When parents prepare for the school year, they often focus on making sure their student has all the right supplies. As the school year nears, those students very often try to push all thoughts of school away, diving more intensely into the waning leisure of summer. When teachers prepare for the school year, their focuses can vary significantly, though, likely all of them are interested in making the upcoming year one of the most successful they can for their students. The students of St. Lawrence Seminary returned to the Hill much earlier than many students in other schools; however, they were met with enthusiastic teachers who all had a vision for the year ahead.
St. Lawrence benefits from a teaching staff with a variety of backgrounds and experience, and that variety shines through in each of their classes as well as what they most look forward to each year. Mrs. Jenny Tabbert, a math teacher who helps in organizing math meet experiences, explained that she was “excited to see the returning students and meet all of our new students.” From the first day they arrived on campus, during registration, students met and began to interact with their teachers who were so eager to get to know them. This sentiment was echoed by social studies teacher Mr. Tim Schultz, who is now in his seventh year with SLS, who said, “I am really looking forward to interacting with the students I have never had in class before (the sophomores and new juniors). It’s always great getting to know and developing relationships with them.” Building relationships is one of the core tenets of SLS’s mission statement; it isn’t just expected of the students, though, it’s also lived out by the faculty and staff.
Mr. John Ahlstrom heads SLS’s music department, conducting the choir and band as well as teaching Music Appreciation and Music Theory. He noted, “Each year (although I try not to) I find myself approaching the school year aware of the holes that have been left in the band and choir due to graduation or other circumstances. Invariably, I have found those losses have been offset—either by new students or by returning students who have made quantum leaps in their musicianship. It’s almost like Christmas morning, waiting to see what musical gifts I have been given.” This sentiment, of seeing students’ growth, was echoed by Mrs. Jamie Stephanie, a math teacher with SLS since 2011, who reflected, “This year, as every year, I’m looking forward to meeting new students and catching up with returning students. It’s always astounding to see the change in each student; they all mature so much from August to December, let alone August to May. But it’s also wonderful to greet a class of seniors who we’ve seen change throughout the years into respectful young adults who are leaders on campus.”
Each new school year also brings new experiences for the students. One that many are looking forward to this year is partnering with our newest sister school, an undertaking which was spearheaded by Spanish teacher Mrs. Alex Auch. She explained, “What I’m most looking forward to in this school year is taking our first group of students to Lima, Peru, over winter break! It has been very rewarding but also challenging to form the relationship with Colegio Santa Ana, and it was very exciting to welcome them here last year. For our students to have the chance to see the world through the eyes of a student on the other side of the planet is such a privilege and opportunity.” Certainly, many are looking forward to that new experience.
Whether it was simply getting to know the new students, seeing how the returning students have grown, or a specific experience, St. Lawrence Seminary’s faculty and staff knew what would energize them most this school year. They noted, with optimism and enthusiasm, the simple joys of being a teacher. As students across the country return to class, may they too look forward to the new beginning of this academic year.
St. Lawrence Seminary is an all boys Catholic boarding school located in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin. We welcome students from Minnesota, Illinois and across the United States. Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the example of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Lawrence Seminary provides a residential college preparatory education in a living Catholic community nurturing mature, well-rounded men of faith. See if St. Lawrence is right for you and your son.