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Local School's Funding Issues Force Teachers To Wear Multiple Hats

Updated: Tuesday, January 28 2014, 10:58 AM CST

Officials at a school that’s struggled in the past to stay open say they’re seeing better times, but still find it hard to make ends meet every week. Because of that, teachers at St. Patrick Catholic School are wearing multiple hats.

For a school to operate with only seven teachers and a couple of administrators means everyone gets to wear more than one hat. From cleaning up spills to holding religious ceremonies, teachers at this school have to perform some duties they don’t think they’re qualified for.

Teaching a classroom full of squirmy children is a big task on its own, but holding the responsibility of putting together a Catholic Church service on top of that, can be a lot for any teacher.

“We have a weekly prayer service, once a week, it’s not actually a Catholic Mass, we don’t have a Catholic Priest at our school,” said Sarah Stanley, Principal of St. Patrick.

“We’re rotating through the teachers and it’s a lot of extra work because we have to plan the instruction, and then for the whole school, put on a church service,” said Morgan Ladage, kindergarten teacher.

 

Rosemarie Bates, a first grade teacher who has been at St. Patrick’s for more than 40 years now, remembers what it was like years ago when teachers had more help.

 

"We've had priests come, from, like, the cathedral, in the past,” said Bates. “Right now, I guess that they're just so busy that they have not had the time to do it... It was nice, I mean, it took some of the pressure off me, for certain, and it, you know, you use a bit of class time trying to get that ready."

"I didn't go to school to be a priest or anything, so it's a lot of extra pressure, I feel, to get everyone involved in something I'm not really trained in, so doing it for all the grades is stressful," said Ladage.

School administrators say they’ve reached out to churches in the community, but with no luck finding a professional to come in, which lead them to their current situation.

"I think it would be great to have... someone from outside the classroom who is involved in the church, and you know, is trained to do that, and can reach them in that way," said Ladage.

We spoke to Sister Mary Jean Traeger from the parish next door about their role at the school. She told us St. Patrick’s does not have a resident priest there at the church, but rather a pastoral facilitator, who looks over the parish, but is not allowed to perform mass or the sacraments. She says they share a priest with Sacred Heart, and that some of the problem comes from a shortage in the number of priests here locally.

The school is financed a lot by the community. The net big fundraiser will be the first annual Blarney Bash. It will be March 14th and will include live entertainment, a raffle drawing, live and silent auctions, and plenty of food and drink. For information on tickets, head the Web Watch portion of our website.

Local School's Funding Issues Force Teachers To Wear Multiple Hats


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