Is Private School Right for my Child?

The past year has given all parents time to reflect on their child’s education. The Covid crisis has brought about the stark reality that not all schools and all methods of learning are right for each child. As a result schools like Blessed Trinity Academy have seen a dramatic increase in enrollment not only because of the 5 day a week in school model, but also because of the faith that is present throughout the classrooms. I can’t tell you how many parents have walked through the doors this past year and said, “We have been thinking about Catholic school for awhile, but this was the push we needed to make the change.”

It can be an overwhelming and difficult decision to change schools. As a parent you may be thinking- what is the right school for my child? Will I find friends there too? How do I know if I’m making the right decision for my family? And it can be overwhelming to even think about starting the process. However, following these simple steps can make exploring a new school far less stressful.

Do your homework

Look at the school’s website, check out their social media, talk to your friends or friends of friends who attend the schools you are considering and ask for their honest assessment.

Tour the school

Hands down, the best way to get a feel for a school is to tour. What is the interaction in the classroom? Are students engaged? What is the pervasive feeling you get from the students and teachers? Could you see your child there? Schools often offer Open Houses throughout the year too. While a Open House is a great chance to speak more one on one with the teachers, I always recommend a private tour during the school day. This really gives parents a great feel of what the school day is like, how the teachers interact with the students, and the level of engagement the students have in the classroom.

Ask questions

Be prepared to ask questions about everything from how homework is handled and the school’s philosophy on discipline to uniform requirements and where students go when they graduate from the school. Also do not hesitate to reach out to the Director of Admissions or the school office with additional questions after you have visited the school. Often I find that questions come up about financial aid or busing or even athletics after families have visited.

Plan a Visit for Your Child

I always recommend a shadow day to families especially if you have a child who would be starting in 1st through 8th grade. Having your child spend a day or a part of a day in the classroom really gives them an idea of if they would fit in to that school’s environment. It also gives them a chance to meet other students in their potential class and an opportunity to meet the teaches. If you are considering multiple schools and think that your child would thrive in either environment, a shadow day can be the determining factor in your decision.

Pay attention to deadlines

Admissions offices have a plethora of forms to contend with for each student. Don’t let your oversight of the deadlines put your child at a disadvantage for being considered. In years past at BTA we have allowed students to enroll throughout the summer, however, due to Covid and the limitations on class sizes, there is a potential for a waiting list. If you know a certain school is where you want to be, do not wait to submit your paperwork.

Interested in exploring other options? Blessed Trinity Academy is currently accepting students for the 2021-2022 school year. Consider attending our Open House on April 21 from 6-7:30pm. Preregistration is required. Visit our website at http://www.btacademy.net to register. Or email admissions@btacacemy.net to schedule a private tour.

Mrs. Meredith Kandravy, Director of Admissions and Marketing at Blessed Trinity Academy

It’s All About Preparation

As the Admissions Director of Central Catholic High School for the past 18 years, I have evaluated thousands of applications from prospective eighth grade students. Central Catholic is a unique community, not only because it is the only all-boys private school in the region and the first Catholic High School opened in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, but because we have evolved over the years into a school that encompasses all of western Pennsylvania. We draw students from over 50 different public-school districts. Our student-body is comprised of boys from multiple neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh, boys from nearly every municipality in Allegheny County, and communities in Butler, Washington, Westmoreland, Armstrong and even Lawrence County.  Students come to us from Catholic elementary schools, public schools, charter schools and independent private schools.  While every applicant is evaluated on an individual basis, it has been my experience that students applying from Catholic schools are differently prepared for success at the high school level.

Catholic school students have a  clear understanding that more is expected of them in terms of academic achievement, service to others, and being an active participant in the school community.  They understand that academics matter. Rigorous homework is not a new concept to Catholic school students. Students who decide to continue their education at a Catholic high schools benefit from having been held to a higher standard during their time at schools like Blessed Trinity Academy, where a strong moral foundation has been  established. This is not to say that students from other schools will not be successful, however the transition is greater and the gap in expectations is larger.  

