of parents, teachers, friends and their faith. Gary Gelo, superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Palm Beach, shared, “The resilience and positive attitude of these students can be a great inspiration to all of us. The quotes that follow are a true testament to the value of our Catholic schools and the faith communities formed through them by the families who choose to attend.”
To highlight the resilience and positive attitudes of these students, the Office of Catholic Schools will be starting a special initiative on July 1, 2020 titled, “Have Faith, Our Future is in Good Hands!” For the next three weeks, the Office of Catholic Schools will highlight profiles from various Gerstner Distinguished Scholars from Cardinal Newman High School, John Carroll High School and Saint John Paul II Academy. You can find these profiles on the @DoPBCatholicSchools social media sites and below. Please join us in celebrating these students and in knowing that we should remain steadfast in our faith, as the future is in good hands.