Is It Worth It?

by Dr. Joseph D. Hollowell, 2 yrs ago

I get this question all of the time but never more so than over the past two years.  As the economic environment has made families more discriminating than at any time over the past twenty years, the question is a very important one.  As people are considering the investment that four years of Catholic secondary education involves, they are rightfully asking this question - "Is it worth it?"

We know from both research and from our own human nature as parents,  that if parents see something that they think will benefit their children they will go to great lengths to provide it for them.  And so many parents are rightfully conducting their own research, mostly in the form of informal conversations, reviewing publications and websites, along with direct contact with the school to try to understand what it is that Roncalli has to offer that makes the sacrifice so worthwhile.

I have long been a believer that it is those informal moments of sharing that convince a prospective family that the investment is indeed worth it. 
I have simply heard the stories
too many times.  When I ask families how it is that they decided on sending their children to Roncalli the turning point frequently seems to be one family sharing with another in a conversation that started something like this, "You have children at Roncalli right?  What's it been like for you?"  It is in those moments that your website can't be there, your publications can't be there, a school official can't be there.  It is simply the very real and unvarnished truth of the lived experience of one family to another.  And that truth is so often exactly what people are looking for in a school for their children. 

We have lots of wonderful feathers in our cap that point to an extraordinary experience awaiting the young people who come our way.  We still remain the only high school in Indiana that has won the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence award on three separate occasions.  We are one of only five high schools in the country that has been recognized by the U. S. Department of Education for its exemplary service learning programs.  Quality academics, extraordinary extracurricular programs in the arts, amazing opportunities in our clubs and in our state renowned athletic programs - it's here.  A commitment to providing a safe environment, a disciplined environment, an environment of high expectations - it's all here.  Everything parents are looking for in a school today is right here.  But it is how people answer the question in that moment of truth - What's Roncalli been like for you? - that is our biggest and most important advertisement.  

If you are a parent or alumnus reading these words you have to help us answer that question.  Help us tell our story in a way that only someone who has lived the experience can.  If you are a prospective parent looking for the best school for your child, you need to be asking this question if you have not already.  Your children need for you to ask it.  It is your responsibility to ask it.  Do the research.  Visit the websites. Come talk to people at our Open House.  Come see for yourself that God has provided a wonderful school to help us form and raise our children.  I believe with all my heart that if you put in time to do the research you will find that an extraordinary experience awaits your child.   

Is it worth it?  I'm paid to answer that question with an overwhelming, "Absolutely".  My advice though is to go and ask someone who is not paid to answer it. It is there that the real truth will present itself in the hearts and minds of those who have lived it. 

Point of View