QOA Parents Testimonials
When the closing of Our Lady Help of Christians was announced, we were told we were merging with St. David School at the St. David location. I will admit that I was not thrilled. My concerns were not about the quality of education, which I knew would be great, or about keeping our school building. It was all about location, location, location. By that, I mean that the school is on busy road 611. I had safety concerns about how this would work for my children. The administration and St. David families were very understanding and took the time to explain how this would affect the children. I was advised of the many safety precautions taken for the children, the presence of the crossing guard, and the fact that they rarely cross 611, except for First Friday mass. So, my husband and I took a leap of faith and trusted this was the best choice for our children. Thank God that we did! Any initial reservations we had went out the stained glass window on March 13, 2013. This was the day a new pope was named. The children were brought outside and cheered to all the passing cars “Viva la Papa” in honor of the election of our Pope. People were honking as they passed and the kids were ringing bells and rejoicing. It was catholic pride on display for 611! It was such a beautiful thing to see. Now, when I drive by Queen of Angels and I see the Sisters crossing the street to go to work, or the kids leaving First Friday mass smiling dressed so nice in their uniforms, I feel a sense of my own catholic pride that such a school is there and my children are a part of it!
Melanie Straface, Parent
Every year I wrestled with whether or not to make the switch to Catholic School, as that is where my heart always wanted my children to be. It wasn’t the best option when, my oldest who needed learning support, was entering school; and it was just easier for the others to follow in the public school. However, with the merger of two great schools forming QOA, and the timing of my 7th grader, going to the Junior H.S., it was the perfect opportunity to make the switch, since it would be a new school for everyone and not just my children. I knew QOA was the right choice for me and my family and where God wanted us to be because too many things came together to point us in that direction. However, it was confirmed when both of my sons said from their first day, it is even better than their previous school. Although they couldn’t articulate it, “just something in the atmosphere”; I pressed for more information by asking them what they did each day. When they told me they prayed The Angelus every day before lunch and did an examination of conscience at the end of each day, well that about wrapped it up! I was elated, to say the least! This confirmed why I have always wanted my children in Catholic School and reminded me of what “atmosphere” the public school is sorely missing, prayer and the freedom to live out and practice the faith. I believe what sets QOA apart is the great leadership of Sr. Margaret Rose, the presence of so many religious and also the presence of the children of Our Lady of Confidence School.
Tricia and Bill Holler, Parents
Our children formerly attended Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic school, and when we learned we would have to merge with another school, we were so sad and disappointed. We were nervous about losing the ‘private school’ feel that we enjoyed at OLHC. We were afraid that the bigger classrooms would mean less personal attention for each student. We already knew everyone at OLHC and would now have to get to know the other students, parents, and teachers. Our school would be run by a new principal. And we would have to send our kids to a school located on a busy street. It was a lot to swallow, especially because we live within walking distance to some of the best public schools that the Abington area has to offer.
However, we decided early on that a Catholic education would be best for our girls, because in addition to academic excellence, we also believe that being educated in a Christ-centered atmosphere is best for their overall growth. We did not want our girls being educated in an environment where they could not openly express their faith or build their relationship with God. So, we enrolled our girls at Queen of Angels. I have to say that not only have my girls survived the merger, but they have thrived! They’ve made new friends, the classrooms are not overcrowded, the curriculum is challenging and there are so many special events planned for the girls. We attribute this success to the energy, dedication and vision our principal, Sister Margaret Rose, and her unique and talented teachers and staff.
They are really and truly the best role models for our girls, who live their faith and set a good example for our children. I happen to know that our teachers spend more than half of their waking hours at our school, preparing their plans and trying to make things special for the kids. Everyone is treated with love and respect, which rubs off on the kids. There is such a feeling of family, when you walk through the halls of the school. We are also very impressed with how progressive our school is with regards to technology. Our kids have access to the latest equipment, like smart boards and iPads in the classroom, and are encouraged to use online games, like First in Math, to improve their skills. We also like how the school communicates with us through Option C, an online document-sharing site. I always have access to school information, and never feel out-of-the-loop about what’s going on with the school.
