Without a doubt, the first message we want our students to understand at TG is that they matter. Their voice counts. How our students feel about themselves, their classmates, and their teachers is foremost on our minds -- at all times. Perhaps this is why our students like coming to school -- because they feel respected. This may not seem so remarkable, but what we emphasize at TG is not always experienced at other high schools.
Together We Are, November 2019
As we approach Thanksgiving, I am aware of the founding charisms from the Christian Brothers and School Sisters of Notre Dame. More than anything else, these charisms invite us to keep God’s presence at the top of our minds and call on us to love one another. This is at the core of what Totino-Grace offers.
Young people will only be at their best when they know they are loved No doubt, this love starts with parents and families but it also includes schools. TG teachers and students take a moment to pray before every class period. One teacher begins class each day by telling her students, “I love you unconditionally -- every student, every day, without exception.” This resonates with students because they really don’t care what their teachers know until they know their teachers care, and they like knowing that they are cared about.
Our theme this year is: “Together We Are.” You may be asking, together we are what? Let me tell you:
Together . . . we pray.
Together . . . we learn.
Together . . . we give.
Together . . . we compete.
Together . . . we are better.
Together . . . we love.
Together we are.
I am honored to work on behalf of such a beautiful student body. I am blessed to work with teachers and staff members who “touch the hearts and minds” of our students. I am grateful for our parents who make so many sacrifices to send their kids to our school, and I am more appreciative than anyone could ever know for our benefactors, whose “pay it forward” generosity provides our students with opportunities they may not otherwise have.
Please accept my sincere wishes to you for a joyous Thanksgiving.
I am because we are. That’s TG.
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever!
Dr. Craig W. Junker, President
In my 20 years of academic leadership, I have given significant consideration to how schools can best help young people to succeed. While recognizing there are various factors, I consistently return to a mindset of service as a key differentiator. What our students soon realize is acting from a mindset of service not only benefits others, it serves the person conducting acts of generosity and care by providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Our service immersion trips are transformative, life changing experiences. Our Eagles today are working toward a better future for themselves and others.
The first days at a new school can be daunting for any student but especially students who don't know many of their classmates, which is why Totino-Grace handles these initial days with great purpose. Orientation Day ends when the students file into the gymnasium for a final reflection. As the students enter, every TG teacher and staff member is lined up near the entrance and enthusiastically applauds the students as they take a seat on the bleachers. Clearly, the students don't know this will happen until it is taking place, and their expressions are priceless. They see that they are cared about by all adults in our building. This tradition is our way of welcoming our students to our school community. This ritual also signifies to students that Totino-Grace is a different type of school, one that will invest in them in a very deep and personal manner.
In 1966, our school was founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the De La Salle Christian Brothers. We continue to remember with gratitude the ministry and sacrifice of the brothers and sisters in beginning our school and forming the strong, vibrant faith community that is Totino-Grace.
Let us remember in this Easter season that Christ has risen. He has defeated death and brought us life. My prayer is that we look for tenderness and love to always guide us. I hope you have a blessed Easter.