By Carol Trueg
Regina has been a presence in Iowa City since the fall of 1958, when it opened its doors as Iowa City’s central Catholic high school to 295 high school students. The Regina of 2009, complete with pre-school, elementary, junior/senior high and religious education, is much different than the Regina of 50 years ago, but the mission of providing students an excellent Catholic education remains.
That mission continues today despite the fact that we are living in an arguably more insecure world. As President Obama recently reminded us in his inauguration speech, our country has serious concerns about peace and justice, our economy, health care and schools. In light of these realities and of shrinking resources, why is it important to support Regina? What does Regina offer Iowa City and beyond? What about Regina makes people enroll their children here, generation after generation?
I offer three reasons that guarantee Regina a continuing niche in Iowa City’s fine educational system:
Regina is a family, offering education from preschool through 12th grade. Several Regina families have children in preschool, in the elementary and in junior/senior high. Regina is a familiar, comfortable destination for students, where high school students serve as role models for the younger ones. And, like any extended family, we welcome diversity and new members. In tragedy and in celebration, we are united.
Regina is committed to educational excellence. More Regina students, on average, take Advanced Placement courses than at any other high school in the state of Iowa. Our ACT average greatly exceeds the state average, and 98 percent of our graduates regularly pursue post-secondary education.
Regina teaches its students to honor the dignity of every human person. Not just because it’s a good thing to do, but because that’s what’s required of every follower of Jesus Christ. Every policy that’s enacted, every action that’s taken has been evaluated in light of the Gospels.
What does this mean to Iowa Citians who do not have students enrolled at Regina? It is evident that Regina contributes to the quality of life in our city. It offers a clear choice in education not only for its residents but also for families considering a move to our area. That the community is able to support multiple school systems speaks to a commitment to young people and to diversity in education.
The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2009 (Jan. 25-31) was Catholic Schools Celebrate Service, an appropriate theme, as Regina students have long been known for service to community. From monthly service projects in the elementary to the Thanksgiving dinner for the elderly and the Christmas basket project in the junior/senior high school, the almost 1,000 Regina students understand their responsibility to give back to the community that has done so much for them and for their school.
As we look back during this milestone anniversary year, we are very grateful to the founders and other community members who have consistently supported Regina throughout its 50-year history. As we look forward to the next 50 years, we ask for your continued gifts of time, talent and treasure on behalf of this tremendous community resource known as Regina.
To find out more about what makes Regina unique, watch the “All are Welcome” video on the center’s Web site, www.icregina.com (click on Administration/Welcome from President) at top of page. I welcome questions or comments at (319) 351-1415 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Carol Trueg began her tenure as Regina’s first president in July 2008.)