Celebrate 12: Looking Back At Seton’s Founding

Celebrate 12: Looking Back At Seton’s Founding

Thank you for joining us this past year to “Celebrate 12” years of Seton. Thirteen years ago, Scott Hamilton and Stephanie Saroki de García teamed up to address a failure in education. They started Seton in response to a problem that has worsened every decade since the 1960s, leaving millions of children without access to an academically excellent, character rich education. Since then, Seton has swam against the current and changed the course for tens of thousands of children directly through our schools and programs.

Tess Lane, National Director of Recruitment for Seton, shared a story that demonstrates the kind of impact you make possible through your support:

“I had a great interview today with a candidate for one of our openings. When I asked him how he found out about the role, he told me that last year when his school was trying to implement remote learning for students, he came across Seton’s Blended Learning website and it transformed how his school thought about students using computers and teachers using data. He was really touched by Seton’s mission and has kept his eye on our job board since. Thank you to everyone who made those resources possible—you have clearly touched many lives–including those at a Brooklyn charter school!”

Here are 12 of the many ways Seton has made a difference this past year and since our founding. We hope this list inspires you to support our mission by joining our team of monthly giving partners at just $12/month. We can’t do this invaluable work without you!

1. Our El Camino program in The Bronx currently has a waitlist, which indicates that parents are grateful for the option to choose vibrantly Catholic faith formation

2. We are bringing our successful charter school model to Texas through Brillante Academy, starting in Mission, TX, just minutes from the southern U.S./Mexico border. Our enterprising vision is to serve more than 5,200 children every year. 

3. We were the only organization in four years to 1) be granted a new charter in the state of New Jersey; and 2) earn the full Federal planning grant to hire the right team for a new Brilla school on the “Block of Mercy” in Paterson.

4. Children across the country are behind academically and socially after two years of disrupted learning. Fortunately, an impressive 95% of children at Romero Academy at Resurrection, in just its second year of operations, are on track to pass the Ohio Third Grade Reading Guarantee, a test that all third-graders must pass if they are to advance to fourth grade. Compare these outstanding results to the fewer than 25% of kindergarten through third grade students at the two neighboring public schools who are on the same track.

5. Before Seton’s arrival, the parish school that preceded Romero Academy at Resurrection hadn’t seen a baptism in at least four years. Yet thanks to your prayers and support, Seton staff prepared and facilitated the baptisms of seven children. Several parents have already approached Romero to ask about being baptized with their children this upcoming year, prompting the school and parish to develop an RCIA program at the beginning of 2022.

6. After launching the first robust blended-learning Catholic school in the country, Seton spent a decade growing the program to thirteen schools, improving academic results and enrollment, while at the same time decreasing operating costs. In 2021 we launched our tested, ready-to-use resources for free for all educators in a continued effort to share our insights and partner for success. 

7. We will continue to prioritize partnership in 2022 as we launch our full El Camino Catechesis Curriculum for any catechist to implement at home, in their school, parish, or diocese via a free, user-friendly website.

8. Seton believes in developing authentic relationships with parents and always honoring them as the first educators of their children. One of the tangible ways we support parents in this high calling is through our Parent University program. It’s no surprise, then, that across all of our schools, parent satisfaction is at 95% or higher.

9. In response to the unprecedented learning loss that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, we implemented high dosage tutoring at all of our Brilla schools in NYC, that way all of our children have what they need to excel.

10. We’re still boasting 100% attendance at parent-teacher conferences (held three times per year) since Brilla’s founding, yet another way we demonstrate how Seton is here to partner with parents.

11. A thrilling result of our after-school program, El Camino, is that 170 children have been baptized, and that number continues to rise every year. When asked, “What are you most excited about in your future?” Romero Academy sixth-grader Dantoria Johnson answered: “I’m most excited to become a Catholic.”

12. Our schools not only offer a whole-child education, but so do all of our programs. Our Seton Teaching Fellows sign up to love, and they receive a great deal of love throughout the year as well. One-hundred percent of Seton Teaching Fellows agree or strongly agree that they “grew as a whole person” during their fellowship. And when two-thirds of Fellows stay in education after their year of service, it’s reassuring to know that they are the people helping to educate children around the world.

Twenty-one Fellow alums gathered together earlier this month for a mini-reunion. We’re so grateful for their service!