Office of Schools Annual Report 2017-2018

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A message from Bishop Paul J. Bradley Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Each opportunity I have to interact with the more than

2,500 Catholic school students bolsters my hope for the future. Each moment is a blessing whether I’m reading

Dr. Seuss to a giggly group of preschoolers, celebrating the outstanding academic achievements with our

St. Thomas Aquinas Scholarship winners or joining

my voice with children in praise during the celebration of the Eucharist.

I’m supportive and proud of the work our Office of Schools staff provides to our schools from professional development opportunities for

our excellent educators to marketing and enrollment tools. Oftentimes their

valuable work is done “behind the scenes” but is an important ingredient in

our Catholic schools’ success.

Most importantly, I’m grateful for the dedication to the education and formation of our precious students – those who will hopefully embrace their role as

missionary disciples and transform our world by their example.

May God bless our Catholic school community as we continue to strive to be

a beacon of light and hope for all who seek us. Faithfully yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Paul J. Bradley

Bishop of Kalamazoo


A message from Superintendent Margaret Erich Dear Catholic School Families and Friends,

Each year I have the pleasure of sharing with you the

achievements and highlights of the Catholic Schools in

Diocese of Kalamazoo. I am grateful for the dedication of

my colleagues within the Office of Schools as we strive to and school staffs.

advocate and advance Catholic education and faith

formation working alongside our exemplary educators

We share in each Catholic school’s success and strive to provide ongoing

resources and support. This past spring, we began the process of working on

an updated strategic plan to help guide our schools for the next three to five years. It was refreshing to meet our current parents at the planning sessions. I was encouraged to witness so many who are so passionate about the success of our schools.

We will continue to partner with our schools to further position ourselves as

leaders in our communities, not just in offering an exceptional education, but thriving as places where students can grow in their love of God and service to others.

Thank you for taking the time to review our annual report to learn more about how

we are preparing our next generation of leaders. Sincerely,

Margaret Erich

Superintendent, Office of Schools Diocese of Kalamazoo



St. Margaret School, Otsego 269-694-2951

St. Mary’s Visitation Catholic School, Byron Center 616-681-9607 – St. Stanislaus Catholic School, Dorr 269-793-7204 –

St. Therese Catholic School, Wayland 269-792-2016 BARRY COUNTY

St. Rose of Lima School, Hastings 269-945-3164 BERRIEN COUNTY

Lake Michigan Catholic Elementary School, St. Joseph 269-429-0227 –

St. Philip Catholic Central High School, Battle Creek 269-963-4503 – KALAMAZOO COUNTY

Hackett Catholic Prep, Kalamazoo 269-381-2646 Light of Christ Academy, Augusta 269-629-7253 St. Catherine Preschool, Portage 269-327-5165 St. Augustine Cathedral School, Kalamazoo 269-349-1945 –

Lake Michigan Catholic Middle & High School, St. Joseph 269-983-2511 –

St. Monica Catholic School, Kalamazoo 269-345-8534 –


Immaculate Conception Catholic School, Three Rivers 269-273-2085 –

St. Mary’s School, Niles 269-683-9191

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, Coldwater 517-279-0404 St. Mary’s Assumption School, Bronson 517-369-4625 www. CALHOUN COUNTY


St. Joseph Catholic Middle School, Battle Creek 269-963-4935 –

St. Joseph Catholic Elementary, Battle Creek 269-965-7749 –



Saint Basil Catholic School, South Haven 269-637-3529

St. Mary Catholic School, Paw Paw 269-657-3750

The 22 Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Kalamazoo are proud to serve a diverse population. Varying in size, the Catholic schools are located in both urban and rural areas across the nine counties of Southwest Michigan offering an opportunity for Catholic school education for every child.

504 — Preschool-aged children (0-4) 1,669 — Grades K-8 461 — Grades 9-12 2,634 — Total students 216 — Teachers

How we serve The Office of Schools is dedicated to sustaining and improving the quality of Catholic education and faith formation in our diocese. With each school’s cooperation, it serves as the administrative umbrella to allow collaboration and continued success for our schools.

