Editor's Note – To celebrate Catholic Schools Week we will post stories during the week that spotlight members of our school community, from students and parents to educators and coaches, and why they decided to join the Gibbons family and share in the special joy of Catholic education generally and of a Gibbons education specifically. The stories they share celebrate what makes Gibbons special.
It all started with a suggestion from a friend who encouraged him to apply for a teaching job at Gibbons. That was 15 years ago, and Cardinal Gibbons Theology Educator Mark DeLaRosa* never looked back.
Initially, he wasn’t sure about leaving his then teaching position at The Franciscan School. But all that changed when Mark arrived at Gibbons for his interview.
“I sincerely liked everyone I met and thought I would like to serve with these folks and discover Christ with them,” Mark recalls. ”In retrospect I can see that the Holy Spirit spoke through my friend ….”
So, what has kept him here? Mark gives two reasons: His love of God and his love of Gibbons students, who he says have inspired him and deepened his faith by their questions, their faith, and their compassion.
”Christ is present here and I try every day to support the welfare of our students and share my heart with them…,” adds Mark. “My most sincere prayer is that our students have felt appreciated and cared for through my time with them.”
Mark, in turn, says he feels empowered by the school’s administrative team. That, along with trust and support, is what he explains makes teaching at Gibbons distinctive.
“ While we have curriculum topics to address… we are encouraged to be innovative, imaginative, and caring…,” Mark notes, adding that Gibbons is a place of creative learning and teaching.
Asked to describe the value of Catholic education, Mark elaborates: “For some, it is the communal aspect of the experience and the close relationships that continue to bring blessings to them. For others, it may be the foundation for future academic and career success. For still others, it might celebrate the faith that continues to be at the heart of all we do.”
Offering a personal perspective, Mark points to what a Catholic education gave his daughter, Becki ’10. “She learned the value of serving others and finding blessing in that service,” he says. Today, the Gibbons alumna is living out her call to serve as a Registered Nurse at WakeMed’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
*Mark will be honored for his 15 years of dedicated service to Cardinal Gibbons at today’s Stewardship Mass, which is held annually during Catholic Schools Week. Congrats Mark and the other honorees:
Rick Martin, chair of the Theology Department and Lauren Owen, English Educator, both also are being recognized for 15 years of service. Additionally, Michael Rogosich ’92, Assistant Principal of Engagement and Facilities Manager Edward McKinnie are being honored for 25 years of service. Sr. Mary Jean, SND is being honored for 60 years of consecrated life, 26 of them ministering at Gibbons, and Sister Janet Schemmel is being recognized for serving in Catholic education for 50 years, 28 of them at Gibbons.