Q & A with a Lourdes Academy Graduate and Her Mom
Bianca Campos is a sophomore at Fr. Lopez Catholic High School and a graduate of Lourdes Academy. We sat down with Bianca and her mom, Marisa Tenaglia, and asked them a series of questions about their Lourdes Academy experience from each of their perspectives. Bianca attended Lourdes Academy from Kindergarten through 8th grade, and for the last seven of those years and presently, Marisa works on the Student Support team at Lourdes Academy.
At Fr. Lopez, Bianca is in AP and honors classes. She is active in sports playing on the varsity soccer team track team and has just taken up weightlifting. Bianca is also part of the student government association and is a student ambassador who provides tours for prospective students and produces videos and social media posts to encourage other students to give Fr. Lopez a try.
Q: What was the thing you liked most about Lourdes Academy?
Bianca: “I was there since Kindergarten, so it feels like a home away from home for me. Even when I go back to visit the campus, it’s like I was never away. I just feel comfortable there. I also really liked several of my teachers, especially my homeroom teacher in 8th grade, Mrs. Wilson. I miss her. I also felt very close to the other students in my grade.”
Marisa: “As a mother, the biggest thing for me was that she was safe. I felt she was in a safe, happy, and joyful place. I expected to cry when I dropped her off at Kindergarten on the first day. She was so excited that I wasn’t upset at all. I walked away and went shopping.”
“Communication with the teachers was excellent. I believe she got an excellent education at Lourdes Academy.”
Q: Why did you choose Lourdes Academy for Bianca?
Marisa: “I was very picky. I interviewed 20 VPKs before choosing one for Bianca. The principal gave me a one-on-one school tour. That impressed me. I was able to walk around the campus and meet the teachers, and I got a very good feeling from that. I asked the principal straightforward questions. I wanted to be sure that students would be dismissed from the school if there were unsafe behaviors. He said they would. That was a big factor for me. I also really wanted a Catholic education for Bianca; that was important to me.”
Q: Tell me about your relationships with the teachers and administration.
Bianca: “When I was in first grade, I had a great relationship with my teacher Ms. Breslin. She was one of those people I never forgot. When I was 13 and got Confirmed in the church, I asked her to be my sponsor. Even though she had moved to North Carolina, she said yes and traveled back to be here. I have a similar relationship with the art and religion teacher Mrs. Sturm. When I see her now, we talk like we haven’t had time apart at all. I just love that about her. She is a kind and wonderful person.”
“Those relationships helped me as a student – I trusted the teachers. Sometimes it is hard to ask a teacher for help in high school. But at Lourdes Academy, I never had that issue. I knew they would be there for me. I had no issue talking to teachers about personal issues or things in my life; I knew they would listen and take it very seriously.”
Marisa: “It was always easy to get information about Bianca’s academics from the teachers. I appreciated that as a mom. I also liked when they started implementing rewards for high academics. I appreciate it when the teachers and administration acknowledge the student’s achievements.”
“Most of the teachers and staff know every single school family. If we don’t, we will find out. I love that. We know where the kids are at all times. I love that teachers get to know the students before they get into their classes. They take the time to learn about the incoming kids long before they get to their class.”
Q: Did you feel prepared for high school after graduating from Lourdes Academy?
Bianca: "I think, in general, Lourdes Academy set me up for high school. For the first English essay I had to write, the teacher pulled out terminology on how to format the essay. The students in the class from Lourdes all knew it from Mrs. Wilson, but none of the other students did. Because of the base Lourdes Academy gave me, I knew what I was walking into.”
Marisa: “Bianca was well prepared for high school. In her eighth-grade year, we had the pandemic shutdown. She was worried about signing up for honors Geometry since they were doing distance learning at the end of eighth grade. I encouraged her to give it a try. She did and had zero issues.”
Q: What would you tell other students/parents about Lourdes Academy?
Bianca: "I would say the main thing is that I really enjoyed my time there. I feel like I took it for granted. I was there so long; I got used to it. I remember when we pulled into the parking lot for graduation – I realized this was the only school I had ever really known. It was an excellent school, and it felt like a family."
Marisa: “What I love the most is that we involve the children in every aspect of life there – whether it be academic, church, or sports. There are opportunities for children to be involved in many different ways. We find what the kids are good at and comfortable with and give them opportunities to try new things. Kids try new sports, they lector, or alter serve at church. We get kids active in things they would never even dream of doing. It’s ok to try something, make a mistake, fail, or not like it.”
“For parents with gifted children, we can now offer students who need a little extra boost that opportunity. The enrichment opportunities have grown and are amazing in just the last few years. Parents with gifted children can be comfortable bringing their students to a place like Lourdes Academy instead of a public school gifted program. I like that.”
If you are interested in learning more about Lourdes Academy, schedule a school tour by contacting the school office at 386-252-0391 or email Enrollment Specialist Mirth DeWitt at firstname.lastname@example.org.