The decision to keep our children at Queen of Angels was one the best decisions we’ve made. The school promotes active learning and critical thinking that cultivates a collaborative learning environment with a rigorous academic curriculum, the newest technology, and a relationship with Christ and a sense of community and civic responsibility. We couldn’t ask for anything more.
Drew and Sharon Waropay, Parents
We feel that sending our children to a Catholic School is in partnership with the values we are teaching our children at home. It is important to our family that our children learn about their faith, both in words and actions in order to become good, faith-filled adults. At Queen of Angels, everyone you meet makes you feel confident that they have your child’s best interest at heart. We are constantly impressed with the enthusiasm of the administration, faculty and staff. Our children continue to be challenged academically on a daily basis. The level of detail and quality of the work our children bring home and are doing in the classroom makes us feel that they are at the best place they could be. They are also being challenged to become the best people they can be. Birthday blessings, prayer buddies, and the opportunities the children have to interact with the students at Our Lady of Confidence are some examples of how our children know that they are part of a whole school community working towards the goal of becoming great individuals. At Back to School night this year, our son’s teacher commented that she told the children that they were now a family…a family that supported one another and encouraged one another to make their class a success. We are so excited to see how our children will grow each year both spiritually and academically at Queen of Angels.
Michael and Kim O’Doherty, Parents
When selecting a school for our children, we wanted to ensure that they would be getting a sound academic experience, as well as the spiritual development that only a Catholic education can offer, and we believe Queen of Angels fits that bill. We believe that one of the most valuable gifts our parents gave us was our Catholic school education. Without faith formation and the Catholic atmosphere, we believe such an education is missing a precious component of child development—-respect for God teaches respect for others. We wanted our children to have a first-rate education in an atmosphere that insists upon respect for others and service to those in need. Without a faith-based education, you are missing an important tool in dealing with life’s biggest challenges. We can’t think of a better way to prepare our children for their journey ahead.
The DiSandro Family, Parent
I am fortunate to be both a teacher and parent at Queen of Angels School. As a teacher, I am able to witness first-hand not only the innovation that our teachers bring to the classroom but the dedication that they show to their students as well. As a parent choosing to send my children to Catholic school, the Catholic identity is important to me. The Catholic identity at Queen of Angels is evident in every classroom. The IHM sisters are an integral part of that identity – not only challenging students academically but also spiritually. At Queen of Angels School, I believe that my children will not only graduate having been challenged by their teachers but they will also graduate a more+ well-rounded person. It’s going to be a great place to grow up.
Melissa Feilke, Parent and Eighth Grade Teacher
I am a parent of three students at the new Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School. I couldn’t be more pleased with the social, academic, emotional, and religious development offered to the children within! My children are challenged daily with the current curriculum trends in education. The teachers nurture the students toward excellence while implementing critical thinking skills. The facility is updated with the latest technological advancements as well. I feel my children are happy, well prepared and are receiving a strong foundation enabling them to pursue a future at any leading high school in the area.
Sarah Galbreath, Parent
With the announcement of the merger of St. David and Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Schools, our commitment to Catholic education remained constant. What a gift from God to have the best of both schools joining together to provide a faith-filled, rigorous academic program with modern technology and dedicated, well qualified teachers. Guided by the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, supportive pastors, devoted parents, passionate teachers and enthusiastic children, Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School was formed. As parents, and products of Catholic Schools, we chose to send our children to Queen of Angels, the ideal complement to our Catholic home. This setting offers our children the opportunity to grow spiritually, academically, and socially in a disciplined, respectful, and encouraging environment. In addition, students are given unique opportunities to participate in challenging academic competitions, award winning extracurricular activities and service projects both within the school and throughout the community. Both of our daughters visit with children from Our Lady of Confidence School and enjoy attending mass, having lunch and library time with them. Queen of Angels is providing a solid foundation, rooted in Catholic values, for our children to succeed today and excel tomorrow.