One of the most concerning aspects of this global pandemic that we are in the midst of, from my perspective, is the loss of real educational progress that so many public elementary and middle school students are experiencing over the past 10 months.  Will future applicants be able to succeed at Central Catholic like the students that have preceded them?  

Fortunately, this is not a question I have to ask when an application from a Catholic school student crosses my desk because I know first-hand that Catholic school students have been moving forward. They have had the opportunity to be in-school whenever possible and that the remote instruction that has been offered parallels that which is happening in the classroom, ensuring success for all.  I know this to be true, not only because of my position at Central Catholic, but because my own children attend Blessed trinity Academy.  I am confident that they are receiving the best possible preparation for high school and beyond. 

Mr. Brian Miller

Admissions Director of Central Catholic High School

BTA Parent

The Meaning of a Catholic Education

Each year Catholic schools across the country take one week to celebrate all of the wonderful things that make our schools special. This year Catholic Schools Week runs from January 31st through February 7th. The week is filled with service, games, community, and a whole lot of fun. It also marks the time where we kick off the enrollment period for the next school year. We start the week by getting the word out about our schools by participating in masses at several parishes that support our school and end the week with an Open House for prospective families. The week is always something that our students, faculty, and families look forward to and talk about for months and even years after. My husband often fondly recalls great memories from Catholic Schools Weeks from his own Catholic school experience. If you attended a Catholic school, you know what I am talking about.

We celebrate a weekly mass together as a school community every Friday at 9am. Even though Covid has made it challenging for the whole school to be together in the same room, mass has continued with one class physically in the church leading the mass and the other classes watching the live stream in their classrooms. Last year we were fortunate enough to be together in church and we ended our Catholic Schools Week with a special all school mass. During the mass then 8th grader, Mia Flaherty (BTA’s Class of 2020), reflected on her experience in Catholic school. Below is what she read during the mass which expresses how a Catholic school education has benefited her.

What Catholic Schools Mean to Me

By, Mia Flaherty

Catholic schools have almost always been a part of my life: Most of my relatives went to a Catholic school at one point in their lives, my grandmother was a teacher’s aid at one, and I have been enrolled in a Catholic school since preschool. Catholic schools are different from other schools, and not just for the obvious basis in religion. One of the goals for Catholic Schools’ Week was to serve, and I think that Catholic schools accomplish that better than any other school. Just look at what we have accomplished in the last week. We raised four hundred and fifty-five dollars for Project Bundle-Up, we collected over a thousand dollars, wearing crazy socks and hats for sock it to cancer, we made three hundred sandwiches for the Red Door Project, we hosted breakfast to say thank you to safety personnel, and we collected eight hundred food items for the North Hills Community Outreach. Catholic Schools always embody the motto for Catholic Schools Week. We learn, we serve, we lead, and most importantly, we succeed. 

Anyone who went to the eighth grade graduation last year would know of the mass of awards and scholarships that were handed out. What I think is most important about going to a Catholic school is knowing that there is a bright future ahead of you. When you graduate you are confident that your teachers have filled you with all the right knowledge, taught you how to work independently and how to collaborate, and filled you with a new and deeper appreciation for your faith. In the words of a great writer, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Blessed Trinity Academy is hosting an Open House on February 7 from 12-2pm. If you are interested in seeing what a Catholic school education could offer your family, you can register at https://tinyurl.com/BTAOpenHouse2021. Space is limited.

Mrs. Meredith Kandravy, Director of Admissions, Blessed Trinity Academy

Excerpt By Mia Flaherty, Blessed Trinity Academy Class of 2020, currently a freshman at Oakland Catholic High School.

Reconciliation and Advent: A Time for Preparation and Forgiveness

Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the miracle of Jesus’ birth. We ponder the wonder of it all and wait with anticipation and hope. Similarly, we find that Advent is a wonderful time to receive God’s love and forgiveness in our lives. What better time for children to reflect on their Savior, and hope and repent as they prepare to receive the sacrament of First Reconciliation. 

