May 11, 2020
Dear Friends of La Salle Academy,
I am pleased to announce the results of our COVID-19 appeal that ran from April 9th through May 7th. We raised over $18,000 in donations from 68 generous alumni and friends! Thank you for your impactful contributions. During this unprecedented time, our students and their families are struggling. While these funds will not fix the problems presented to our community, they will certainly help us breathe a bit easier until we are back in the classroom together again.
Regrettably, it has been more than eight weeks since I last saw a La Salle Academy student in person. I miss the daily interaction with our young men. Teaching is inherently relational, and our Lasallian tradition directs us to focus attention on each pupil. Saint John Baptist de La Salle wrote “Know your students individually and be able to understand them” (Meditation 33.1). A goal articulated in our Mission Statement says, “We create experiences of community within the school.” It is harder in the current circumstances to witness and experience how successful we have been in touching the heart of each student and provide him with a sense of being part of a larger, caring environment. We continue to do our best to remind him that La Salle Academy is a place where he is welcomed, respected, and loved. Are we successful?
Just the other day as I wondered about this, I received an email from Theo Noble. He is a senior, an honor student, a varsity basketball player, and a student government leader. Theo tells me:
“When I chose to attend to La Salle Academy the summer before my freshman year, I knew little to nothing about La Salle. I chose La Salle because I wanted a change of scenery and La Salle was the most affordable school for my family. I knew absolutely none of my middle school friends were going to La Salle. I was pretty frightened and worried I would not make any friends. However, throughout my years at La Salle Academy I have made friends that I can truly call family and being with them throughout my high school career has made me a better person. If I could go back to 8th grade, I would choose to attend La Salle Academy again.”
I am grateful to Theo for his authentic testimony about an intangible aspect of our school that, while not quantifiable, is very real. You may be wondering about that part of Theo’s La Salle experience that we do attempt to measure, his academic performance. He intends to pursue a career in business and will be attending SUNY Maritime College this fall.
As we prepare to observe the traditional feast of Saint John Baptist de La Salle this Friday, I ask you to join me in prayer that we continue to honor his name and be faithful to our heritage.
With gratitude and prayers,
Brother Thomas P. Casey, FSC
P.S. If you would still like to make a gift to our COVID-19 appeal, you can do so by texting LASALLE to 41444, clicking here, or mailing a check to my attention at 44 E 2nd Street, New York, NY 10003.