Catholic Schools: Our choice
By JOANNE FOX, Globe editor
HUMBOLDT – Sara and Tom Carlson both experienced solid educational opportunities.
However, they didn’t know what they lacked until they chose to enroll their children in Catholic school.
“Neither of us had Catholic school education in our background,” Sara said. “We really didn't know what we missed in our own education until our children began at St. Mary School.”
The Carlsons felt Catholic education would provide their five children with an opportunity for a Christ-centered experience.
“The longer we are involved with St. Mary School and the more we know about St. Mary School, the stronger we feel,” Tom said. “Now we feel it is more than just an opportunity. It is one of the best things that could happen to students.”
“In fact,” Sara added, “We feel so strongly about St. Mary School that we get a lump in our throat when we talk about it to others.”
Sara graduated from Garner-Hayfield (Iowa) High School and attended St. Boniface Church in Garner. Tom graduated from Manson Northwest Webster (Iowa) High School and was a member of St. Thomas Parish. The couple met while at Iowa State University, where Sara graduated with a bachelor of science in dietetics and Tom was awarded a degree in ag business and finance.
Married 15 years, Tom is an accredited farm manager with Hertz Farm Management and Sara is a stay-at-home mom.
Their family includes a son, Calvin, 12, in seventh grade after completing schooling at St. Mary's; a daughter, Frances, 11, in sixth grade at St. Mary's; a daughter, Nora, 9, in fourth grade at St. Mary's; a son, Elliot, 6, in first grade at St. Mary's and a son, Wade, 2.
Now that more than half of their children have experienced Catholic education, the Carlsons see a number of strengths associated with the school.
“When you consider 20 percent of a school-age child's waking time is in school – this is why it is so important to have a quality Christ-centered education,” Sara said. “We appreciate being able to surround our family with other families who choose Christ centered education.”
“We also appreciate having teachers and staff who chose to work at St. Mary School,” Tom added. “They are there, not for a financial reward, but because they want to raise up God's family.”
With strengths comes challenges the Carlsons acknowledged.
“Cost is continually a challenge,” Sara noted. “Mrs. (Cindy) Edge and previously, Sister Louise, have done a fantastic job of working on a shoestring budget.”
“They have prioritized needs over desires and made difficult financial decisions so that what is carried out is best for the students,” Tom said.
Monsignor Lafferty Tuition Foundation grants plus local tuition assistance help to make tuition more affordable, Sara pointed out.
“If a child wants to attend St. Mary School, Mrs. Edge will make it happen,” Tom said. “We consider St. Mary's a great value for the strong spiritual, academic, and social education received. We feel we are paying for the best life experience available to our children.”
The Carlson children are also cheerleaders for their Catholic education.
“Our children tell us they are appreciative of their Catholic, Christ-centered education,” Sara said. “They recognize their education as a choice. We have heard at various times a wish that St. Mary's would continue through 12th grade.”
St. Mary School
|Back to top|
|Headlines | Home|