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to prepare the Blessed Trinity Academy 2nd graders, my homeroom students, for this amazing sacrament. I instill upon them that we have such a loving and forgiving God who by the reconciliation of Jesus, accepts us for who we are. During this time of preparation we talk about the importance of making good and loving choices. We put up a “loving choices tree” in our room and the children get so excited to add a leaf every time they find themselves making a loving choice, like helping a friend in the classroom. Through our writings in our daily Jesus journal, the children ask God for help. They also express how much they love and appreciate Him. Often they tell Jesus how much they are sorry for the times that they have hurt others and express their gratitude to Him for being so forgiving. “I truly love reading their reflections.” Another activity we do in our class is make a prayer rug.” When they are finished the children take it home and find a special place to examine their conscience and talk to Jesus.   

Reconciliation is what Jesus does in our lives. He died on the cross for us so we could be reconciled to God our Heavenly Father. Our job is to receive that gift and strive to have a forgiving heart towards others and be gentle with ourselves, just as Jesus did. May our Savior be magnified during this holy season and reconcile us all to our Heavenly Father.

By Mrs. Margie Heasley, 2nd Grade Teacher at Blessed Trinity Academy

The Years Change, But the Mission Stays the Same

Blessed Trinity Academy is in its 4th year, after a merger of three parish schools in the northern area of Pittsburgh–St. Mary of the Assumption, St. Bonaventure, and St. Ursula. BTA combines over 300 years of preschool through 8th grade Catholic educational excellence. Part of the North Hill Regional Catholic Elementary Schools, Blessed Trinity Academy sits on 72 sprawling acres in the heart of the North Hills. Staying true to its mission since the beginning, BTA provides a nurturing environment where our students use prayer and reflection to develop their talents and abilities as they strive to become strong Catholic leaders. This is our beacon as we move through the years.   

In a school, every year has a different feel, a life of its own. While I was not here in the first two years, the community has shared stories about the journey of three schools merging into one. The task at hand was complex–to combine three student bodies, three teaching staffs, parent groups, athletics teams, PTGs, and School Advisory Councils. While there are many commonalities of Catholic schools, how they are implemented, by way of policies, procedures, uniforms, celebration of holidays, and community groups to support can be very different. People need time to mourn what was, and then can slowly champion the new. Over those two years there was fine-tuning, changes, challenges to overcome, and a mobilization of commitment. Along the way trust grew, new traditions were built on the foundation of ideas from all three schools, and the new identity of a BTA began to emerge and solidify. All due to the hard work and dedication of students, faculty, staff, priests, and community members to make this new school last. 

Starting its third year, I began as Principal. This was yet again another new change and feel to add to the mix of an evolving community. My experience was outside of Catholic schools and outside of Pittsburgh. And for four years before this role, I worked from home for a company based in Baltimore, as a school consultant. The questions asked, ideas shared, and way of leading was different. We did share a common purpose in our faith, fostering excellence in academics, and service to others. So the year started off with that kind of feel. I focused on listening, learning, and took a lot of notes. I set a goal to learn the students’ names by October and make connections with every family. The students and teachers got used to me being in classrooms A LOT, trust grew, and relationships developed. The BTA community, in its “third chapter”, was falling into a groove.   

And then, COVID hit. This was the biggest disruption to school cultures. Ever. Talk about abruptly changing the feel to a year? Just when we were in a groove, we had to turn on a dime and facilitate learning remotely, just as every teacher pretty much in the country had to do. We gave ourselves a week to prepare, learn new tools, set expectations, and establish new norms. Not an easy task during a pandemic. Our teachers knocked it out of the park! Grounded in our commitment to our faith and our families, we did not miss a beat, a phrase I heard multiple times from parents. We continued learning and growing in our faith. A daily video was recorded and shared, where faculty, staff, and students participated in the morning prayer, pledge, and announcement. Our students learned and stayed connected on their daily google meets. They completed assignments, projects, and assessments virtually. Videos were created to sustain our sense of community, everyone participated in virtual spirit weeks, and Bulldog buddies met virtually. We all worked hard, especially the teachers. The end of the year FINALLY arrived and we were even able to celebrate with a car parade and outdoor 8th grade graduation. Not the celebration of the past, but one where we could come together to pray, honor our graduates, and wish them well. The summer was here, time for us all to reflect on the year. They year had a most unusual feel and cadence.   

