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I am the product of a Catholic school education. Being an alumna of Schlarman High School, now Schlarman Academy, St. Mary of the Woods College, and presently a faculty member at Schlarman Academy, I witness the positive influence a Catholic education has on our students.

Students arrive at Schlarman Academy as childhood friends or complete strangers; many from the immediate area while some from other parts of the world. All are blessed that over the course of their educational years, friendships grow into familiar love. Classmates have the capacity to compete and yet encourage. Whether in the classrooms, labs, the stage or the playing field, all are and remain unified through the grace of God.

Values. That’s what sets Schlarman apart. From the 1st days in the 1940’s when a small group formed to create a school to provide a values-based education, on up to the present day, that is what Schlarman graduates have carried away with them from graduation. Be true to God, to oneself, to one’s classmates and school, and to provide service to the community, the nation, and the world.

Schlarman provides a supportive and positive challenging experience that teaches the importance of God, family, and friends. Students and staff begin each day pledging allegiance to our nation, followed by prayer and petitions. Students have the opportunity to share in Mass, the rosary, and reconciliation. It is heartwarming to see non-Catholic students participate and to feel comfortable enough to ask for prayers, petitions, and blessings. Students learn how to live in the real world, be a problem solver, and how to network with others. Students strive for excellence, creativity, and goal setting. Many of my classmates comment that NOT a day goes by without some of those Schlarman values influencing responses to current challenges and circumstances.

Schlarman provides good education, good friends, and memorable times. Opportunity presents itself to those who are in the right place at the right time. Schlarman is the right place.

My graduating class, the class of 1971, consisted of 77 students and produced: 3 lawyers, a dentist, an actuary, a research scientist PHD, 2 corporate CEO’s, 2 college professors with PHD’s, 5 nurses, 7 teachers, a speech pathologist, a chemist, 2 medical professionals, a Global Economic writer, and many other varied professions. Schlarman has and continues to have an amazing amount of talent. One has to be there to see it, to feel it, and to experience it!

Schlarman graduates feel extremely grateful to those who sacrificed for their educational and spiritual development. Their responsibility was and is to embrace the “gift” of Schlarman and to use it wisely and to its fullest. Only in this manner can we give thanks to those who sacrificed and praise God for His Providence.

Heavenly Father, “I’d like to taste it again; and I often do; as a spouse and parent, as neighbor and friend. As employee, as leader, in the home, in the church, workplace and community,  I am grateful to those who let me taste it first!”  Amen.

About the Author

This testimonial is compiled from comments made by the SHS Class of 1971, presented by Donna Burden Baldwin for Catholic Schools Week 2016.

Donna is an alumnae of Schlarman High School, now Schlarman Academy, a graduate of St. Mary of the Woods College, and presently a faculty member at Schlarman Academy.