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Parent-to-Parent Testimonial Letter

February 2017

Dear Parent,

The decision of where to send your children to school is one that will have a lasting impact on their future. Our family grew up in the St. Mary’s Parish School and when the school closed, we were faced with many important decisions. We asked ourselves “Should we send our daughter to the local public school system or continue with a Catholic based education at Schlarman Academy?”  At that time, my daughter Emma was entering the 4th grade so we thought we would try the public school system for one year. That year came and went and it was a unanimous decision to move her to Schlarman Academy at the beginning of her 5th grade year. You see, the level of education we were accustomed to in the private school system was drastically different than what we had received for Emma’s 4th grade year. We were very concerned with quality of science and history that seemed to be absent from her education. It was then we knew the best choice was to enroll her in Schlarman Academy and we have not looked back since.

Emma is now a sophomore at Schlarman Academy and is truly a part of a close-knit school family. I am extremely pleased with the level of respect and consideration the students display with not only the teachers and parents but also to each other. The students are required to volunteer within the community which builds a strong foundation of future leaders. Parents are also encouraged to participate and volunteer in events which allow you to be a part of the experience. We are very proud to be TOPPERS!

The course schedule is quite advanced at Schlarman Academy as Emma has had the opportunity to be enrolled in high level classes which are preparing her for college. She began Algebra I her 7th grade year and has developed a strong foundation in mathematics which will allow her to enroll in Statistics her junior year. She is also currently enrolled in the Honors History and Honors Spanish III classes along with a rigorous class schedule of Chemistry, American Literature, Religion and Business. These courses are led by an amazing staff of teachers that I genuinely know care about the education of my daughter. They not only provide instruction and guidance in the classroom, but act as positive role models for character and self-esteem development.

Emma truly enjoys being a part of the Volleyball team at Schlarman Academy. The team works as a cohesive unit towards the goal of a successful season. Hard work and determination are instilled in the team with the primary focus on sportsmanship, fair play, honesty, and teamwork. These are not only valuable on the court, but in these student’s college futures and careers.  

Today’s society is extremely challenging for our children. We are so blessed to have a faith-based environment for Emma to thrive in for her education and her overall well-being. I know she is safe and happy at Schlarman Academy. That is a priceless feeling!
Tori and John Blanchard
Schlarman Academy Parents

Alum and Current Parent Shares Testimonial About Schlarman Academy

My name is Patrick Bogen. Some of you may know me by my other name, “man in the back pew with all the girls.”  I am a graduate of Schlarman, along with my wife, who is also a teacher at Schlarman Academy. My three daughters are currently students at the Academy. I was asked to speak about Schlarman and my experience as we kickoff Catholic Schools Week.

Schlarman Academy is a very important part of our lives. It is intertwined in literally every aspect of our daily lives. My experiences at Schlarman and the high academic expectations that were set forth prepared me greatly, not only for college and my career as an airline pilot, but also gave me the knowledge and discipline to become a responsible, respectful, and on most days, a productive member of society. Schlarman taught me more than just the ABC’s. It taught me to give back and support causes bigger than myself. Have you looked around at our graduates and parishioners? How many are…Firefighters? Policemen? Paramedics? Nurses? Doctors? Business Leaders? Teachers? Volunteers for charities and events?

My time at Schlarman gave me many opportunities that you just can’t get anywhere else. Sure, I was able to be challenged in the classroom. As most of the teachers know who had me can attest, it was a challenge! I played a sport in each season: football, basketball, track, and even my senior year I was asked to run cross country to help the team out. I would play a football game on Friday night and drag myself out of bed to run a 3 mile race on Saturday morning. It wasn’t pretty, but I was going out to help my friends, school, and team. A cause bigger than myself. I was able to be in band and also act in the school play. One of my most memorable times was during football season. Thursday nights before games we would eat dinner together as a team. There is nothing too unique about that. But on Fridays before the game, right after school, we would pack the chapel and attend mass. You just don’t get that experience anywhere else!

When my wife and I started having children, there were no doubts as to where we would send them for school when the time came. We wanted a faith-based experience that held a high academic standard. We wanted an environment that would educate the whole child, not just the mind. We wanted our children to have the same successful school experience that we had. We wanted them to have the same values instilled in them that we had instilled in us. We wanted them to be part of a school that was like a family. Schlarman has proved over and over again that it was the right choice. We are very pleased with the education that our daughters’ have received. They are challenged daily on a spiritual, academic, and physical level. There are many nights that we have discussions at the dinner table over the day’s experiences that reflect their faith and academic knowledge.

Many of you may not know how lucky we are to have such a fantastic school here with such a rich past and great future. I mentioned my profession earlier. As an airline pilot, I get the opportunity to meet all kinds of people from all over the country. I even get to work with people from around the area. Part our job is to get to know the people you are going to spend the next three or four days with. You do it without even thinking about it. The standard questions are: Where you from? Are you local? Married? Kids? Military/Civilian? Where did you go to school? You would be surprised at the number of people over the years, as soon as I mention that I live in Danville, they immediately ask, “Did you go to Schlarman? I remember playing against them.” It is usually followed by comments like “good school,” or “good people.”

As we kickoff Catholic Schools Week, the children will be participating in special activities all week to celebrate what is special and unique to faith-based education.