Office of Schools provides:

• • • • • • • •

Professional development opportunities for teachers, administrators and support staff

Administrative assistance to Catholic schools and Local Consultative Advisory Boards

Support with enrollment and retention initiatives

Guidance and monitoring on school improvements Oversight and guidance on curriculum

Assistance with obtaining title funds and grants Policies and regulations for school guidance

Compliance for health and safety regulations


Teacher Certification:

Teachers within the Diocese of Kalamazoo hold credentials expected of any teacher; at minimum a bachelor’s degree with the needed certification to teach at their respective levels in core subject areas.

Accreditation & National Standards:

All Catholic schools within the Diocese of Kalamazoo are accredited by the Michigan Non-Public School Accrediting Association (MNSAA) using standards laid out in the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools. The standards describe how successful Catholic schools operate within four domains – Mission and Catholic Identity, Governance and Leadership, Academic Excellence, and Operational Vitality. Pictured below: 2018 Lake Michigan Catholic High School graduates.


Light of Christ Academy, a newly-formed Catholic school

combining St. Ann Preschool and diocese-affiliate school, Vineyard Academy, opened in Fall 2018 with plans to join as a part of the diocese’s collaborative of schools.

The Office of Schools focused on new ways to promote our Catholic schools this year. A new website created solely for our diocesan Catholic schools coupled with a consistent and current Facebook presence has increased engagement with existing and prospective families while being able to share the amazing things our schools are doing. Catholic Schools — Diocese of Kalamazoo

Day of Giving:

This year, several of the schools within our diocese participated in the inaugural “Day of Giving” coordinated by the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). Monies were collected both online and in person, with most of the schools and the Office of Schools earmarking the funds for student financial assistance.

Thank you to all those who contributed. Your gifts make a tremendous amount of difference for families who are working to provide a Catholic education for their children.


raised in 24 hrs for student tuition assistance.


The Catholic School Difference


Daily prayer. Weekly Mass. Priests walking the halls and present in the classrooms with our students. Our Catholic faith is at the center of all we do. From our updated Theology curriculum to formation that reinforces the values taught at home, at the

heart of everything is Jesus Christ. Our students’ relationship with Jesus, and the joy and hope that accompany their faith, will always be the center of who they are and the people they are becoming. Faith is the core of Catholic education.


The competence and dedication of our teachers and administrators contribute

significantly to our students’ successes. Our educators view teaching not only as a

profession but as a mission. They work to foster a culture of educational excellence

by teaching critical thinking skills, employing innovative methodology and maintaining rigorous curriculum standards. These high academic standards are maintained in

an environment that places an emphasis on the importance of a moral education, sense of community and service to others.


A Catholic school education seeks not only to educate but also to touch the hearts and form the consciences of its students with a desire and commitment to pursue what is good, right and just. Through service projects and servant leadership

opportunities, our students answer the call to serve others before themselves.

Through serving others, our students build on the foundation of faith and knowledge to become well-rounded members of their communities.


100% graduation rate

Academic Excellence MAP testing. NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) is a research-based, computerized assessment which allows educators to determine academic growth

throughout the course of the school year. Each student takes three MAP tests annualy in math and reading from kindergarten through eighth grade and FIRST GRADE


Diocesan Average




Language Usage





Language Usage


Diocesan Average National Average



Language Usage


National: 1060



State: 1007



Diocesan Average National Average


St. Phillip Catholic — 1101

National Average


National Average

Lake Michigan Catholic – 1155 Hackett Catholic Prep — 1121

Diocesan Average


Diocesan Average

SAT Test Scores


National Average Math


language usage from grades two through eight. Test scores clearly indicate that our students outperform their public school counterparts in nearly all areas.

