The Qualities of Responsible Citizenry

Adlai E. Stevenson II was a progressive Democrat who unsuccessfully ran against General Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Presidential election of 1952 and 1956. And although Adlai failed to defeat the popular “Ike” (as he was affectionately known), one of his quoted comments on civic patriotism has remained with me. “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” As I reflect on these remarks, I see the great opportunity we possess within school communities to instill the qualities of civic duty within the minds and hearts of our students.

Teaching young people how to live a life that demonstrates a respect for civic responsibility is paramount to producing the next generation of servant leaders. In the future, these students will inevitably be called to guide our communities with faith-filled virtues and the integrity of their character. More to this point, students at St. Agnes clearly understand the value and duty of responsible citizenry. They do so by becoming active and engaged in our school, their parishes and their local neighborhoods. And through the practice of engaged service, both on campus and throughout the broader Catonsville area and beyond, our students develop a learned interest and commitment to community leadership and the societal obligation we each hold as being part of a democratic nation. By engaging our students in the practical application of their civic responsibility, they come to appreciate our duty as citizens to ensure and uphold democratic values that are contained within the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These inherent values include: the effective promotion of peace, justice, freedom, equality and diversity; a demonstration of respect toward the rule of law and authority; an active participation in the democratic process; the pursuit of truth; a commitment to human rights; the provision for the needs of our human family; and the deliberate development of self-restraint and self-respect. The understanding of this democratic citizenry occurs both subtly and intentionally within our classes and within our co-curricular activities. To this point, BEAR NATION recently recognized two student leader groups for their shared commitment to our school. As such, I would like extend my appreciation to the following commitment of these student leaders and the devotion of their faculty moderators:

Safety Patrol: Grace Adkins, Miriana Kelly, Amara Njoku, LeConte Stover, Brooke Stromberg, Blaire Killikelly, Sarah Mercer, Owen Benefiel, Christopher DeGroote, Cecilia Liberto, Sophia McCaul, Madison Paradela, Henry Romeo, Tsion Solomon, Seamus Smith (Moderator: Mrs. Phuong Vu)

Student Council: Grace Adkins, Miriana Kelly, Brooke Stromberg, Raven Short, Kelly Endler, Owen Benefiel, Madison Paradela, Finn Smith, Chanyia Braxton, Patrick Czlonka and Ryan Paradela, Noella Kelly and Curtis Williams (Moderator: Mrs. Mary Marks)

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