As St. Patrick’s School kicks into the new school year, a plethora of plans will begin under the guidance of Principal Eddie Diaz. Diaz unveiled the potential programs this summer with hopes of stretching them out throughout the year.

“The hiccup we went through has made us a little slower in the upkeep,” said Eddie Diaz, Principal of St. Patrick’s Catholic School.

Regardless of timing, St. Patrick’s students have new educational programs to look forward to this year. The following will be implemented throughout the school year.

Leader In Me

Earlier this year, St. Patrick’s School was able to raise funds to bring a leadership program called Leader in Me into the school. The program allows students to hold roles within the school, holding independent titles as “door greeter,” or even having the responsibility of providing visitors with tours throughout the building.

According to the Leader In Me website, the program offers an overall transformation of the school district. The program is developed through a system of training with both students and staff members. The program prides itself on seven steps which are typically taught at the districts involved.

“That process [bringing Leader in Me into St. Patrick’s School] is a little bit different than the other programs,” Diaz explained. “We want to have the staff live those habits first before they implement them, so the first semester is to be us as a staff trying to apply those to our personal and professional lives.”

Diaz said in order to set personal goals, as well as discuss the program with peers, the staff has been paired up to discuss the ‘7 daily habits’ with one another, an element that the Leader in Me program coincides with.

“We’re going to make contracts with each other to try and hold us accountable to what these habits are,” Diaz said.

The contract is a seven by seven contract, which consists of goals of how to apply these habits to their personal lives, which will be overseen by an “accountability partner” who will also be participating in the program.

In order to bring the program into the school and become successful, those who teach the program will also already be using the skills in their personal lives.

“The support has been pretty awesome,” Diaz said regarding the program.

Enrichment Clubs: Mock Trial

St. Patrick’s will introduce a mock trial program geared at sixth through eighth graders. Diaz admits that the program was initially staff-favored, but has taken up some interest since the announcement.

“The last I heard we have 13 students so we’re happy about that,” Diaz said.

The program is under the direction of Mock Trial Coach, Ms. Spellman, a sixth through eighth grade social studies and religion teacher at St. Pat’s. In addition, students are assisted by two lawyers in town.

Diaz is currently the Assistant-Coach for Mock Trial at Perry Community Schools and had taken ten students to the Des Moines competition in the past.

“Ideally we would like to partner with the public school but we are still in the beginning stages of that,” Diaz said.

Spanish clubs and classes

St. Patrick’s Kindergartens will be able to develop basic skills through a kindergarten-based Spanish class. Later, a Spanish club that would meet after school in the works, targeting ages kindergarten through third graders, Diaz said.

“We’re excited about that one, actually that’s the one that we received the most excitement from the parents,” Diaz said. “Ideally, long term, we would like to expand it to other grade levels.”

In addition, other programs that are still in the beginning stages are Yearbook, as well as a STEM Club, which will occur in the third trimester.

“The big part of it is just trying to just improve on the stuff we did right last year,” Diaz said. “Parents are really excited about it.”