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End of Year Message by: Fr. Peter Weiss, S.S.J.

Dear Members of Saint Augustine Family,

As we come to the end of this school year, it has been one that has presented many challenges and changes to our life at St. Augustine High School. Perhaps the greatest challenge for everyone was learning a new format for education. Our teachers had to adjust their teaching style to deal with online teaching; with all its many challenges.

 

As students you were also faced with the challenge of learning in a new way. Instead of being at school in a classroom, with your teacher physically present, you had to adjust to learn virtually from home. This presented a totally different set of obstacles that had to be overcome as well. Perhaps the hardest adjustment for everyone was the realization that at times no one was in a classroom, everyone was online.

There were also other adjustments that had to be dealt with, the wearing of face masks, maintaining social distance, and just missing being around your classmates and friends.

 

Yet, despite everything, being a True Purple Knight, everyone met the challenges, the obstacles that were set before us, and with a strong resolve to take control of the situation and march on to success. These challenges that this year brought have served to strengthen our character, our determination, our discipline, and our strong faith in God. As Purple Knights we did, and we will continue to overcome all obstacles that may come our way!

 

To our parents, students, teachers, and staff, I wish to thank you for working so hard, and putting in that extra effort to make this school year a success. Because of everyone’s cooperation, dedication, and willingness to put forth that extra effort, our students have succeeded in their educational journey.

 

As a school, Saint Augustine High School has been blessed many successes, both in the classroom and through our extracurricular activity. Our athletic program witnessed a variety of success, with the Basketball Team winning the State Championship. While there was no Mardi Gras this year, the Marching 100 still performed at our football games and accepted many invitations to various Mardi Gras organizations which allowed us to continue to shine as the “Best Band in the Land”. This point was highlighted when 60 Minutes did a special segment about our school and the Marching 100. Yet, our greatness continued to shine this year in our ability to provide more than 30 hours of community service, as our way to demonstrate to the community of New Orleans what makes a Purple Knight so special.  All of this, and many other great achievements were accomplished during a pandemic while still maintaining academic excellence. Well done!

 

As we prepare for summer break, let us remember that education and our preparation for life success is ongoing. For there can never be a vacation from learning or striving for success in life. I ask that this summer break be a time for continued educational enrichment. If you can participate in a summer enrichment program, a STEM Program, or other programs take advantage of it. Those who are members of our extracurricular activities, please make sure you attend practice. It is important, since it helps us to improve and, in the end, allows our greatness to shine.

 

Most of all, I encourage everyone to spend some time in reading a good book or two. Besides doing your required reading for English class, please read other material, perhaps in an area you have an interest in. Reading can be fun, and as I have learned, the more one reads, the better they become in reading, and there is a greater expansion of one’s vocabulary. Also, by improving our reading skills, our writing skills will also improve since just by observing how words flow to express a concept, we will also be able to develop that ability as well.

 

Some books that I have read and found educational and interesting are: A Promised Land, by President Barrack Obama; The Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope by Jon Meacham; The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant. Besides these books there are many literary works, by some great African American authors, James Baldwin, Ernest Gains, who is from Baton Rouge area, Richard Wright just to list a few that I have enjoyed.

 

While you enjoy your summer break, remember education is an ongoing process that never takes a break, because there is always something new that everyone can learn.

I pray that your summer break will be challenging, restful, and above all safe, so that when we start our School Year 2021 – 2022 you will be ready for another great year as a Purple Knight.

 

Yours in St. Joseph,

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