PLATTSMOUTH – An education from a Catholic school has many benefits.
That’s not just the opinions of teachers, administrators and parents. Perhaps more importantly, it’s the students who are saying it.
For example, current and former students of St. John the Baptist school in Plattsmouth commented on its smaller class sizes.
“Here, it’s more personal, more one-on-one,” said Libby Baumert, a junior of Lourdes Central Catholic High School in Nebraska City.
Kevin Sohl, an eighth-grader at St John’s, had similar thoughts.
“You get a lot more individual attention,” he said. “The teachers are motivational and extremely helpful, and will stay with you after school to help you with something you’re having trouble with. They want what is best for you.”
Obviously, there’s the faith aspect to the schools.
“I love Catholic schools because we can receive our Lord every day,” said St. John’s fifth-grader Nora Koelzer. “We also get the experience of the true religious life. This is why I love Catholic schools.”
All this week, St. John the Baptist is celebrating Catholic Schools Week like others across the country.
On Tuesday, students dressed up in the theme, “Under the Sea” and took part in a school pep rally. The Lourdes band, choir and cheerleaders also gave a performance.
On Wednesday, a quiz bowl and music bingo had been scheduled, but the cold weather canceled classes for the day.
There are 165 students in pre-school through eighth grade at St. John’s, according to school spokeswoman Deb Walton. That’s a consistent enrollment figure over the years, she said.
“We’ve been fortunate in having that consistency in enrollment,” she said.
Perhaps unknown to many is that the school is open to children of any faith, according to Walton. And, it’s worth the effort for their parents to consider what St. John’s offers, she added.
“Our academics are exceptional,” Walton said.
“And, we bring faith into the teaching.”
There are just 16 students per teacher, which creates more individual attention.
“That is so important,” she said. “Our students have that discipline and strong work ethic. You get that one-on-one learning, but the setting here is so conducive to group learning, to learn together. It’s like family.”
Kindergarten teacher Monica Yankus, who has taught at the school for almost 25 years, agreed.
“The students and parents of St. John the Baptist are family,” she said. “These families have become a part of me and I feel truly blessed to be able to share my faith in every subject, every day of the week with them.”
St. John’s offers an outstanding technology advancement program, Walton added. Every student has access to I-pads and Smartboards are part of the program.
The school also offers child care services, beginning at 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m.
“The teachers and staff at St. John’s focus on educating the whole student,” said Donna Weeda, a parent. “They find the strengths in each child and then build upon those strengths. We are grateful for all the teachers, staff and leadership at St. John’s — they are among the very best.”