Annual Fund: What’s your passion?

Every year St. Barnabas puts on the Annual Fund campaign to keep tuition lower and bring a phenomenal education to it’s students. We make sure every dollar raised is used to directly benefit our students here at St. Barnabas and this can be seen in the “giving graphic” we release at the beginning of each school year. However, this year we set out to ask families about their passion for giving and the impact the school has had on them. It has brought us some amazing stories!
Our very own principal, Mr. Garcia, describes his passion stemming from: “First and foremost seeing His presence in the people: children, parents, teachers, members of the church. I see the Lord working in their lives and that speaks to my heart.” Having had his own two children attend St. Barnabas he observed them receiving a well-rounded education, learning what it means to be a part of a community, and getting to watch them develop their relationship with Christ. In short, he says the experience “exceeded my expectations” and by seeing Christ’s love offered everyday through everyone on campus makes it easy to give.

Pam Dean, parent of an two alumni and board of trustees president, had both of her sons attend St. Barnabas and now teaches Christian Education to eighth graders at SBES. Pam’s passion stems in God’s Word being held up in high standards at St. Barnabas, as it makes sure every student has the opportunity to learn about God’s love for them. In terms of the impact on her sons’ education and personal development, she says “The school has made every effort to build bridges between the church, the local community, and have even reached people globally. My boys, though young men now, will still talk about the years spent at the school, the teachers who made an impact daily on their lives, and the building of a strong foundation in leadership and friendships.” Now having served on the Board of Trustees for the past three years, Pam continues to make Christian education a light, in what can be a dark and uncertain time.

Michelle Kunz is an alumna of the St. Barnabas class of 2010. She is currently a junior at the University of Florida and describes her experience at St. B as: “It was incredibly memorable and I attribute the values I learned during my three years in middle school to the individual I am today.” She continues to give back to the school through contributions on the alumni blog and even visited the school earlier this year to speak to the eighth graders about advice regarding high school. Her brother, Eric Kunz, also attended the school Pre-K 4 through eighth grade. The Kunz family says that overall: “Sending our children to St. Barnabas was by far one of the best investments we have made. You just don’t find a place where the parents are so involved and everyone plays an active role in the community that is St. Barnabas.”

Finally, our last parent featured today is Carolena Grimaldi. Her passion for supporting St. Barnabas is derived from her enthusiasm for others receiving the opportunity of a St. Barnabas experience. Personally, she says: “I have found it pleasantly shocking that there is rarely a consumer experience one has in life where what is promised on the brochure is completely delivered. Our experience at St. Barnabas is what we were told we could expect, and that has actually been the case.” In terms of her children she notices that they have learned to value their own presentation and to take pride in this. She has also watched them receive character and spiritual development along with leadership opportunities within the context of recognizing a higher power, an ordering of the world above their own wants and needs. Overall Carolena’s passion derives from this thought: “When I think of how lucky my kids are to receive this education and total experience, I feel that my donation can be part of another child receiving this same opportunity.”

We would like to thank everyone here at St. Barnabas for their generous contributions toward our Annual Fund, and to all the parents that shared the message behind their passion for not only our school, but also giving. In the words of Coach Shaw, “It’s a beautiful thing.”

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