Catholic Schools Week at Hill-Murray

Dear Hill-Murray Community,

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the celebration of Catholic Schools Week in the United States.  Hill-Murray joins other schools across the country in celebrating and recognizing the unique contributions a Catholic education provides not just to young people and their families, but to our nation as a whole.  At the heart of the celebration is the fact that Catholic schools share common faith-based values, find stability in their spiritual heritage, and rely on an inspirational vision that goes beyond the obvious.

I benefited from a strong Catholic education and attended Holy Childhood in Saint Paul’s Midway area from grades K-8.  I remember feeling a strong sense of community and faith wrapped in a whole lot of fun.  The school was nothing fancy.  I remember lunches in classrooms and recess in the parking lot.  The purpose of our school was to provide a Catholic education to hard-working families – families like mine.  My dad was a policeman, and my mother a nurse; it does not get any more classic than that.  My parents made many sacrifices to send me to a Catholic school.  They knew the value of a Catholic education.  They knew what it would mean for my future.  They knew it was worth it, and they knew they had the support of the school.  I am proud to say that it is the same today at Hill-Murray.  Hill-Murray parents make sacrifices – and Hill-Murray parents can be assured that their sacrifices are worth it.  I am forever grateful to the donors and benefactors who give so generously to tuition assistance and scholarships so that Hill-Murray is accessible to hard-working families who want and need a Catholic education.  The Pioneer spirit of community, support, and working together is like no other.  We work together to make sure that each student is surrounded by love, challenged to learn and grow, and able to discover their God-given gifts and talents.

Our vision is to help students find their passion, find their calling, all while guiding them through the good and bad times to reach their highest potential – encouraging them to become transformational leaders.  Leaders who have a true north, leaders who serve others and make our world a better place.  I have written to you about this vision, and you have most likely heard me talk about it, too.  I believe in it, and I work hard every day to bring the vision to life.  As the President of Hill-Murray, I know it is my responsibility to inspire our faculty and staff to keep this vision ever present in our daily work – and it never gets old.

Catholic schools – Hill-Murray in particular – stand strong when facing times of stress and uncertainty.  How we respond to the challenges of our day matters.  The spiritual, physical, mental, and relational habits that we develop as children and in our teenage years will either enable or inhibit us.  At Hill-Murray, we make deliberate and conscious choices every day to deliver on our mission, and how we respond and prepare our kids today matters now more than ever.  Please know that the support and dedication of all of those reading these words matter, and during this Catholic Schools Week, know how grateful we are for you.

We are celebrating Catholic Schools Week in style – back by popular demand are the out-of-uniform days created by the Peer Ministers.  Yesterday was “Comfy for Christ.”  Today was “Odd for God,” where students wore mismatched outfits.  We have “Holy Spirit Spirit Day” (HM Gear) and “Jerseys for Jesus” (sports teams)  coming up on Wednesday and Thursday, and then our Pioneers will be back in their traditional Hill-Murray school uniforms for Mass on Friday.  Parents, if you drop off your students on Wednesday morning, you can expect a hot coffee and donut at your car window compliments of our Peer Ministers – it is a way for us to thank you for choosing Catholic Schools.  Other fun events include a medallion hunt, activities with the Sisters at the Monastery, rosary making in Pioneer Pathway middle school classes, trivia, and more.  Last night was Freshman movie night, where students watched “Napoleon Dynamite,” a heartwarming film about awkward high school years.

I am so proud of our Boys Hockey team; they are sponsoring our Catholic Schools Week service project.  The project is a partnership with the Women’s Life Care Center.  Students can donate money to purchase car seats for families or donate a new clothing item for a baby in need.  We are also collecting diapers up to size 24 months.  The collection will continue for the rest of the week.  Thank you to the Boys Hockey Team for organizing this important service project for Catholic Schools Week!

As we celebrate Catholic School Week, thank you for choosing Hill-Murray and supporting our students, faculty, and staff.

Warmest wishes,

Melissa Dan
Hill-Murray School President