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.
Debbie Dini, her husband, Dave, and their three children have been part of the Gibbons community since 2007 when they elected to send their oldest son to our school. Looking back, she is more than satisfied with their decision, says Debbie. To be sure, all members of the Dini family – Brian ’11, Brandon ’14, and Caitlin ’20* - have engaged totally in the Gibbons experience.
Explaining the couple’s rationale behind that long-ago choice, Debbie adds: “Sending our children to a Catholic school was an easy decision. I grew up in the Catholic school system and wanted my children to have the same foundation I had to develop and grow their faith, to experience a sense of community, and to receive a high-quality education.”
So, why Gibbons, not just for their first child but for all three children? “We knew we would keep them on the same Catholic education path, and Gibbons was the only choice for us,” Debbie notes. “Gibbons’ mission, challenging curriculum, and sense of family was the right fit for our children and still is 12 years later as our last child finishes her high school education.”
Challenge and choice are words Debbie uses to describe what she and her husband like most about the education at Gibbons. The students are challenged daily to reach their full potential while still being encouraged and supported by their classmates and educators to do their best, she says.
What she also likes is the extensive list of academic classes and co-curriculars Gibbons offers. As a result, Debbie notes, students have the opportunity to choose “the best class options for them,” as well as clubs and activities that help them “develop into well-rounded adults.” They are inspired, she adds, “to be their best selves.”
For her, the value of Catholic education is simple. It is knowing her children were given “many opportunities to develop their faith through education, service, and community, as well as guidelines to continue to grow in faith,” once they graduate. “And that,” she adds, “is priceless.”
*Updates on the Dini children
Brian graduated from UNC Wilmington with a bachelor's degree in hospitality and tourism management and now works in the hotel industry.
Brandon graduated from Elon University with a bachelor's degree in cinema and television arts and now works as a production assistant on the HGTV show, "Love It or List It."
Caitlin, a Gibbons senior, hopes to attend Appalachian State or James Madison University to obtain a degree in exercise science.