This school year, as we set our sails and think about what this year will bring, we do so with courage, creativity and grit, and confidence in our faith. And we do so together-faculty, staff, parents, students, alums, and the greater BTA community. 

And as this unprecedented time continues and presents new challenges and hurdles, we acknowledge the feel this year may take on. This is the world for which we need to prepare our children- knowing that the future relies on creative thinkers, experimental doers and inventive makers. By nature, this is what talented teachers do every day. And our amazing BTA faculty have been pushed to the limit with creativity, adopting the now habitual need to experiment and invent or create new ways of engaging with students. This is the norm. This is the feel. Daily problem solving, collaboration, and tweaking is the perfect way we model for our students the skills that will make them successful in life. 

As we think ahead, we embrace change as something continuous–where flexibility, resilience, vigilance, and innovation need to be embedded into everything we do. While change brings about a feel, the life of a year, there is one thing that does not change. It is the thing that guides the change–our mission. Everything we do is to facilitate the development of each student’s talents and abilities as they strive to become strong Catholic leaders in the 21st Century.  

Mrs. Moira Regan Edmiston,

Principal, Blessed Trinity Academy

Get to Know Our Teachers

Miss Bucha is a “jack of all trades” at BTA. Not only does she teach our 3 year old preschoolers, but she also teaches our middle science classes and has developed our STEM program. She is a creative thinker that always has her students actively engaged in class. Here is a little but more about Miss Bucha.

Why did you choose to work in Catholic education?

I chose to work in Catholic education because of the standard of excellence and sense of community that is held.  Specifically, at BTA you become part of an exceptionally hard-working and supportive family.  In this community, innovation and dedication are highly valued and encouraged.  All of this comes together, along with the opportunity to root our work in faith, to create what I believe to be the optimal learning environment. 

What motivated you to become a teacher?

I love to learn!  I teach because I want to pass on my love of learning to my students.  

Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

My mother was the most influential teacher in my life.  She taught me the importance and value of education, and had every trick in the book to make learning fun.  Seeing the positive impact she had on her students also inspired me to want to share my love of learning and help students as well.


What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I love that I have the opportunity to help students discover the world around them.  I enjoy seeing students become excited about what they are learning, especially when they want to take their learning even deeper.


What is the most important life lesson you want you students to get out of your class?

I aim for students to learn to ask questions and be problem solvers.  It’s in asking questions that we learn about the world around us.  It’s through problem solving that we discover the answers to our questions

What was your favorite book as a child?

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery


What is your favorite book now?

‘Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard (and still Anne of Green Gables).


What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of school?

Most often, I can be found spending time with my family.  I also love music!  I play the flute and tin whistle and can often be found learning a new song or two.  Being outside doing yard work, hiking or just enjoying nature are also favorite pastimes.


What are you looking forward to most this year?

I am excited about the opportunities for innovation that this year holds.  We are in a situation where we have to look at our daily life from a new perspective.  While not always convenient, there is a lot we can learn and improve upon during this time.  When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!

Family Fall Fun

Fall is officially upon us! This is the season for fun pumpkin patches, apple picking, and trick or treating.  But in the year of COVID, a lot of events that have become traditions for many families have been canceled or postponed for another year.  However, there are still a lot of opportunities for families to get out of the house and enjoy the fall season in a socially distanced way.  Here are a few of the seasonal events in the North Hills( plus a couple favorites in the South Hills) area happening this year:

Blessed Trinity Academy is hosting a “Trunk or Treat” Halloween event on October 25 from 1-3pm in the St. Mary of the Assumption parking lot.  Preregistration and prepayment is required.  This is a great way to trick or treat in a safe, socially distant environment.  Register online at https://tinyurl.com/btatrunkortreats.

