As we open our schools in this, the 170th year of the existence of the Diocese of Buffalo, we can be proud of the state of our Catholic schools in 2016.
We enroll almost 15,000 students in our elementary and secondary schools combined, and employ roughly 1,400 qualified, certified teachers.
Our STREAM coordinator, our professional development coordinator and some of our STREAM school representatives attended a national STREAM symposium in Philadelphia and were the stars of the meeting. The National Catholic Educational Association has chosen us as the model for other Catholic STREAM schools in the U.S.
We include school administrators who, four times per year, attend a whole day of professional development, and one day a year a prayerful retreat.
We are building local school boards so as to utilize the huge pool of talent, expertise and wisdom of persons willing to help to govern our schools. This year these boards will direct the fiduciary responsibilities of the schools and next school year, they will be responsible for formulating and promulgating school policies.
We are in the final stages of planning for our biennial convocation, which gathers all of our teachers and administrators for a day of celebration of our Catholic schools, and opportunities for professional development.
We will be beginning the process of accrediting all of our elementary schools, so that we can say, with certainty, "Our schools are top notch."
We remember the heroes and heroines, both religious and lay, who built and staffed the schools over the past 170 years. They would be proud of their heirs in the faith who, in the 2016-17 school year, follow in their footsteps. They would be thrilled to see the changes we have wrought and the tradition of excellence that we continue. Welcome to another successful school year.