The Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools office held an event called “Touring Tuesday” this past week.  It was an opportunity for prospective parents to visit and tour Catholic schools throughout the diocese.    

Intrigued, I called Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Daryl Hagan and asked if I could join him as he went from school to school to see how Touring Tuesday was shaping up. I wanted to learn more about Catholic schools in our diocese so I could better tell their story. This was the first ever Touring Tuesday and he had no idea what to expect.

  Daryl was excited about having me join him on his journey, so we made the necessary arrangements.  I brought along my camera because kids.

I was not disappointed. 

We visited four schools and found a variety of conditions of Touring Tuesday.  A couple schools had parents giving information, principals giving tours, others interacting with prospective students’ families.  Other schools did not. 

I don’t know the reason why some principals do things one way, while other principals do them another.  That’s neither my call nor my interest.  Rather, I wanted to see the kids and see how parents embraced Catholic education.

There were really two highlights to my visit.  The first was hearing a conversation between a parent at Good Shepherd and Dr. Hagan.  The parent was telling how he differentiated Catholic schools from private schools.  Catholic schools are, first and foremost, to be formators of the faith in our children.  Private schools are simply an alternative to the public system.

That parent truly understood the difference, and he was able to articulate that difference to us and, more importantly, to his friends.  When someone will tell your story for you, that person is your advocate.  That man is an ADVOCATE of Catholic Education.

The second highlight was this student balancing a pencil on his upper lip. 

I don’t know how old he is, or what school he was attending.  I could find out easily enough, but that’s not really important. 

What is important is that this boy is being … a kid.  This was not disruptive behavior.  He just had three adults walk into his room – Dr. Hagan, the school principal, and me – and interrupt his class time.  He reacted like any kid would react.  He found something far more interesting than three old guys walking in on him, and he challenged himself to wrap his upper lip backwards around a writing instrument so that it would not fall off his face.

This boy is comfortable and loved.  I predict great success for him in the future.  Not because he can do this trick, but because he is not so worried about stuff that can derail an education that he can’t even think about being a kid.  For a few moments, he was the world champion pencil balancer, and he didn’t have another care in the world.

Touring Tuesday was a great success.  Just ask this little guy.

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