Editor's Note: To celebrate Catholic Schools Week we will post stories that spotlight members of our school community, from students and parents to educators and coaches, and why they joined 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 great.
When the older of his two children was ready for sixth grade Mark Cadiz says he and his wife Michele switched their attention from public to Catholic education to secure “a more faith-based environment.” That steadfast decision led both their children, Alex’ 18 and Alyssa ’21, to Cardinal Gibbons and the family could not be happier.
“Gibbons exposes our children to religion and encourages them to make their own decisions,” Mark explains, adding that members of the school community are modeling “and living the experience of what being spiritual should be.” As examples he pointed to the retreat, outreach, and service opportunities Gibbons offers each day.
As students - Alex, who attends UNC Charlotte; and Alyssa, a Gibbons sophomore - are opposites, but each, says Mark, has flourished at Gibbons, where “it is cool to be who you are.” The school, he adds, encourages them to think on their own and be true to themselves and their ideals.
Gibbons, which he describes as a small college, also “does an incredible job in what it offers students – from athletics to the arts and clubs - and in how it accommodates all different interests of kids.” Alex played the trumpet and was involved in several clubs and service projects while at Gibbons; and Alyssa is an honor student who also has a passion for dance, is on the dance team and in the school dance program.
For Mark, the life skills Gibbons teaches students is even more important. “Gibbons gets students ready for college, for the next level, for the rest of their lives, “ he notes. “It truly prepares them and helps them succeed.”
What also makes Gibbons great, he says, is how it welcomes parents and encourages them to carve out their own experience. The concept is refreshing, notes Mark who is a member of DadCRU and volunteers with the STARs program. Even though their time is limited, adds Mark, who works for Lenovo; Michele works for SAS, “Gibbons makes it possible to participate” in the life of the school.
For his family, notes Mark, Gibbons equals opportunity and value.
Cardinal Gibbons also launched a new series, "Crusader Conversations," which highlight the amazing moments of academic connections, relationship building, personal growth, and spiritual transformation that take place at Gibbons each day.
Our first conversation is with Director of Outreach Ministry Gary Meyerl ‘82 and Theology Educator Mark DeLaRosa