Parents choose St. Ed’s for five children
By JOANNE FOX, Globe editor
FORT DODGE – As a young Catholic girl, Holly Aljets always wanted to attend Catholic school and was envious of the Catholic education some of her friends received.
“It was not an option for me, but I told myself when I had children I would do whatever I could to provide this opportunity for them,” said the Arizona native.
Fast forward and the five children of Kevin and Holly Aljets are all enrolled in the St. Edmond school system, preschool through fifth grade.
Kevin is originally from Pomeroy and graduated from Pomeroy High School in 1980. He moved to Arizona shortly thereafter. He worked for Chevrolet for 25 years, began as an automotive technician and ended his career with Chevrolet as one of the top Service Managers in Arizona. He is currently the Ag Supervisor for Ziegler CAT in Fort Dodge.
Holly is a 1992 graduate of Mountain View High School in Mesa, Ariz., and attended Arizona State University where she studied psychology and biology. The couple met in Arizona and married in January 2002.
“I left a successful career with Phelps Dodge Mining Corp. when we began our family,” Holly said. “I currently am a domestic engineer, aka stay-at-home mom and truly appreciate this blessing. In December 2007 we made a life changing decision to move to Iowa. This has been one of the best decisions we have made as a family.”
Kevin thought the St. Edmond system provided a number of strengths.
“The one-on-one with the teachers, the curriculum, the daily faith reflections, the sense of community, the interaction with the priests and the influence they have on the children is wonderful,” he said.
Holly agreed, adding their children – Thornton in fifth grade, Aleksandria in fourth grade, Amber in second grade, Samantha in first grade, and Magnus in preschool – all look forward to going to school every morning and always come home with something positive to say.
“It's not a challenge to get the kids up in the morning because they like to be at St. Edmond,” she said. “The teachers are friendly and caring.”
“Our children truly love St. Edmond,” Kevin reiterated. “They continually thank us for sending them there. They feel welcome and have made some great bonds of friendship. They cannot imagine ever going back to the public education system. The sense of community and belonging is one that cannot be denied.”
Kevin pointed out at St. Edmond, each student is accepted for who they are and looked at as the unique individuals they are.
“One student may learn one way and with another, a different approach must be taken,” he said. “This is all taken into consideration for the success of the student.”
Holly added, “There is a hugely successful graduation rate and the individuals graduating from this private school system seem to be better prepared for university studies and the challenges thrown at them in life.”
“It's not based upon popularity,” she said. “There is also an open line of communication with the teachers. I have even received a few personal phone calls from teachers – all for good news or positive feedback.”
Both Holly and Kevin acknowledged some people cite cost as an issue when considering private over public school enrollment.
“I always tell parents they will never know if they can afford the private education unless they apply,” Holly said. “If you're willing to sacrifice a little or give up something for the benefits of a private school education, both the parents and the children will benefit and be glad they did.”
“Providing your children the opportunity of an education where families share common values is unmatched,” Kevin insisted. “It's worth every penny. Besides, St. Edmond and Holy Trinity Parish have programs to aid in the financing of a Christ-centered education.”
Holly thought the strong sense of community was another plus for the school.
“We strongly feel that St. Edmond is providing a Christ-centered education to our children in a world that is in dire need of this as a focus. It is extremely rewarding to be a part of this community,” she said.
“There truly is nothing better than a Christ-centered education,” Kevin said.
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