Thursday, August 02, 2007

No more classes, no more books . . .

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When summer approaches, the refrain is "No more classes, no more books, no more teachers, dirty looks" (at least, according to Bugs Bunny). During the school year, students are watching and waiting for any chance of snow, which might mean no school. Some even dream of the day when the school might burn down. It's just part of being a kid.

But I think the children who go to St. Alban's Episcopal School will instead be saddened by the news that the school will not open again in the Fall. They will have to go to school somewhere, of course. I'm sure that's when it will really start to sink in . . . it just won't be the same.

The school struggled financially around the 1999/2000 school year (not exactly sure about the date), and was never able to fully recover. The bold move to a new campus, which sought to address many long-term needs, was simply not enough to bring it back to a solid footing.

There are many wonderful children and families that we have been blessed to serve. It is a community that will be lost. I grieve over that. So many parents and others in our extended family put down their hard earned cash to help secure the school's future. And there are many faculty and staff who have worked very hard andpassed up more lucrative salaries elsewhere and even accepted pay cuts to help the school survive. I hope their sacrifices will one day be rewarded.

Right before I came to St. Alban's Episcopal Church, the chaplain (who worked for the school) had moved to France. Instead of trying to hire a new chaplain, the clergy at the church began to fill that role by teaching classes and leading worship. I have done so for three years now, and I will miss it. Sometimes it has been aggravating (mostly 7th graders) or stressful, but it has always been so rewarding. I already miss doing Morning Prayer with the children, and I know I will miss the dramatic stations of the cross when Holy Week rolls around.

Here are some of my favorite school pictures.
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Fr. Beste showing some school children how to go into chapel.

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One of my religion classes; at the time, they were 4th graders.
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The official opening of the new campus, which is pictured below.
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I thought the picture of this student came out perfectly.

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The students gave all the input last year for us to come up with our school prayer which we used in chapel for the rest of the year. It goes like this:

MERCIFUL FATHER, from whom all good things come, you have brought us together as St Alban’s Episcopal School: Watch over us, we pray, that the good work which you have begun in us may be a blessing to you and your people from generation to generation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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But, of course, it would be hard to top this.
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2 comments:

texanglican said...

I will be praying for the teachers, staff and students effected, Father. The St. Vincent's community mourns with you.

Susie Wheaton said...

Fr. Matkin, I share your grief at the closing of SAES and all that that means for our St. Alban's community. Many prayers for healing and provision for all. Blessings, Susie Wheaton