Resurrection School is 50 years old this year! Students, staff and alumni came together on Sunday, December 13 for a Family Mass and reception to celebrate 50 years of Catholic education at Resurrection School.
When parents tour Resurrection in search of a school for their children they often ask, “What makes Resurrection different from other schools?” While we feel that we have many strengths such as our students’ academic success, faith and leadership opportunities, extracurricular activities and indoor and outdoor facilities, the one thing that stands out as our key strength is our community. Families, staff and visitors remind us of this blessing time and time again.
Nothing demonstrates the sense of community more than the pride of alumni who return to Resurrection, bringing their children as students so they can have the experiences of a Resurrection education. Likewise when former students return to Resurrection as teachers, the message of community is powerful.
Deanna Angelo attended Resurrection School from 1986-1995. Three of her four children are currently students here and her eldest graduated from Resurrection in 2015 and is attending St. Lawrence Academy. “When the time came to choose a school for my children, I explored my options but after speaking to other schools I knew Resurrection was going to be the best place for them. Everyone is always very welcoming, friendly, and supportive. From the teachers and staff to the parents and students, Resurrection School clearly defines the meaning of a family and a community.”
Brian Wahl (Class of 1983) and his four siblings graduated from Resurrection school. “We have continued this tradition so our children can learn and practice their faith, grow and develop academically in preparation for high school, and widen their scope and hearts to the community/world that surrounds them.”
The choice to send their children to their alma mater wasn’t an automatic one. Most alumni parents did their due diligence and looked at all options. Amy Miller Schawan (Class of 1987) says, “It was important for us to find a school that fit the needs of our children, as well as us feeling comfortable having them attend. The one thing that grasped our attention [at Resurrection] the most was the feeling of family. We really wanted to have all our children attend a school that carried out the same values that we teach our kids at home- and Res met those standards. We felt the hands of God guiding us to Res and after 9 years (and counting) we still feel we made the right decision.”
Choosing Resurrection School for their children isn’t always the most convenient choice for some legacy families. In many cases, Resurrection is not the closest school to the families. Alumna Laura Fay’s family drives through their very highly-rated public school district in Saratoga and other nearby Catholic schools every day on their way to and from Resurrection. But for Laura the choice came down to wanting to give her three children the “…best of what I received growing up…and that is why I chose Resurrection for them. Resurrection provided me a fantastic learning environment that also gave me a foundation of strength in my confidence to try anything, integrity in my intentions, trust in people, organizations and the unknown, all while grounding me in my faith and spirituality.” Amy Schawan notes, “We could have chosen the local public or private schools in our neighborhood. These schools fair well when it comes to curriculum, but were missing some valuable tools that both my husband and I feel necessary for education- the ability to teach faith, love, and honesty with God as the main influence.”
Alumni parents and teachers note a few changes since they attended in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
There are a few extra buildings, lockers are now used by upper grade students, school colors have changed and no longer do students wear ties three days a week. There were no Junior High dances with other local Catholic high schools like we have today.
And how do their children feel about attending the same school as their parents? Laura says, “They are proud!” and Deanna’s children often joke with her about the “olden times” at Res and they enjoy taking her to the library to remind her that her 8th Grade picture is hanging in there.
Alumni don’t always return as parents either – sometime they return as teachers! Currently we have two alumnae who are teaching at Resurrection. Miss Jennifer Billiet is our 2nd Grade teacher and Mrs. Claudia Rodriquez Hall teaches 3rd Grade. Not only is Mrs. Hall a returning alumna, her two children are also Resurrection students.
Miss Billiet chose to come back to Resurrection because she knew it would be a “…wonderful, supportive school to begin my teaching career. I feel “at home” at Resurrection. I was also very excited that there was an opening for 2nd grade! I feel blessed to be involved in preparing students for First Communion and Reconciliation.”
Says Miss Billet, “This school is different because of the sense of community. I consider the Resurrection community as a second family. We are also very lucky that so many teachers and family members stay at Resurrection. There are a few teachers at Resurrection that were teachers when I was a student here. We also have several alumni parents and students that come back to volunteer for the school. That is truly something special.”