Shaler Township– “Trunk or Treats” October 10 starting at 5pm in Kiwanis Park.  Pre-registration is required.  Come to trick or treat, but stay for the movie in the park (“Hocus Pocus” after the event. Registration required.  https://www.shaler.org/407/Trunk-or-Treat

Hampton Township– Hampton is also hosting a showing of “Hocus Pocus” on Saturday, October 24th starting at 7:15pm. Registration required. https://www.hampton-pa.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2197

Harvest Valley Farms is welcoming families to their farm every Saturday and Sunday during October from 10am-5pm.  Families can pick pumpkins, take a hayride, go through the corn maze as well as participate in other fun activities. Registration NOT required. https://www.harvestvalleyfarms.com/fall-festival

Freedom Farms is also continuing their fall festival every weekend in October.  Families can pick sunflowers, find pumpkins, go to the petting zoo, participate in face painting plus a lot more.  Registration is required.  https://www.freedomfarmspa.com/fall-festival

Instead of their annual fall festival, Trax Farms is offering Harvest Days throughout October.  Tickets are released weekly and those who want to attend will need to purchase tickets in order to attend. Activities include a hayride, access to our 3 acre corn maze, access to the farm animals, access to the pumpkin patch (pumpkins not included in ticket price- purchase separately), and unlimited pictures with the perfect backdrop of our 150 year old farm, corn maze, and pumpkin patch. https://traxfarms.com/events/harvestdays/

For those of you who usually go to Triple B Farms, the fun is continuing throughout October. Pre-sale wristbands must be purchased ahead of your visit.  Wristbands allow access to  hayrides, animal barn & education acres, 2 corn mazes, observation beehive, pumpkinland, & jumping pillows. All activities are designed for adults & children to enjoy together outdoors!  To purchase wristbands or for more information go to https://www.triplebfarms.com/family-fun.html.

Sorgel’s Orchards is open throughout October too.  Although their annual Fall Festival is not happening this year, the pumpkin patch and apple orchard are open. Pumpkin patch and apple picking hours are Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Check out their website for more information.  https://www.soergels.com/  

Shenot Farms in Wexford has their pumpkin patch open starting at the end of September daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for pick-your-own pumpkins. They will regularly host food trucks, and have already-picked pumpkins available, too. Visit their website for more information.  https://www.shenotfarm.com/

For all of the apple lovers out there, Norman’s Orchards offers apple picking throughout the fall season. They have a wide variety of apples on their farm and as well as a store which stocks already picked apples, apple cider, local honey and other goodies. Make sure you check out their Facebook page before you go as they regularly post which varieties are available. https://normansorchard.com/

ABC Transit is hosting their 1st Annual Food and Fall Fun Extravaganza on October 10 from 1pm-7pm. It will take place at 120 Evergreen Road Millvale, PA 15209. They will have pumpkin painting, pony rides, food trucks, and more.

Get to Know Our Teachers

Meet First Grade Teacher Julie Mitchell

Our teachers are the foundation of our school. But how much do you know about our BTA staff? We want to take this opportunity for you to get to know some of the people on our BTA staff. We are starting off with First Grade teacher, Julie Mitchell.

BTA: Why did you choose to work in Catholic education?

I love being able to help students grow in their own faith journey and share God’s love with them as we learn.


BTA: What motivated you to become a teacher?

I always enjoyed being in school and learning new things.  I really wanted to teach children how to do the same.


BTA: Who was your most influential teacher growing up and why?

My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Stucka.  She was just a “fun” teacher.  She would tell us jokes, sing us songs, even make voices as she read.  She encouraged me to try new things, even if it was difficult.  She taught me how to learn from mistakes.


BTA: What do you enjoy most about teaching?

I enjoy the connections I make with students while they’re in my room, but continue after they leave it


BTA: What is the most important life lesson you want you students to get out of your class?

I want students to become more observant to the world around them and never stop learning.


BTA: What was your favorite book as a child?

