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CBE teachers encouraged to continue to pursue excellence

When Father Glen Nixon thinks of the word “excellence”, he said he thinks about the teachers that comprise the Catholic Board of Education (CBE) schools, whom he commended for holding the bar of excellence high during the past school year, while encouraging their students to “climb the mountain of excellence” with drive and purpose, casting fear and hopelessness aside.

“Your journey with our sons and daughters every day, not only imparted technical and book knowledge to them, you showed them as our children how to trust God, especially in difficult times,” said Nixon during opening Mass for CBE school officials.

The priest also lauded students for what he termed their “bravery”, weathering through and continuing to weather the trying times in which they live.

“Young men and women of faith, you have shown us adults you have fortitude and focus, which is commendable. I truly believe that united in Christ through faith we will manage COVID-19 with the help of God and the medical profession.”

Denise Cooper-Louis, St. Cecilia’s School principal, said she found the Opening Mass “truly inspirational” and that the priest’s words gave her renewed hope as they are once again “forced” to deliver their product on a virtual platform.

“Father Glen implored us to continue with the excellence that we started, to continue engaging in team work, and to continue practicing acts of love. The hymns reminded me that God continues to bring good news to all of us despite our current circumstances and we must continue even when all seems lost. The words of E. Clement Bethel was an excellent reminder, ‘When the road seems rough; when you’ve borne enough, don’t faint, don’t sigh, don’t cry, wonder why; Just keep on trying, cease your sighing; Look beyond the present way. This time will pass, tomorrow’s another day.’ It was an excellent way to begin this 2021-2022 school year.”

Ricardo Freemantle, physical education teacher at Sts. Francis & Joseph School, said the Mass meant a lot as it binds teachers together as they work toward a common goal.

“United we stand, and divided we fall,” said Freemantle.

Georgette Humes, St. Thomas More fourth-grade teacher, said the Mass gave her hope.

“For me, the Opening Mass meant that even though we are in difficult times, Catholic education encourages us to lean on our faith. The Mass gave me hope, and provided an opportunity to pray for a great school year.”

Claudette Rolle, Catholic Education director, told the teachers she was excited to welcome them to the opening Mass for the academic year, during a time where the unusual has become the usual and the extraordinary is now the ordinary.

“To build schools of faith, excellence, and service, we have in our complement, a talented, energized team of administrators, faculty and staff, some coming for the first time, while others have been around for decades.”

The Mass was held at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral to open the 2021-2022 school year.

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