Location: Buffalo, NY
Students: 700 boys
Faculty: 78 Lasallian educators and staff (full and part time)
Mascot: The Marauders
Be Welcomed. Be Challenged. Be Inspired. These words are emblematic of our core values at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in Buffalo NY. They authentically describe the experience that has been lived for nearly 160 years by both students and adults in our community. They remind us each day of our commitment to each other and the young men in our care.
As we prepare to close off a school year unlike any other in our school’s history, we at St. Joe’s continue to spend a great deal of time reflecting on the successes, innovations, and challenges of educating our young men during a pandemic – all with an eye on being even more prepared for whatever awaits us this September. The relentless work of our Lasallian educators and the dedication of our students to distance learning this spring provided countless examples of the unique ways that a “normal” education at St. Joe’s has been transformed during our time away from the school building. Faculty transitioned curriculum through a host of tools including Zoom lessons and YouTube videos. Choral and instrumental music was produced by students remotely, including 40 students who performed an a capella rendition of “I Love You, Lord,” academic lectures were done online, and the counseling office worked hard to check in with each student.
While this has been a time of great anxiety, concern, and isolation, it has also been a time during which the strength of the St. Joe’s brotherhood has become abundantly evident. Our community found so many ways to come together virtually. Students participated in online trivia contests, were invited to leadership workshops to chat live with professional athletes each week, organized contactless food drives for our local food bank, and varsity rowers competed against area high schools with each rower racing on an erg machine from his home. Even Student Council elections were held online as candidates submitted ‘stump speech’ videos.
Graduation posed a unique challenge, and the resilience and strength of the class of 2020 during the past few months will never be forgotten. Our traditional graduation ceremony was replaced with a drive-through celebration. Our faculty, staff, coaches, and Board of Trustees cheered on our graduates and their families as they paraded through campus. Graduates and their families were able to enjoy both a Baccalaureate prayer service and graduation ceremony through videos that included speeches and awards.
The St. Joe’s community once again rose to meet a new challenge, and is undoubtedly even more prepared to face any obstacle that comes our way in the future.
From ‘Ministry Spotlight’ of Lasallian Notes – Summer 2020
written by Ms. Katie Kinder Potenza, Director of Marketing & Communications