It's an important word.
And it's something that's really quite priceless.
If you forget your tradition (especially if it is a proud and winning tradition) or if you don't appreciate it or if you turn your back on it or if you defy what made you exceptional in the first place, well -- you're asking for trouble.
And we're afraid that's exactly what's happening at Bishop Eustace "Preparatory" High School in South Jersey where increasing secularism and questionable leadership seem to be shoving the school in the wrong direction, even as students and parents question -- with growing alarm -- recent actions by the school administration. Quite a few veteran teachers have been let go, including beloved Dean of Students and field hockey coach Alice Penza who has been at the school more than 20 years.
Hey, we know a bit at Eustace.
We sent both our kids there.
The school HAD a sterling reputation and routinely graduated the best and the brightest amidst a rigorous academiic atmosphere that routinely sent its students to America's top colleges and universities. Our kids were enriched by their experienced at Eustace -- enriched several times over.
But that was 20 years ago.
And since then the school hasn't done enough to enhance or even maintain its credentials.
Astoundingly, at a time when discriminating parents are increasingly searching for top-notch secondary schools, Eustace has actually seen its enrollment drop.
Something's wrong with this picture.
This is the ONLY private Catholic co-ed prep school in the region. So, it has (or SHOULD have) a unique advantage.
But, as the Pallotine religious order has loosened its hold on the school, standards have slipped. And a new, largely inexperienced team appears to have worsened the situation.
The current school administration seems to be lackluster at best. Where is the plan for the future of Eustace? Where are the goals and standards that will guarantee that it will not just survive but thrive? Where is the ambitious program that will nourish the Eustace tradition and even help grow that tradition?
All seem to be lacking.
Eustace parents and students: If you are upset with recent staff cuts (and most of you obviously are) now is your chance to step forward and DEMAND changes. This is your opportunity to halt the atrophy before it's too late.
You may not get this chance again.
But you will only succeed if you rise up and insist on a fresh, bold, new course for the school NOW!
For it appears there are no alternatives and no second, third or fourth chances ahead.
Are you ready to rumble, Eustacians? Are you?