Seton Education Partners began their foray into school leadership with a network of charter schools in NYC. We married a vision of quality education with a classical approach to curriculum and instruction, a firm belief in the inherent dignity of all people, and a focus on holistic character formation. At the core is a Catholic after-school program called El Camino, where young disciples are able to take the enduring truths they learn throughout the school day and see how they point back to God. As the Lord continues to bless and provide for us, Seton has been able to expand our mission to other school models!
One of the most exciting facets of our mission is the Romero Academy model, a partnership with Catholic dioceses that allows our Seton Teaching Fellows to catechize and evangelize in urban Catholic schools. Our flagship school, Romero Academy at Resurrection, brings the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Catholic faith to the Price Hill Neighborhood in Cincinnati’s west side. It takes the same principles of our charter schools and applies them to an explicitly Catholic environment.
This fall, the Seton Teaching Fellows recruitment team packed up and headed down to Cincinnati where we had a chance to visit with students, staff, and families at Romero Academy. We encountered an inner city Catholic school where a young and dedicated staff from varying backgrounds came together to support a unified vision of uplifting education immersed in the Catholic faith. STF recruitment watched as a whole school turned to silence and prayerfully said the Angelus; students interacted with the beautiful as they played marimba and explored music from around the world; Dominican friars—who visit our school every week—shared the goodness of their faith with our students; and young missionaries spread the truth of Christ in their El Camino classrooms to every grade in the school. The Catholic faith was truly alive, and it was flourishing in a neighborhood where you might not expect a private school to operate.
Aside from seeing the students learn, we had the pleasure of chatting with Romero Academy staff and hearing their stories. We were especially lucky to find a window of time where Romero’s principal, Mr. John Lane, wasn’t supporting his students and teachers, and we sat down to ask him a few questions. Mr. Lane shared a lot of info about the impact that the Seton Teaching Fellows have on our schools, but the best part of the conversation was when he shared how the Catholic faith permeates his work in education. It’s a gift to have a young and intentionally Christian man serving in a leadership role, and we wanted to pass on some of Mr. Lane’s wisdom, just in case any future fellows were curious as to what our school leadership looks like!
A little wisdom from Mr. John Lane, Romero’s principal
I guess one thing I’ve learned after a decade in education, and half a decade in a vocation, is that the work of faith never stops—and that’s a really humbling thing.
I remember being, you know, twenty-two, twenty-three years old in education, and seeing all these veteran teachers and thinking that they had it together. What I know now is that they probably didn’t. I mean, I certainly don’t. The thing is, what we do doesn’t make sense outside of the context of faith. It doesn’t make ANY sense. That’s because the Church, and education within it, is not a human institution: it’s a divine one.
So, when looking at the problems and challenges ahead of us within Catholic education, I think the only way to stay grounded in the work is within this idea of the faith. You know, it’s something beyond me; but just because it’s beyond me doesn’t mean I take my hands off the wheel. All the more reason to be intentional, and prudent, and courageous, and diligent within our work.
I think the Seton Teaching Fellows are a fantastic reminder of that, because they are here for a year to do just that; and, they’re working in the trenches alongside our teachers, so it’s a beautiful reminder for our teachers of what this work is—what this work needs. The Seton Teaching Fellows program encapsulates that faith in a really beautiful way, and it’s truly a beacon for the work that we do.
Interested in seeing more from Romero Academy and Mr. Lane? Subscribe to our youtube page and be the first to see video content highlighting Romero Academy and our other schools. Wish you could serve at a mission site like Romero Academy in Price Hill? Apply today to be a Seton Teaching Fellow and be part of the New Evangelization!