Santa Fe Catholic High School

Santa Fe Catholic High School, Lakeland, FL    Celebrating Over 50 Years of Educational Excellence



One Former Student Recalls His Rewarding Experience

Monday, June 16, 2014 · Alumni, Planned Giving

Brian Waller, class of 1990, with his son George, class of 2014

Brian Waller, class of 1990, with his son George, class of 2014

It has been 24 years (as a student) since Santa Fe Catholic High School asked me to write something that came with a deadline. That got me thinking about my own experience at Santa Fe. Unlike many of the students that have gone to Catholic school from K-12, I was one of those late high school transfers that arrived at the very end of my sophomore year from public school. I went with the anticipation of doing well in sports, and   while I played sports the two years I attended, I did not achieve any remarkable success. Academically I did well in the subjects that I liked     but not very well in many others (it would not be until I attended college that I became a serious student). So if my time at Santa Fe Catholic was      so brief and my athletic or academic career was somewhat average, what was it that  inspired me to send my own son to Santa Fe all these years later? The answer is that I had a deeply rewarding experience that is hard   to put into words, but here are a few reasons:

  • The fact that we are a Catholic-based school
  • The camaraderie and the small school atmosphere
  • The caring teachers and coaches
  • The way my friends started to push me regarding my academics and inspired me as I would hear all of them talking about where they wanted to go to college and what they wanted to achieve.
  • The opportunity to play sports and participate in other activities with my friends

My son George recently graduated Santa Fe Catholic — and 24 years later — the faces have changed, but the feeling and energy remain the same. My son has the most wonderful friendships, the teachers and the staff has been outstanding, and the energy and enthusiasm are still here. Santa Fe Catholic is truly a community with one central goal – to really do the best for all of these children at a critical time in their lives. There is a reason why parents sacrifice their hard earned dollars to send their children here, why many teachers and coaches stay here (even though they could make a higher salary somewhere else) – because as a community we all believe we are really doing something special.

Unfortunately once our children are out of high school we often times move on to other things and Santa Fe may get lost in the shuffle and the connection is lost. But the challenge and the focus continue on long after each of us and/or our children finish with school. Each year the staff and the parents at Santa Fe work as hard as possible to raise enough funds to make this wonderful experience possible. And with everything we do we continue to need support from the Diocese.

As a member of the Planned Giving Committee and the Endowment Board at Santa Fe, it is clear that we need support from those wonderful alumni students and parents. There are so many of us out there, and together we can really make a difference. There are so many ways to get involved and re-connect with Santa Fe Catholic and help our school and our community, like through planned giving or a direct donation to our endowment.

Planned Gifts (bequests) allow individuals to arrange for a gift in the present, which Santa Fe Catholic will receive at a later date. The Santa Fe Catholic High School Endowment and Charitable Trust was established to receive subscriptions, contributions, donations, gifts, bequests, and devises for the benefit of Santa Fe Catholic. The endowment provides both stability and flexibility. Endowed funds are invested and a portion of the income is used for the purpose the donor specifies, while the remainder is reinvested in the fund to keep pace with inflation. Both of these gifts ensure that our mission and values will continue long into the future.

Another way you can make a difference is by getting involved, visit us to see how you can help, we would love that! You can contact Channon Eickenberg at (863) 665-4188.

Thanks for all you have done for Santa Fe over the years and thank you for what you can do in the future!