President’s Blog featuring insight from GRACE President Kimberly Desotell:

August 27, 2019: First Day of School!

Welcome to the first day of school! As tradition holds, I visit each of our nine GRACE Schools on the first day. I present a spiritual or prayer book to the principal to help them serve in their role as spiritual leader of the school. It is a rewarding and joyous visit to all sites.

Today, I witnessed so much beauty inside our GRACE Schools. Here are a few “first day moments” I was fortunate to see:

  • A principal on the playground making sure each new student feels a part of the school and makes friends
  • A parent shared that their sixth-grader proclaimed, “I’m glad to be back because I love learning”
  • A principal using a handheld device to operate the school bells and PA system
  • Two twins had matching, sparkling, new school shoes
  • A brief Family Feud game for middle school students to get to know new teachers and staff (for the record, the students won the game!)
  • Chicken nuggets for lunch — a fan favorite of all students
  • Three parents I now call the “Coffee Brigade” served coffee to teachers from a rolling cart down the hallway
  • One student guessed correctly how many GRACE students we have this year — over 2, 220! (we have 2, 224 students, marking our fifth straight year of enrollment growth for GRACE)

The first day of school proved our students are ready to learn, eager to return to the safe and loving environments provided in our GRACE Schools, and they rejoice at seeing familiar faces and friends.

As I parted each classroom today, I shared two pieces of simple advice — work hard and pray hard. I invite all of our GRACE stakeholders and friends to join together on our shared journey to work hard, play hard and make it a great year ahead!