Letter from Dr Fallon
Good People of Saint Thomas Aquinas -
Congratulations Class of 2020! Due to a family member’s surgery back in Virginia on July 23rd, I was not able to join the Graduation program. It is wonderful to know that the achievements of 2020 were acknowledged. It is fitting that Dr. Ford enjoyed the distinct honor of addressing the class as he retires. After 22 years of leading, a “thank you” seems less than adequate. Yet, as a true professional who devoted his life to Catholic education, I trust that Dr. Ford’s sense of pride is a magnificent reward. We wish him well in retirement. Please keep Dr. Ford in your prayers.
Personally, my first few days have been tremendous! Many have stopped in to introduce themselves. The conversation has consistently been about the potential at STA. During my first morning aboard, the entire freshmen football team suddenly came running toward me. Uh-oh I thought. They are going to tackle me! Instead, they surrounded me, extended their hands, and formally welcomed me to STA. WOW. What an amazing first impression – respectful, considerate, and mature student-athletes. Clearly, they have been raised right and coached well.
We hope and pray that this newsletter finds each of you healthy! With such uncertainty and a constant threat of COVID’s lethality, we can seek and find comfort in Christ.
I trust that you have either received on Skyward, or found on our website, the current protocol for school opening. Our Principals, and many behind the scenes, have been working tirelessly to study, analyze, and create a plan that complies with CDC, State, Johnson County, and Archdiocesan requirements. Please familiarize yourself with these requirements (all must wear a mask, practice social distancing, have temperature checked upon entry each day, frequently wash hands/use hand sanitizer, comply with directions when moving through the building, etc.). My expectation: even if some families do not agree with mask wearing or other requirements, they will comply out of genuine concern for our STA family and those at home who may be vulnerable to viruses. Alarmingly, a lapse in our adherence to mandates may lead to death.
It follows that attendance at events will be restricted, tailgating is no longer permitted, and spectators will need to exit the campus immediately following an event – to prevent groups from gathering. While awkward and unnatural, these steps are necessary to “take care of our own” in unpredictable times. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. This pandemic requires us to unite, as Saints, when taking care of each other. Fortunately, caring for each other has been the STA tradition.
Your faith in STA impresses me. Our enrollment remains steady with increasing inquiries. Clearly, the greater Overland Park region noted how successful the teaching and learning was, albeit virtually, at the end of last year. Our teachers surmounted challenges and delivered quality instruction. I appreciate the students and families who adjusted to Zoom everything. You are all amazing!
Thank you for being tolerant of so much change, working collaboratively to address many challenges, and confronting the unknown, together. Welcome back! Saint Thomas Aquinas – pray for us.