High Percentage of Catholic Teachers is a Hallmark of Newman Guide Schools

What distinguishes a Newman Guide school? One key element is the witness of Catholic teachers.

Pope Pius XI wrote, “Perfect schools are the result not so much of good methods as of good teachers.” He is one of the many Church leaders quoted in The Cardinal Newman Society’s resource, The Call to Teach: Magisterial Guidance for Catholic Teachers.

Pope Pius XI goes on to describe good teachers as those who are “well-grounded in the matter they have to teach; who possess the intellectual and moral qualifications required by their important office; who cherish a pure and holy love for the youths confided to them, because they love Jesus Christ and His Church…”

To be recommended in The Newman Guide, Catholic schools must provide the percentage of full-time teachers, part-time teachers, counselors and coaches who are Catholic. Faith-filled teachers are critical in Catholic education, as explained in a recent issue of Our Catholic Mission, a Cardinal Newman Society magazine.

Michael Swearingen, principal of Holy Angels Academy in Louisville, Ky. which is recommended in The Newman Guide, has seen the impact of hiring faithfully Catholic teachers who believe and live what they teach: “The biggest factor in a school like ours isn’t the textbooks, though we are careful about those. It’s the men and women we have in the classroom. We are so prayerful and so discerning about the men and women whom we invite to this vocation of teaching within their vocation.”

“Every adult in this building is a herald of the Gospel,” he says. “It does not matter what subject material you are teaching, or what grade level you are teaching.” His entire faculty takes the Oath of Fidelity to the magisterium of the Catholic Church. “We do everything in our school for the greater glory of God.”

“We want faithful, on-fire, vibrant Catholics who are loyal to holy Mother Church instructing our children,” Dr. Swearingen continues. He says the school partners with parents to prepare students for this life and for the eternal life to come.

Every teacher at Holy Angels Academy is Catholic. Many of the other outstanding Catholic schools recognized in The Newman Guide boast high percentages of full-time Catholic faculty:

  • Holy Angels Academy in Louisville, Ky.: 100 percent
  • Holy Child Catholic School in Tijeras, N.M.: 91 percent
  • Holy Rosary Academy in Anchorage, Alaska: 90 percent
  • Holy Spirit Academy in Monticello, Minn.: 100 percent
  • Lumen Christi Catholic School in Indianapolis, Ind.: 100 percent
  • The Lyceum in South Euclid, Ohio: 100 percent
  • Mary Star of the Sea High School in San Pedro, Calif.: 90 percent
  • Mount Royal Academy in Sunapee, N.H.: 92 percent
  • Rhodora J. Donahue Academy in Ave Maria, Fla.: 100 percent
  • Saint Agnes School in Saint Paul, Minn.: 97 percent
  • Seton School in Manassas, Va.: 100 percent
  • Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School in Keller, Tex.: 94 percent
  • John Paul II Preparatory School in St. Charles, Mo.: 100 percent
  • Monica Academy in Montrose, Calif.: 100 percent

Three Catholic alumni of another Newman Guide Recommended school, Donahue Academy in Ave Maria, Fla., are now serving as teachers and aides at the school. Dr. Marc Snyder, the Academy’s principal, thinks it’s a “beautiful thing to see how they want to give back” to the school that has provided them with so much, including a classical curriculum and access to daily Mass.

Catholic parents who are seeking a Catholic school should ask about the percentage of Catholic teachers. There are many factors to consider in finding a faithful Catholic school, but the witness of strong Catholic teachers should be a high priority.

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