Principal's Message

Dear Parents and Students,

The emotional and spiritual development of a high school student is more pronounced than their intellectual and physical growth. In America, our K-12 system of education spends a large amount of time and money helping high school students grow physically and intellectually. I suppose this focus is as it should be, school is after all an intellectual pursuit and high school students spend these years transforming their bodies into adult men and women. However, our society’s lack of focus on what young people need emotionally and spiritually is expensive as well and comes in the form of teenage suicide, depression, self medicating drug and alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancies and the list goes on and on.

At Juan Diego Catholic High School, we are committed to developing the whole child and to reach them emotionally and spiritually, we dedicate our Campus Life program to this endeavor. Retreats, student service, liturgies and ministry programs are the stuff that helps students grow in key emotional and spiritual ways. This year, Juan Diego hopes to expand this learning through the development of its student mentor program.

In short, all students will be assigned a teacher-mentor who will meet with them in groups of 12-15 every Thursday for 45 minutes to address and foster their spiritual and emotional growth. Freshman mentor-teachers will remain constant each year working with a new group of freshmen helping them to adjust to life as high school students. Students in the three upper classes will be assigned a mentor as sophomores who will work with the students over the course of the next three years.

Students were given an opportunity this summer to participate in choosing their own mentor and name a friend or two who they would like to see in their mentor group. We were able to accommodate many though not all of these requests and some students did not participate in this process. Mentor assignments will be given out during student orientation week from Thursday August 8th through Tuesday August 14th. It is important that all students attend their orientation day this year or if they are not able to do so, inform the Office of Student Services that they will be missing.

Some of the work of mentoring will be practical (helping them achieve their reading goal) but most of it will address their emotional and spiritual needs and helping students develop the skills needed in these areas to function as a complete and total Juan Diego graduate. We are partnering with Franklin-Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) for some of the content that our mentoring sessions will cover. Other aspects of the program will be more spiritual in nature and will come from our own faculty and staff.

One of the main focuses of the mentor program is to help students take responsibility for more of their lives and certainly their education. To achieve this goal, parent-teacher conference this year will be conducted by the students themselves through the guidance of their mentor and held during the school day. It will be the student's responsibility to meet with their mentor and parents to explain their level of academic progress and have a plan for its improvement.

Within a short time after pairing students with their mentor in the next week or so, your child’s mentor will be in contact with you. We will be asking you to write a parent profile of your child as you see him or her as people and learners. The first task of any good mentor is to understand the people that they are mentoring and we know parents and the students themselves will have great insight that the mentor will need to aid in the student's growth. We look forward to working with parents and student on this endeavor as we strive constantly to address the needs of the whole student at Juan Diego Catholic High School.

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Galey Colosimo

Principal, Juan Diego Catholic High School

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