Diocesan Average

National Average Math

99% college-bound

Language Usage



Language Usage


Diocesan Average National Average



Diocesan Average National Average

Science Diocesan Average National Average



Language Usage



An Evangelizing Community

Catholic schools have always served a variety of roles for their communities, but

front and center is faith formation through evangelization. Our Catholic schools are

such places of deep faith that numerous students and their families who attend our

schools enter into our Church through the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation during or after their time in our schools.

“Just after one year at St. Joseph [Middle School], my belief in God and feeling more comfortable talking and praying to Him became very easy.” As his classmates were

preparing for confirmation, Marcel also found he wanted to be confirmed. He began the process to be baptized as well as make his First Holy Communion, which he

received from Bishop Bradley. “Now I continue to live the Faith. Going to St. Joseph Catholic Middle School and St. Philip Catholic Central High School was the best

thing that ever happened to me because not only do I have friends, I have a family of friends and teachers.”

Marcel Williams – St. Philip Catholic Central High School, sophomore (pictured right)

Pictured left: Siblings, Alexis Deuel (7th grade) and Tyler Deuel (2016 graduate) Lake Michigan Catholic Schools, entered the Catholic faith.


Pictured right: This year four families from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School (totaling 11 people) were welcomed into the Church. Shown right are Alaina Jaye and her mother Danniel Jaye.

Sr. Laura Toth

Faith is alive in our schools and lived every day through the words and actions of each student.

Franciscans of the Eucharist of Chicago St. Philip Catholic Central, Class of 2007

Sr. Laura Toth, a graduate of

St. Joseph and St. Philip Catholic Central in Battle Creek, officially joined the Franciscans of the

Eucharist of Chicago three years ago. She took her final vows of

poverty, chastity and obedience

in April 2018. The apostolates of her religious community are Eucharistic Adoration, service to the poor, evangelization and teaching.

“I hadn’t really ever considered a vocation in religious life” said

Sr. Laura, but during my senior year of high school I started attending Mass and receiving the sacrament of reconciliation more regularly.

Fr. John Fleckenstein walked with me as I started the journey toward a deeper faith. During a senior class pilgrimage to Rome I met

Fr. James Adams and he was an inspiring example of what a young person living their faith is and he does so with such joy. I began

reading about the saints and it was St. Therese of Lisieux’s diary that drew me to religious life.

“I attended Catholic schools starting in kindergarten. I have strong memories of older students making rosaries for those of us going through First Communion. Even though our faith wasn’t explicitly talked about in every class, there were seeds planted of how everything was connected back to it.

“The beauty of a Catholic education is that faith and reason sharpen each other. You get an excellent academic education while also receiving the gift of the Catechism.”


Uniting our Catholic faith in all we do and learn

As the jobs of the future are increasing in the areas of science, technology and engineering we are dedicated to helping prepare students to be ready to meet the challenges ahead.

Students’ educational opportunities go beyond the traditional reading, writing

and arithmetic. We strive to prepare our students by including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in our curriculum in addition to traditional subjects.

In addition there are several schools that incorporate STEAM and STREAM

into their curriculum. STEAM is “science and technology, interpreted through engineering and the arts, all based in elements of mathematics.” The “R” in

STREAM is adopted by our schools for the addition of

religion so students’ education is enhanced through the lens of our Catholic faith. This curriculum also presents

additional opportunities to

help students understand the complementary — not

conflicting — relationship

between faith and science.


Pictured left: First grade students studied the development of embryos in eggs and its relationship to the sanctity of life.

Paul Smith

Graduate Student of Neuroscience Education at Columbia University, New York Hackett Catholic Prep Class of 2013

Paul Smith, a Catholic school student since preschool, fostered his love for teaching by tutoring his fellow students throughout high school. After graduating from Hackett Catholic Prep,

Paul attended Harvard University where he studied chemistry and neurobiology.

He now plans to meld his love for the brain and for teaching, pursuing graduate studies in neuroscience education at

Columbia University. Paul hopes to research how teachers can use neuroscience to improve education.

