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Grace Kelly (’12) Grace Kelly (’12)“Good teachers prove daily that they would give their lives for their students,” observes Grace Kelly (’12). “This time of pandemic has made this principle that much clearer.”

As principal of St. Sebastian School in Santa Paula, California, Miss Kelly was charged, in the face of COVID-19, with swiftly transitioning some 150 students and nine teachers to distance learning. “As soon as word of our imminent closure came out, we hit the ground running, knowing that time was of the essence,” she writes for the Catholic Education Foundation of Los Angeles. “We quickly created classroom websites, loaded up Google classrooms, created student gmail, and began inundating ourselves with mounds and mounds of ‘how to’ videos and educational resource lists.”

The challenge was daunting, even by the standards of chronically undermanned and underfunded parochial schools. “As educators, we are very used to hard work and long hours. However, nothing could prepare us for the immense workload that was to come with this educational forum transition,” Miss Kelly reflects. “Yet with this new height of workload came an overwhelming depth of commitment from the teachers, strength of support and partnership from the parents, and excited dedication and hard work from the students.”

Their tremendous efforts have paid off. “This path has not been easy, will continue to have its problems, and is most certainly a learning platform we do not wish to take on full time again,” Miss Kelly concludes. “But we are excited for the nuggets of gold we are uncovering, which will enhance our learning goals when we are blessed enough to be able to go back to our campus.”

Her full essay is available via the Catholic Education Foundation of Los Angeles website. Please pray for Miss Kelly, St. Sebastian School, and all Catholic educators!