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson


BTA: What is your favorite book now?

Bridge to Terabithia – I love teaching it and having my class enjoy it as much as I did.


BTA: What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of school?

Outside of school, I enjoy watching my kids, Erika and Kaylie, participate in sports.  I like to walk to get some exercise, social time, and just to clear my mind.


BTA: What are you looking forward to most this year?

I’m really just looking forward to being able to stay in school and be with all the students and teachers again.  I’m excited to be teaching first grade and continue fostering and growing their minds.  I hope I can keep them on track to enjoy school and be active learners as they continue their journey through school.

The Endless Summer Finally Comes to an End

As children head back to school over the next few weeks after an extended absence from their classrooms, there is a certain amount of anxiety and excitement from parents, students and teachers. Students are excited about seeing friends they haven’t seen for months but nervous that they may have forgotten their academics from last year. Parents are excited to have their children on a real schedule and create structure in their households, but are concerned about masks, social distancing, and if another possible shut down is coming. And teachers are excited to be back in their classrooms where they can be most effective, but concerned about implementing all of the safety protocols, providing a solid learning experience with students unable to leave their desks as well as making sure that students who will be tuning in virtually are taken care of too. It is a lot of different emotions for everyone.

To help prepare for the return to school, we have asked our BTA teachers to give both students and parents some advice to prepare for a very unconventional start to the school year. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Practice wearing masks. All students are being asked to wear their masks throughout the day even while at desks so it is important that students get used to having them on for extended periods of time. And always bring a smile:)—- Mrs. Bridgeman, Kindergarten
  2. Be patient and ready for anything. As we found out last year, things can change pretty quickly so it is important for parents and their children to come with a flexible attitude.—– Mrs. Mitchell, 1st Grade
  3. Always say your prayers. Be kind to one another. And don’t stress about this year. We are all in this together.— Mrs. Heasley, 2nd Grade
  4. Everyone needs to take a deep breath everyday. Parents- don’t worry, your children will be taken care of.—- Ms. McKaveney, 3rd Grade
  5.  At the start of each school year I encourage the students to have a positive attitude. It’s important to give things a try.  You can always ask for help or try a different way,and don’t forget you have Jesus at your side. This year “being positive” is just what is needed as we will be implementing new procedures for safety and social distancing. It will also be important to have a positive attitude while learning new ways of doing work through Google Classroom. I keep thinking of a featured song in “Willy Wonka,Jr.” which was to be our spring musical last year and, if all goes well, will be our spring musical this year. The song is called “Think Positive” and one line says “Whenever I’m feeling down and out and don’t know what to do, I never give way to fear and doubt, cos thinking positive sees me through!” So to all families and students of fourth grade, “We got this!” as we “Think Positive!”—- Mrs. Cross, 4th Grade
  6. Try to stay calm and remember things will work out. — Mr. Tinnemeyer, 5th Grade
  7. Get everyone to bed on time. During the summer children aren’t always on a schedule, which is understandable. Proper rest is essential for a healthy and productive school year. Help your kids get back on track sleep wise by having them go to bed earlier and wake up earlier a week in advance of when school actually starts.— Mrs. Grana, Middle School Social Studies
  8. Stay organized! This is for parents and students. Since things can change so quickly, it is important that every family has a method of organization that works for them.—- Mrs. Rice, Middle School Language Arts
  9. Think of this of a time of innovation! Think outside of the box! Teachers will be trying different projects and teaching methods and will be asking for creativity from their students too.—- Miss Bucha, Middle School Science and STEM
  10. Be Awesome! And stay on top of your assignments!—- Mr. Wesolowski, Middle School Math
  11. Have an open mind. Teachers are trying their hardest.—- Miss Chadran, St. Anthony’s Program K-4th Grade

At BTA, we wish all families a safe and productive return to school. We can’t wait to see what the year brings!