I have one last story before we get on our way today. My airline primarily flies in the United States. Recently we have expanded to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. About two months ago, I was on a layover in Punta Canna, in the Dominican Republic. For those of you who don’t know, the primary language in the Dominican Republic is Spanish. Keep in mind that my last exposure to Spanish was over 22 years ago at Schlarman in Mrs. Nixon’s…I mean Señora Nixon’s Spanish class. She was strict but fair. Being average at Spanish, I didn’t exactly impress Señora Nixon. So, I am in my room getting ready to leave when I hear a knock on the door. I open the door and it is the maid. We exchange pleasantries in Spanish. I asked if she spoke English, she said no. She asked if I spoke Spanish. I responded, “Un Pequito”…Big mistake! She proceeded to talk to me for the next minute in Spanish as fast as she could. I would throw in a “si” and “gracias” on occasion. I then thought that I told her that I had to go since it was almost time for me to head to the airport. She said good-bye and I continue to get ready. A bit later I get a knock on the door and it is the maid again. This time she has returned with a chocolate cake. I was slightly confused and said no thank you. She insisted that I take it. After some back and forth, I gave in and took the cake. So I go have a seat in my room, 22 years removed from Senora Nixon’s class, and I chuckle. Senora Nixon would be so proud….I somehow messed up my Spanish so bad I was given a cake. Whether out of pity or lost in translation, we will never know. Over 2,000 miles from home, 20+ years later and Schlarman is still on my mind.

Parent-to-Parent Testimonial Letter

January 2016

Dear Parent,

This May will see our second child graduate from Schlarman Academy.  Our first was in 2012 and our last will be in 2018. We have sent our children to this school since they were in 3-year-old preschool.  My husband and his brothers attended St. Paul's Grade School and graduated from Schlarman High School so it was an easy decision for us when it came time to choosing a school for our children.  We were sold on the faith-based education, smaller classroom sizes and just the overall welcoming feeling of the school. Some of my most favorite pictures are the ones with my kids and their friends that have been together since they were three years old. They have celebrated so many life moments together including First Communion and Confirmation, and also so many experiences outside of the school walls in their volunteer hours and serving the community. In addition to their religious milestones and academic accomplishments, they have made friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. You do not just get an education at Schlarman, you get a family.

During their time at Schlarman, they have participated in football, volleyball, track, cross country, softball, cheerleading, band, and chorus. Our oldest had the opportunity to travel to Ireland, and our middle just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. for the Pro-Life March. They have learned French, Spanish, and have taken honors courses throughout their years here.  They have benefitted from wonderful teachers who truly care about them and want them to succeed. This is most evident in our school holding the highest ACT average score in Vermilion County.

We believe the values and beliefs our children have learned at Schlarman will carry them through into adulthood. They have grown into respectful, confident, outgoing young adults and Schlarman Academy has played an important role in shaping their lives.  We hope you will give great consideration to choosing Schlarman Academy for your child's education.

With Topper Pride,
Charlie & Georgette Sermersheim

Kindergarten Testimonials

Our Kindergarten experience at Schlarman Academy exceeded our expectations. Our son grew both academically and socially. There is a strong spiritual aspect within kindergarten which, in turn, installs great values. Mrs. Lukas is an exceptional teacher with a passion for learning. Schlarman Academy Kindergarten provides a great foundation for future education.

-Steve and Pam Lane

Our kindergarten experience at Schlarman Academy was great! The academics have exceeded our expectations. We have had 2 daughters go through kindergarten and have loved it so much! We enjoyed seeing them learn to love to read and how excited they were when they passed their goals. We also love how dedicated our kindergarten teacher is. As a matter of fact, all teachers at Schlarman Academy are very dedicated. We can sense that the teachers really enjoy their job and they know how much of an impact they are to our kids. They are caring, loving, and hold our kids accountable to their expectations. The classroom procedures are very clear and the kids know what is expected of them. There is a positive and encouraging environment at the school that we love. Our children could not be in better hands than the hands of all the teachers/staff at Schlarman Academy!

-Angel and Jessica Perez

Our experience with Mrs. Lukas and the Kindergarten program at Schlarman Academy was above and beyond our expectations for our daughter. We were impressed with the creative ways she had to help the children learn and how quickly they would learn. Mrs. Lukas also helps instill great values in the children that will last a lifetime.

-Matt & Jennifer Blurton

We would like to share some remarks about our son's Kindergarten experience. My husband and I are very happy with his development and growth he's demonstrating. He always shows excitement and interest in attending school because in his words Mrs. Lukas “is a great teacher!!” We feel Mrs. Lukas goes above and beyond and is committed to her students. We also feel very blessed to have such a dedicated and devoted teacher guiding our son.

-Don and Margaret Black

I would like to recommend Schlarman Academy’s Kindergarten for your preschool child. As a grandparent of a kindergartener here, and an educator of over 30 years, I have closely watched my grandchild grow academically, socially, and spiritually. Her planning and instruction has shown her ability to design creative and engaging lessons for a range of pupil differences and interests by using a variety of instructional methods. The educational curriculum is taught with purpose, content knowledge, and creativity. The religious education is a valuable lifelong skill and is used in an active role throughout the curriculum. Our family was very happy to have a kindergarten student at Schlarman Academy.

-Mary Tamalunis