Parent Involvement at Lourdes Academy
"You have to appreciate your child’s teachers,” says Antonia Schoembs. “They are the “other” parents in their lives.”
Antonia Schoembs saw an opportunity to take teacher appreciation to the next level at Lourdes Academy. That is one of the ways she jumped into action as the Lourdes Academy Home and School Association (HSA) President. In addition to teacher appreciation week, the staff gets birthday gifts and monthly treats like post-it notes, markers, posters, and other supplies they need.
“They are so humble,” says Antonia. “They don’t always ask for what they need. The teachers, staff, and the principal have created such a family-friendly place. I want nothing but the best for this school.”
Antonia is not only on a mission to support the school; she is recruiting other parents and family members to assist. It’s not always possible for single parents or working moms and dads to get involved in volunteer activities during school times, so Antonia and the HSA Board have created ways for parents to meet each other and give back to the school outside school hours.
“We created a time for parents to gather on Sunday and decorate the cafeteria for the current season,” explains Antonia. “It’s so simple, but it has gotten people to meet each other, and now it’s a staple with the HSA. We want to expand it to having coffee groups or a gardening club – it’s a good way for families to have a place to chat.”
Antonia and Kris Schoembs’ daughter Lillian is nine years old and in third grade at Lourdes Academy. The Schoembs’ moved to Palm Coast, Florida, from New Jersey in 2019. Lillian started Catholic school in Flagler County, but Antonia and Kris quickly found out it was not the right fit for their daughter. In addition to the remote learning during the pandemic, Lillian began to fall behind, and her parents felt she was not getting the support she needed. That’s when they made the switch to driving 45 minutes each way to Lourdes Academy.
“I had looked at Lourdes Academy when we moved to Florida,” remembers Antonia. “But it was just so far away from Palm Coast, and this other school was just down the street. But we knew for Lillian; that we had to make a change. I really liked the principal, Mr. Dole, so we transferred in January of 2021.”
The experience at Lourdes Academy was so good for Lillian that they sold their house in Palm Coast and moved to Ormond Beach.
“We moved for the school,” admits Antonia. “It was a big decision, but we wanted her in Catholic School. Lourdes Academy helped her regain her confidence and catch up academically. These teachers go above and beyond. The help Lillian has gotten, we never had to ask for. The teachers recommended it and gave her 1:1 attention.”
For Antonia, it wasn’t just about the academics. She wanted the faith education and the character building that happens at Lourdes Academy.
“At Lourdes, they learn a deeper set of morals,” says Antonia. “They are in such a loving environment, and they teach the kids how to carry themselves in life. You can’t get that in public schools.”
If you would like to make an appointment for a private tour of the school, please contact the school office at 386-252-0391 or email Enrollment Specialist Mirth DeWitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.