A Catholic School Calling

“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.” 1 Corinthians 7:17

Have you ever considered what God is calling you to do?  I remember sitting in church as a young child listening to our priest talk endlessly about listening to what God’s is calling you to do in your life.  But in those days, our parish priest usually framed it as a way to speak about being called to the priesthood or to be a nun.  At age 10 or 11, I had little interest in really thinking about God’s calling in my life as I was pretty sure a life in the clergy was not in my future.  

However, as I grew older and started attending mass not just because it was what was expected, but because I was looking for more guidance, the idea of a calling didn’t seem so foreign.

Flash forward a few decades later and I have realized that God’s calling comes to us in many different ways and I would soon discover mine would be found in the halls of our children’s Catholic school.  When we first sent our children to Catholic school, I never envisioned us staying more than a year or two.  We live in a very good public school district and I was basically looking for an all day kindergarten program until we headed to public school in 1st grade.  However, after our first year with my older child, our perspective changed.  We loved our little Catholic school’s community with teachers that were truly invested in educating our children not just academically but also spiritually.  We loved the morals and values that were continually reinforced on a daily basis.  We loved the kindness that was found in halls. There were so many amazing things that were happening in the halls of this school that we found it impossible to leave. The next thing we knew we had committed to sending our children to Catholic school which was a surprising turn of events.  

When we made the commitment to Catholic school, I felt the need to slowly get involved in our child’s school.  I thought it would be a good way to meet parents and make some new friends.  It started slowly by volunteering to be a homeroom parent.  By the end of the year, I was asked to be on our school’s PTG (Parent-Teacher Guild) as the treasurer.  It was billed to me as keeping track of receipts and writing checks (HA!).  I fell for that one pretty easily and said yes.  How hard could it be?  But that role quickly turned into being our PTG president and I started helping to organize school fundraisers.  All of the sudden I was volunteering to give tours and organize open houses.  It was amazing how in that one year, my life took a totally different, unexpected turn.  

During this time, our school was undergoing a lot of changes and we found out that a merger was in our future. I was the first person to volunteer to be a part of the process.  It was stressful and time consuming, but I felt it was important to help in whatever way I could to preserve and continue the tradition of Catholic education for my children and all of the families who were so committed to seeing it succeed.  I remember sitting in my best friend’s kitchen during this time, talking to her about all of the problems we were facing and how difficult this journey was.  I really wanted to give up and be one of those people who just puts their kids on the bus and has no clue what is going on in their school.  It would be so much easier and less stressful.  But she said to me, “Meredith, this is what God is calling you to do.”  And that hit me like a ton of bricks. Ironically, during this time I had also been attending mass and listening to Fr. Tim Whalen speak about finding what God is calling you to do.  One Sunday at mass, he spoke at length about finding your calling in the least expected places and how you have to listen to God and not ignore what He is trying to tell you.

I thought, “Is this it?  Is this what God is calling me to do?” and very quickly, realized that it was. There was a high power leading me in this direction. This is how my desire to volunteer as a homeroom parent has resulted in my job as the Director of Admissions and Marketing at Blessed Trinity Academy. 

Although the journey has not been easy and presented unbelievable challenges over the last 6 years, it has been amazing to see how God mysteriously works in my life.  It has been fulfilling in ways I can’t describe and offered so many rewarding experiences especially because I know I am fighting for something much larger than I am.  I have made friends in unexpected places, worked with so many committed teachers, parents, and administrators and been led on the most unexpected, yet fulfilling journey.

So as we begin this new school year, I want to challenge you to listen to what God is calling you to do in your child’s school and in your larger community.  Could you volunteer more in your community or parish?  Do you have something to offer your child’s or grandchild’s school? Could you sell raffle tickets for a fundraiser that supports your school?  Could you volunteer to be on a committee or coach a team? Could you chaperone a field trip? Do you have a special interest or skill that could be a part of a club at school?  Your calling does not need to come in the form of a new job.  It can be small.  But do not be afraid to listen.  There are so many ways to find what God is calling you to do.  They may not seem like a big deal, but in the end they can make a big  impact on the people around you.  

Meredith Kandravy, Director of Admissions and Marketing at Blessed Trinity Academy