Back to School: Catholic edition

GRIT for Growth and Success

Gina Kuntz Fleming, Superintendent of Catholic Schools, Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Renowned author, teacher, and psychologist Angela Duckworth found that grit is more important than talent in determining success, and that one can build grit capacity with passion, purpose, and perseverance. When asked to give a word of advice to parents and educators as they begin a new school year, I suggest that for GRIT to be developed and nurtured in our young people, four major characteristics or attributes must be present: God, Responsibility, Initiative, and Tenacity.

God – Grit, despite the difficulties and struggles one might encounter, is possible with God. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13). Through prayer, discernment, and trust in God’s providence, one can stick to even the most trying tasks and endure seemingly impossible barriers. Given that all are made in the image of God, this means that grit is also achieved when we work together. As we seek to attain goals that are meaningful and relevant to us and/or the greater good, we come to learn of our called purpose on this earth.

Responsibility – Grit requires us to take responsibility in our own learning and growth. To develop grit, one must have passion for the tasks at hand and the overall objective. For example, I have great passion for serving the under-served. My responsibility, then, is to actively engage in various ways to successfully address the needs of those who are impoverished. I may choose to become politically active in pushing for legislation that protects the rights of the marginalized; I may choose to serve on boards or committees of non-profits who provide goods and services to communities and families in need; I may engage in volunteer efforts at local food pantries, schools, hospitals, and/or charities that serve people in need. Passion for serving drives me, and because of that passion, I am far more likely to persist in my endeavors and fulfill my responsibilities as a citizen and active change agent.

Initiative – To develop grit, one must simply get started! Research has shown that it is rarely talent alone that leads to sustainable growth and success. Rather, it is the amount of effort one is willing to put forth that results in continuous improvement. Getting started requires one to be prepared, to plan for potential obstacles, and to be flexible and ready to adjust as unforeseen circumstances arise.

Tenacity – Another word for tenacity is “persistence.” That “stick to it” attitude will take one far in his or her pursuits, particularly when coupled with passion and purpose. Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi is credited for the phrase, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” Malcolm Gladwell claimed that it takes 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” to become world-class in any field. While many scientists have de-bunked this theory, stating that practice alone is not enough, one can point to any expert in their field and see that ongoing and deliberate practice enhances the evolving mindset and growth of top athletes, musicians, entrepreneurs, etc.

The mental strength needed to innovate, create, problem solve, collaborate, and persevere is found with GRIT – God, Responsibility, Initiative, and Tenacity! Best wishes to our students, parents, teachers, and church and school leaders as you strive to build GRIT in your lives.


Welcome back to school!

Southside Catholic school principals welcome students and share about the coming year:

Central Catholic Class of 2030.

Welcome back to another exciting school year at Central Catholic! There are big changes in store for students and families this year. We have a new principal, Ruth Hurrle, and a new assistant principal, Mike McFadden. We are piloting Blended Learning in grade 3,4, and middle school math. In blended learning, students work in stations and get individual help from their teacher, have small group time to work on new skills, and use chrome books to practice their lessons. We are already seeing student growth by doing blended learning and are thrilled with this opportunity to help all students reach their full potential.

Please come and visit us soon and join us for our weekly school mass at 8:30 on Wednesday mornings.

Ruth Hurrle


Central Catholic


Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! After a busy summer, we are so glad to have the smiling, eager faces of the students back in the building! We have had a great two weeks. The 8th grade went on a leadership retreat and have taken their place as student leaders, the primary students are learning new routines and have already learned so much, and everyone has started the year with a positive attitude! We have wasted no time getting down to what we do best – helping kids grow academically, spiritually, and emotionally. It is great to be a Holy Name Giant!

Robert Kitchens


Holy Name Catholic School


Nativity Catholic School is destined for amazing things in 2017-18! The gifts and talents of our students combined with the dedication and passion of our teachers allow us to strive for excellence. Excellence is not the result of good intentions or a clever slogan. Nor is it a value that is easily achieved. It comes from a strong desire to improve how we do things when we see something we can do better. At Nativity, we continue to work hard to ensure that we are a school that supports students and teachers on their journey to success.