Active on the bowling team as well as band, the tight-knit

community aspect of Catholic schools is part of what Paul

credits for his success. According to Paul, allowing teachers

to work with students on a more individual basis, students are better able to discover and pursue their individual passions within the subject matter.

“A big part of what has shaped me was that I was taught in

different ways and my teachers really emphasized there are different ways to think about the world,” he said. “While the

Catholic schools are focused on helping you grow through faith and service, they’re also dedicated to helping you grow academically.”


Christ-like caring of God’s people

Jesus said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” Catholic school students serve their communities by living the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Feed the Hungry & Shelter the Homeless

Students at St. Augustine Cathedral School spend time bringing food to those living at the Eleanor House for those who are displaced and homeless in the greater-Kalamazoo area.

“I like bringing over baskets to the Eleanor House because it feeds kids

when they get home from school. It shows faith to other people. I bet the kids are very grateful to have food and water when they get home. It’s amazing how what we do can make others so happy.” – Ella, St. Augustine Cathedral School

Give Alms to the Poor

A group of fifth grade girls from St. Monica Catholic School, called Klothes 4 Kidz, collect clothes, wash them, create matching outfits based on sizes and then wrap them in ribbon and add prayer cards. These outfits are donated to St. Vincent De Paul and Catholic Charities.

Comforting the Sorrowful

Students at our schools reach out to buddies from different generations.

Saint Basil Catholic School does activities, such as read and play games with

their buddies. Saint Mary Catholic School makes cards and visits to sing Christmas carols.

“One of my favorite things at our school is

going to River Ridge. Service is a big part of our school! We get to do fun crafts with our buddies!”

– Leah, Saint Basil Catholic School

Pray for the Living and the Dead

Our Catholic schools remember in a special

way the service of those who gave their lives for our freedom. Students at Immaculate

Conception Catholic School in Three Rivers


placed flags on the graves of veterans in of Memorial Day.

Kim LaSata

79th District State Representative Lake Michigan Catholic High School, Class of 1981

Kim LaSata’s family has a long and special history with the St. Joseph Catholic Church community. Her

great, great, great grandfather was

the contractor for the church building. For her, it’s a family tradition.

Kim attended Watervliet Catholic School until 6th grade when her

family moved. Later, Kim asked to transfer back into Catholic schools and graduated from Lake Michigan Catholic. She returned to her alma mater after college to teach 5th grade for almost a decade.

It was her experience of serving others as a way of life, ingrained both at home and in her Catholic school education that led her to pursue her vocation as a civil servant.

She reaffirms the importance of Catholic education when it comes to fostering a life of service through her four children. Her daughter, now a senior in college, began Lake Michigan Catholic’s first Right to Life Club, leading the group to the Walk for Life in

Washington, D.C. Kim attended as a chaperone and she was struck by the amazing

witness to life these young people proved to be. “It is amazing to see young people so passionate about the sanctity of life and protecting it.”

And when that same daughter experienced home sickness her freshman year at

college, Kim says it was through the Mass that she found strength and peace and helped her settle into her new community.

“When your children get out into the world, you want them to have strength and a

spirit of service,” said Kim. “And you want them to get that strength and spirit from

the Church. Catholic education is a great way to give them that foundation of reliance on God.”


Office of Schools Staff Margaret Erich

Superintendent and Executive Director, Secretariat for Catholic Education and New Evangelization Email: • Direct Line: 269-903-0165

Dr. Jillian Kellough

Associate Superintendent Email: • Direct Line: 269-903-0181

Nina Laney

Enrollment & Retention Specialist Email: • Direct Line: 269-903-0159

Laurie Tichvon

Executive Assistant Email: • Direct Line: 269-903-0207

2018 — Diocese of Kalamazoo 215 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49004 Catholic Schools – Diocese of Kalamazoo Cover and Graphic Design: Terry Hageman, Associate Director, Office of Communication