A Parent's Perspective from Mrs. Lynn Greis
Posted on 11/04/2016
Mrs. Greis’s daughter Corrine graduated from Bishop Ahr High School in 2013 and was recently honored at Springfield College's Rehabilitation/Disabilities department as Outstanding Junior student. Today, we talk with Mrs. Greis about the importance of a Catholic education and how BGA helped prepare her daughter for college.

What made you decide to send your daughter Corrine to BGA?

There were few reasons we made the decision. The first, Corri and her brothers had attended Catholic grade school and we believed it was important to continue the parochial education. The second reason was Corri is a competitive gymnast and BGA has an outstanding gymnastics team. The decision was not difficult, BGA was absolutely the school for her.

Were you ever unsure of your decision to send Corrine to BGA over your local public school?

Not a single day! While our public school has a Blue Ribbon distinction, many students were unruly, disrespectful and undisciplined. It is not an atmosphere that we believe would have been best for educating our daughter.

Now that Corrine is in college, how would you say that BGA prepared her for those challenges?

BGA set the bar high for expectations. Students were responsible for their actions and appropriate consequences resulted. Whether it was as simple as dealing with a forgotten homework assignment or getting to school too late because of traffic, it was their responsibility. Grades were earned not just given. We live about 45 minutes from Edison and with the coursework and an intensive workout schedule, time management was a must. The same holds true in college- grades are earned not given and if a student can not manage their time between classes, sports, curriculars and a social life, they will fail. 

Corrine has achieved some noteworthy success in college. Could you share some with us?

Corri has excelled in college far beyond our expectations... Academically, she has been named to the Dean's list for 4 consecutive semesters and named a NACGC/Women's Scholastic All-American Scholar for the past 2 years. She was awarded an academic scholarship from NEBA where she conducted her practicum last semester and was named Outstanding Junior in her major.  This was all accomplished while performing for the past 4 years in Springfield College's long-standing annual Gymnastics Showcase. Corri has also continued to compete on Springfield's Women's Varsity Gymnastics team. Corri is applying to grad school and plans to receive her Masters in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. She intends to become Board-certified and work with Autistic children.

Looking back, what stood out the most about Corrine’s experience at BGA?

Honestly, it is hard to beat the honor, thrill and pride of winning a State Championship and being on the "winningest" Gymnastics team in the state. However, as a parent, I think it is realizing how "spot on" Sr Donna is with her students. Her Back to School parent "fire-side" chats to the individual class years made me realize how much she understood the mind of the high school student- right down to letting parents know, the overly-sensitive senior in your home will be back to normal as soon as the first acceptance letter is received!

Is there anything you did not know about BGA until Corrine started her freshman year?

I was unaware of the Careers class program. I must say, it is without a doubt, the most thorough and efficient college preparation program within a school I have ever heard.  It is a model that should be adopted by all high schools, From the moment they walk into Miss Lily's class Freshman year, they are made aware- the plan is to prepare them for college. Not once did I fret over whether the essay was done, if reference letters were in hand or if the safeties or reaches were chosen. And when all is said and done, the college she chose was the best choice with no regrets.

What advice do you have for parents who are choosing a Catholic school?

There is no question that sending your child or children to a Catholic school most often requires sacrifice from the parents; sometimes the whole family. However, if you are looking for an education that is challenging, with clear goals for a future, an education where the teachers are interested in your child as a person, not just a student, a nurturing environment with administration that is involved with the student body, an education that sees community involvement and service is an important part of an academic life, a Catholic school education is well worth every cent.