Sue Robinson, Parent
We both had the privilege of attending Catholic school and wanted to give our children the same opportunity. It’s amazing how the OLHC and St. David’s families have come together, along with the teachers and administration and created such a wonderful new school. In addition to the core educational curriculum, our children are receiving instruction in Spanish, computers, art, music and Religious Enrichment. The teachers are extremely dedicated and encourage critical thinking and independence within the classrooms. Our Catholic faith is very important to our family. It’s comforting to know that strong moral values are being reinforced on a daily basis by the wonderful teachers and Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters at Queen of Angels Regional Catholic School. Our children are excited to go to school each day and look forward to interacting with their friends, both old and new.
Nancy and Christopher Tait, Parents
We chose Catholic education because we wanted our children’s faith to be more than just going to Mass on Sundays; we wanted them to learn in an environment where values would be instilled and practiced as part of their daily routine. We chose Saint David’s simply because it was our parish school. We stay with Saint David’s and now Queen of Angels because of what we find to be a truly quality education – in all areas. Beyond strong academics and forward-thinking faculty, the presence of the IHM Sisters and the regular interaction with the students of Our Lady of Confidence make this a unique environment where we continually see our children growing into responsible individuals that recognize and practice Christian and social values.
Chris and Joanne Waltrich, Parents
-We decided to send our boys to Queen of Angels because we wanted them to have Catholic values and morals in every aspect of their lives. We feel that Catholic school will set the foundation of strong values and faith not only in religious education classes, but throughout the curriculum and other activities in the QOA community. QOA offers a balanced curriculum from technology to Spanish. Also being mindful of their educational futures – we feel they would be fully prepared for high school/any future education. There is a sense of unity at QOA. It is a smaller, close-knit community and we thought our entire family would benefit here than in a larger setting. What made the transition (from public school) even easier for us was that we already knew families from CYO and UM sports. Everyone has been very supportive and welcoming. Also, all three boys attend the same school and it’s right around the corner from our house.
Christy and Bryan Johnson, Parents
St. David’s provided me with a great education and prepared me in many ways become a successful high school student. This education helped my classmates and me not only deepen our knowledge about the Catholic faith, but it also helped us to learn about all of the other fundamental subjects, such as Math, Science, English, and Social Studies. Something additionally valuable and somewhat unique about St. David’s was the interaction the students had with the students at Our Lady of Confidence. This opportunity to interact on a regular basis with people “different” than us, not only was fun but truly provided a life lesson on respecting the individual and having compassion for others. My brothers and sisters still attend the school and I am happy to know that they are getting a good education and learning more than just academics.
Jack Waltrich, Alumnus and Neumann Scholar
As parents, we looked for a learning environment that would develop our boys not only academically, but as young gentlemen. St. David School exceeded all of our expectations. As a 1975 graduate of St. David School, I have witnessed drastic improvements in all aspects of the leaning curriculum. From the learning support programs to accelerated programs, our boys were able to thrive and reach their potential to be top ranked students in the Philadelphia Archdiocesan High School System. Additionally, the self-binding community of parents, teachers, children, and religious fostered a love of all people that is not found in all learning institutions. The relationship between St. David students and the OLC community of teachers and students is a life lesson that we can only pray our kids get to experience. Our boys got that experience and no amount of money could have been paid to foster that love.
Rich Rosenbaum, Alumnus and Parent of St. David Alumni
At St. David’s, we were placed in a structured learning environment with many academically driven students and with experienced, loving teachers. A keen sense of time management importance and organizational skills were stressed as life learning tools. The respect of self, other students, and faculty lived out the Catholic values taught throughout the school. A sense of community and life long bonds between students, faculty, and administration was fostered. The entire community knew who I was and cared about ME, and I about them.
Richie Rosenbaum, Alumnus, Neumann Scholar, Temple University Scholarship Recipient