September 5, 2017

Dear PVNC Community,

Its the start of a new school year and I have the privilege to welcome all newcomers and welcome back all of the members of our PVNC community. Whether as a student, staff member, administrator, or parent, you all have a special role in working together to ensure all of our students are safe and successful every day.

We begin this new year full of promise and excitement, focussed on our renewed Vision, Mission and Strategic Priorities.

We are committed to educating each one of our students in faith-filled, safe, inclusive, Catholic learning communities by nurturing the mind, body, and spirit of all. Together, we will learn from each other, lead each other forward in ways we never imagined possible and serve each other and those most in need. This is our calling in Catholic Education. Together we will make our new priorities the focus of our work together: to achieve excellence in instruction and assessment to enable all students to become reflective, self-directed, lifelong learners; to foster critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication, to enable all students to realize their God-given potential; and to inspire engagement and commitment to stewardship for creation to enable all students to become caring and responsible citizens.

This year, perhaps more than other years in recent memory, we are conscious that our students come to school filled with many images of the past few months: tragedy, environmental disaster, heroism, political tension, and calls to action, both inspiring and frightening. Our students will look to all of us for leadership and guidance in these uncertain times. There are things all of us can do to help them. We need to listen, to give students opportunities to express both their fears and their hopes and to try to make sense of the world in which we live. We need to create safe environments for students and to ensure school is a place where they can express themselves and be who they are - free of ridicule or fear, experiencing acceptance and affirmation wherever they are in their own journey. We need to educate, to learn and to share the stories of heroes and saints, past and present, those who show us the way through uncertain times. We need to draw on our faith - the faith that we are deeply in the presence of our loving God who guides us in every moment and empowers us to be courageous and filled with hope for a good future. And we need to pray, individually and together, to ask God to open our hearts to each other and to open the hearts of all who are experiencing conflict or challenge in their lives.

We begin this new school year filled with hope and a sense of renewed energy, excited to see our students continuing to grow and to learn deeply, to become ever more confident and courageous. Welcome back PVNC! I look forward to another great year together.

Michael Nasello, Director of Education