St. Patrick Catholic School

122 West Street, Portland, MI   (517) 647-7551

Reflections by Randy Hodge

A Time to be Thankful

Posted on November 21, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Each year around this time I, like many others, spend time reflecting on what I am thankful for. There are many things that come to mind, first and foremost having the opportunity to serve as principal in my home parish and at the school from which I graduated. But, there are several other things that always stand out as well.

I am so appreciative that our school is built on our faith in Christ. Having the freedom to put God first in everything we do is a precious gift. We pray each morning as we start the day, we give thanks at lunch time, we gather for Mass each week, and we pray before each large event, including athletic events. What a gift it is that we can give thanks for all our successes and blessings.

I also enjoy the family-like atmosphere here at our parish school. We are one big family and our school is an extension of students’ homes. All families have issues they struggle with. Families go through tough times where their love is tested. Fortunately, tough times don’t last but tough people do. Families forgive and forget and move on and grow from the trials and tribulations that test their love and faith. And in the end, it is always a great feeling to come home.

The commitment to academic success throughout our school community is another thing I appreciate about our school. Our school families value rigorous standards in the classroom and invest themselves in that success. Smaller graduating classes give teachers the opportunity to truly get to know their students and provide them with one-on-one attention. It is easier to monitor a student’s progress, remediate a struggling student, and help foster the family environment we have at St. Patrick School.

I am proud that are students are willing to step up and be leaders in our school and in our community. Our Student Ambassador Team continues to do great work in our school, in our community and beyond. Students continually look around and where there is a need, they find a way to fill it. We have a new computer club and a handwriting club this school year which were started by our students.

Our students are missionaries in the truest sense as they represent their faith, school and families. Here is just one example of how our students and their families represented our school.  We received this note this week:

My husband and I were in Marquette, MI on Saturday night (11/18/17) to celebrate his birthday. It was a getaway we were looking forward to because it was our first night away from our six children in over a year. When we checked into our hotel (the Country Inn) we were thoroughly disappointed to see teenagers everywhere.

However, the students and their families who stayed in the hotel were excellent stewards of your school. The kids were mannerly and well behaved, and the families were all at Mass on Sunday morning.

I wanted to pass on the compliments to you as the head of your school. These young people were really a beautiful example of why Catholic education is worth it. We are from Iron Mountain and our children go to a Catholic school there but there is no option for Catholic high school. I hope and pray that your school is thriving.

God Bless!

Jessica Cameron

One cannot go wrong with a foundation built on faith, family, love, and learning. It is a foundation that is made to weather even the toughest of times. St. Patrick School and Parish are definitely something to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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