UP Catholic 11 18 2016 E Edition Page 7

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC CATHOLIC SCHOOLS November 18, 2016 7 APPRECIATION ISSUE January 20, 2017 If your organization, parish or business would like to place an advertisement of support for one of our women religious or seminarians in formation, please contact Deacon Steve for pricing. 1-866-452-5112 upc@new.rr.com FORMATION BY VICTORIA LAFAVE He may have grown up in the metro Detroit small town of Fraser, but Bishop Baraga Cath- olic Schools new principal, Kevin Weed, fell in love with the Upper Peninsula as a college stu- dent at Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette. My heart has really never left the U.P. since, he said. He met his wife Karen at NMU, and their first two children were born in Marquette. Kevin and Karen have eight children - three boys and five girls. They have lived south of Grand Rapids for the past 14 years, but have spent considerable time in the U.P. each summer. Weed brings a substantial amount of teaching and lead- ership experience to Bishop Baraga, having spent 18 years as a public high school teacher of English and journalism. During that time, he also advised student print and online newspapers, annual yearbook production, daily televised announcements, and started film festivals at two high schools. He also coached forensics, tennis and soccer. For the past three to four years, he has been involved in contract negotiations, health in- surance bids, and creating cooperative oppor- tunities for homeschooling families to work in conjunction with the district where he taught. While an undergraduate at NMU, he majored in English and minored in speech, with an empha- sis on journalism. During his first two years he served as a D.J. on college radio and as on-air talent for news, sports, and weather for Public Eye News on WNMU-TV. Eventually, he began writing for the student newspaper, The North Wind, and served as news and features editor. When he returned to NMU after working several years full time in media, Weed then pur- sued his teaching certificate. Weed and his family have been longtime parishioners at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Allegan, and have been attending there while he makes the long commute home on weekends to see his family until their house sells. Weed said his goal for this school year at BBCS is two-fold: Academically, the staff and I are working to further integrate the classical curriculum all nine diocesan schools have been implementing, he said. Spiritually, several of our school commit- tees, including home and school, and Catholic identity, are working to further strengthen the opportunities for our students to experience au- thentically Catholic celebrations. One example of this is our focus upon a major celebration for All Saints Day on Nov. 1. We have many feast days in the Church year, and I hope to bring an emphasis to these holy days through our Masses and in our curriculum. Along with these goals, he said his hope for his students is that they will realize their personal full potential. I have two wishes for our students. First and foremost, I wish for every child to know and realize their full potential as a student. Just like great coaches can inspire their athletes to achieve at levels previously thought to be unat- tainable, great educators can move their stu- dents forward academically to achieve learning the student didnt think possible. In addition, I wish every student knew the rich tradition of learning that Catholicism has pro- vided to the world. As Professor Thomas Woods described in his book How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, were it not for dedi- cated monks who devoted a large portion of their lives to copying and thus preserving the ancient texts, much learning from the great thinkers of antiquity would have been lost to time. Possibly most importantly, in todays world, the Church is often vilified as being anti-science when in fact the church has always been a promoter of learn- ing and the sciences. Dr. Woods book is a great way for the adults in our childrens lives to famil- iarize themselves with this aspect of the Churchs history, and thus help our children realize these facts about the Catholic Church. To have a successful school, Weed realizes a childs education has to start at home with the parents working together to assist each students journey of learning and faith development. I wish every parent realized that, in fact, they are the most important people in their childrens education. At school, we have a great influence with the children, but in order to be successful lifelong learners, good habits must be established and consistently adhered to at home. Today, our children are growing up with amazing technolo- gy that can be beneficial, but also can be a huge distraction. Setting appropriate boundaries and sticking to them is a must, he stressed. While children and even some professional child advocates may say that children want and can handle the freedom to govern themselves, the truth is that children need well-defined boundar- ies so that they know what is and is not appropri- ate, he explained. Having a strong understand- ing of the faith, instilled at home by both parents when possible, is even more important in todays relativistic secular society. That moral relativism may be the source of the greatest challenges the next generation faces, and parents play the prima- ry role in grounding their children in the faith. Aside from his background in education, there is one thing from Weeds past that his students may be surprised to find out: He is quite an ac- complished sports writer. In fact, during his time as a sports writer and researcher, he worked for various media organizations covering the Olympic Games. From 1992-2000, he traveled to work in Barcelona, Spain; Atlanta, Georgia; and Sydney, Australia, for the Summer Games; and Nagano, Japan, for the Winter Games. Bishop Baraga Catholic School is located at 406 West B Street, Iron Mountain. For more information on the school, call (906) 774-2277, or visit www.baragaup.com. Bishop Baraga principal looks to inspire, build on Catholic tradition Kevin Weed

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