We would like to welcome Mrs. Cindy Peterson to the Nativity faculty. Mrs. Peterson will be teaching Spanish to our Kindergarten through eighth grade students this year. Mrs. Peterson has previously taught Spanish in Franklin Township and St. Joan of Arc Catholic School before staying home with her young son. She is an energetic teacher who is sure to inspire the students!

It takes many to adequately prepare for a new school year and this year, we have been truly blessed with helping hands! A special thank you goes out to:

·   Diane and Paul Lee for removing old chalkboards, installing cork bulletin boards around the new whiteboards, painting and hanging several items on our walls.

·   Kim Brownfield and Mandy Beikes for getting the ball rolling on our Annual Walk-a-thon on October 6th. Letters were sent to business sponsors and planning is underway for this great day! Please watch for more information to come home soon for you to mail/email to family members for sponsorship to fulfill your $100 fundraising commitment.

·   Gordon Welt, Nathan Baurley and Michele Paynter for edging, weeding and mulching the flower beds outside of door #1. It looks beautiful!

·   The School Commission members for hosting a gathering for all of our new families to Nativity.

·   Ryan Eldridge and his team for cleaning, updating and preparing all of our computers for the new school year.

·   Henry Kurz and children for power washing all of the library chairs.

Nativity Catholic School is a great place to be. As I met with current and new families to Nativity, the faculty, and the school commission members, one of the leading “Great Things” about Nativity is our strong community-school relationship. These strong relationships are essential to high achievement. Find any successful school and you will also find parents and community members that are involved and supportive of the school. We are proud of our students as they reflect our high standards and Catholic values both inside and outside of school. Your support through this year is greatly appreciated. Remember…. It’s a great time to be a Titan!

Terri Bianchini


Nativity Catholic School


From sacraments to sports events and from incredible learning opportunities to all-school assemblies, this year promises to be one filled with possibilities to grow spiritually, academically and socially. Our Back-to-School Open House on Sunday, July 30 kicked off the beginning of our school year with great excitement! Our first school liturgy on Friday, August 4 rounded off a perfect first week!

Our School Commission welcomes new members Luis Barajas, Audra Ferguson-Allen, Diana Guzman, Carolyn Schausten, and Joni Serowik. The School Commission provides vital leadership to the school and parish. We thank them for their commitment to this ministry.

We are always happy to share what is happening at Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School. Contact Principal Kent Clady at to find out more.

Kent Clady


Our Lady of the Greenwood School


At the beginning of the new school year, exciting new changes await our students and faculty upon their return. After years of planning, fundraising, design and construction, our school plant continues to emerge as one of the finest private school facilities in the state of Indiana. Plans for a new gymnasium are bering finalized as of this writing.

Our school community is still celebrating an IHSAA 4A State Championship in football along with individual state championships by Alec Viduya in wrestling and Paige Saylor in the women’s long jump this past spring. It was a wonderful way to finish an extraordinary school year.

The academic accomplishments of our staff and students continue to reach new heights as well. Roncalli senior Heather Lezon claimed Roncalli’s 11th National Championship in the National Women in Construction architectural design competition and Senior Luke Murphy claimed Roncalli’s first-ever State Championship in Speech. Roncalli Physics teacher Ben Grimes was selected as the Indiana Physics Teacher of the Year. Our recently graduated Class of 2017 earned more than $28 million in merit-based college scholarships! The professionalism and dedication of our instructors translates into exceptional performance by our students, highlighted by our recent notification by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation that Roncalli will have 16 students recognized by the National Merit program as commended students and semifinalists, which is an all-time high for the school as well.

Our mission has long centered on working to develop life-long learners in service to others. Inspiring students to truly become life-long learners requires gifted teachers with a passion for their subject matter and an enthusiasm for teaching their students. Inspired teaching leads to inspired students and inspired students become their own best teachers.

We are looking forward to a fantastic year!

Dr. Joseph D. Hollowell


Roncalli High School