The class of 2013 has big plans; read all about it and see lists of local grads in this section.
6/19/12 | 1 comment |
Private school recognized by diocese
After an evaluation from the Arlington Diocese, Angelus Academy is now a ‘Catholic’ school.
Angelus Academy, an independent school for grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade in Springfield, is now a Catholic school recognized by the Arlington Diocese, following a review by Sister Bernadette McManigal, superintendent of Catholic schools, and Father Paul deLadurantaye, diocesan secretary for religious education and sacred liturgy.
Angelus Academy was founded by the Women’s Apostolate to Youth (WAY), an association of women that focuses on spiritual growth of women and spiritual well-being of children. The school opened in 2000, in a warehouse in the Franconia section of Springfield. Under the direction of then-principal Jane Adkins, the original enrollment was 34 students .
Today, the school has an enrollment of more than 100 students, representing 16 parishes. The school has a staff of 24 full- and part-time employees, including Principal Joseph Ammirati. This summer, the school is in the process of moving from its original location — a converted warehouse in Franconia — to a new location in the Saratoga section of Springfield.
Robin Maas is the school’s chairwoman of the board. She believes Angelus Academy is unique because of its strong focus on spirituality and academics. The goal of the school is to graduate students with integrity who are well-formed in the great classical traditions of Western civilization as well as the Catholic faith.
“The mission is to create saints, basically,” Maas said.
Each grade level has its own set of patron saints, and students and faculty members meet together three times each day to pray — first thing in the morning, before lunch and before afternoon dismissal. Students attend weekly Mass and are visited regularly by Father Christopher Mould, pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Alexandria, who serves as chaplain. Following the move to the new location, Father John De Celles, pastor of St. Raymond of Peñafort Parish in Springfield, will take over as chaplain.
Barbara DeWolf is mission coordinator for the school and also serves as a liason with WAY.
She believes the school is special because it teaches students how to live as men and women of faith.
“We try to live the Faith, not just teach it in a religion class,” she said. “One thing that (Maas) has always taught us is that the children are going to become what they love, so we try to develop that relationship with the children so they can actually see the Faith being lived out. It’s not just something they learn in a textbook, it’s something they can see lived through us.”
The school follows a core curriculum, which teaches that there are certain concepts, skills and understandings all people should be aware of. According to the school’s academic philosophy, the goal is to train students’ minds to seek the truth, love the beautiful and choose the good.
To become a Catholic school recognized by the diocese, Angelus Academy provided letters of recommendation from local pastors and documentation that the school had been operating for at least five years.
To ensure the school is in line with Church teachings, diocesan representatives visited the school and examined all religion textbooks, school handbooks and policy manuals, as well as the qualifications of all religion teachers, members of the school’s governing board and principal.
With the new status, Maas hopes the school will continue to grow and improve.
“It’s a sign of our credibility,” said Maas. “This gives us the bishop’s seal of approval and that’s important to us. We’re very grateful to have it.”