t’s 8:45 a.m. on a recent blue-sky Saturday and the main lobby is bustling with parents, not students, chatting, connecting, and caring for one another. Welcome to Freshman Parent Focus 2019.
And welcome is precisely how the more than 300 freshman parents felt throughout the three-hour event, which took place on August 17 from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The Cardinal Gibbons Family Association sponsors the event, now in its fifth year.
“Freshman Parent Focus is a wonderful opportunity for our parent community to come together to welcome the new parents of the incoming freshman class,” Gina Jiampetti, Director of Parent Engagement said. “We hope that our new members of the Cardinal Gibbons Family Association are as excited about being here as we are about having them.”
Excitement filled the halls of Gibbons from the start of Freshman Parent Focus. Members of the school community greeted the Class of 2023 parents and shared with them the school’s mission, as well as explained that over the next four years they have the opportunity to discover their joyful journey, separate from their student’s.
Freshman Parent Focus 2019 included morning Mass and featured four information sessions, each designed and led by parents. It ended with lunch and continued fellowship.
The sessions provided freshman parents not only with insights about life at Gibbons but also ways to become engaged in the school community. To that end, throughout the day, parents learned what to expect, where to go for information, and how to navigate their own Gibbons experience.
Whether they were first-time or veteran Gibbons parents, the program had something for everyone. Among the parents in attendance was Megan Lumley who coincidentally attended Cardinal Gibbons High School in Florida.
“Catholic education has always been important,” she said. So, when selecting a high school for her daughter - Kiera ’23, an Our Lady of Lourdes graduate, Gibbons seemed to be the predestined choice.
Lumley said she came to Freshman Parent Focus “to understand what Kiera will experience and to feel more connected.” Personally,” she added, my hope was "to find out how to get involved.”
Among the parents on hand to care for other parents that day was Lisa Covell. She is the parent of Keeland ’21 and Brynn '23.
"Freshman Parent Focus was a way for me to meet other parents in the same grade and to refresh myself on school policies and on how everything runs,” said Covell who served as a parent guide. Having both daughters at the same school provides more opportunities for being engaged, she said and added: “This is truly the beginning of my renewed journey at Gibbons.”