Providence, RI – As has become a tradition at La Salle Academy, Providence, Catholic Schools Week took on a special Lasallian character as the school community celebrated itself as a Catholic and Lasallian School.
As part of Founder’s Week this year, homerooms are collecting school supplies for two inner-city Providence Catholic elementary schools with whom La Salle Academy has a special relationship.
On Tuesday evening, a large number of students enjoyed a fun-filled program led by hypnotist Frank Santos Jr.
On Wednesday, the school community celebrated Teacher Recognition and Founder’s Day. All faculty, staff, and coaches were greeted in the morning at their mailboxes by a member of the Lasallian Ministry Team who presented them with a special gift and a letter acknowledging the contribution they make to the education and formation of the young people in the school. The Student Council supplied special cupcake treats for faculty and staff in each of the faculty and staff rooms. In a continuing tradition, the Lasallian Ministry Team celebrated La Salle Academy’s Distinguished Lasallian Educator of the Year for 2015-2016 by presenting Elissa Pensa Cerros the award in front of each of four classes that met that day and in an afternoon ceremony and reception attended by 100 people, including family members and friends. Ms. Cerros, a 16 year veteran of the school, was cited for her exemplary commitment to Lasallian values—extraordinary teaching in the Arts Department, service as the Director of Arts Alive! and the Children’s Summer Theater program, New Orleans Mission Service Trip leader for 7 years, and exemplary Lasallian role model. In the proclamation read to those assembled it was noted: “ In the words of a former student: “St. John Baptist de La Salle is very clear when explaining what a Lasallian educator should be and Mrs. Cerros clearly embodies every trait.” In the words of a former administrator of La Salle Academy: “Frankly I cannot think of anyone more deserving of such recognition…she lives out her mission as a Lasallian educator with both determination and purpose on a daily basis and that she has touched the minds and hearts of young men and women entrusted to her care is clearly evident and appreciated.” Finally, a District colleague has written of her: “Elissa Pensa Cerros is most worthy to be named a Distinguished Lasallian Educator.”
During the week, each Morning Prayer for the school community focused on an aspect of life at La Salle Academy. The prayers and reflections were offered by a young teacher alum who reflected on one of his teachers, an alumna of 1991 who spoke of her positive experiences at La Salle leading her to become a teacher, a current student reflecting on her Christian Service experience, and a former Principal. On Wednesday a colleague spoke about Ms. Cerros. Each was an affirming time for the entire school community as it paused to recognize how thoroughly the Lasallian charism penetrates the life and culture of the school. Each Morning Prayer can be found on the school blog LSA Ruminations.