I'm humbled. I transitioned from ICS principal to the CSF Director of Schools position in July of 2019. Believe me, I knew I had huge shoes to fill, but I was up to the challenge. The school year started off smoothly. Everything seemed to be going well. Then COVID-19 erupted and shook our world.
Given the economic fallout of COVID-19, I have been wondering if it's OK to ask people for assistance. Don't get me wrong, I believe in our cause wholeheartedly. We educate well-rounded young men and women who go on to be leaders in our community, in our state, and in our world. We educate our students to be men and women for others. As the mom of a soon-to-be Monroe graduate, I assure you my son's education has proven invaluable. Doors have been opened for him.
We started the Spring Matching Fundraiser with $35,000 from generous donors to match your donations. This is lower than the $100,000 of years past, but times are different. Bert and Becky Bell proved I was wrong in my assumption. They called to ask why they had not been asked to participate in the matching pot. (Becky graduated in the Class of '69.) With that, the Bells upped the matching pot to $60,000.
These schools are not possible without significant financial contributions from generous donors like you. This week, 20 of you gave more than $12,000 toward our goal of $60,000. Alumni, parents of alumni, past staff, past parents, and current parents all came out to support these schools. Additionally, some of you made good on pledges or renewed pledges. I'm humbled to be a part of this generous community.
Amanda B. Angaiak
Director of Schools/ President of Monroe Foundation, Inc.
P.S. Your matching donors are Bert and Becky '69 Bell, Jim and Sandra Haselberger, and Skip and Linda Johnson.
Stories from Jordan Higbee, Class of 2020
Around school, Jordan is known as “the sports guy” and for good reason. If he had been able to finish out the school year, he would have played on six Monroe sports teams: football, soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, and track. "Very few schools can offer the opportunities I have been given here at the Catholic Schools of Fairbanks and I will always be grateful," says Jordan.
When asked about his favorite high school stories, Jordan talks about a sports-related memory that took place his freshman year of high school. Jordan missed a practice the week before the football team traveled to Barrow for a game. The coach, Coach Comeau, made sure Jordan knew not to miss practice again. "The whole weekend was filled with conversations, reminders, and incentives to be at practice from now on," remembers Jordan. The team lost the game 64-8. Jordan remembers it being the worst game the team played that season and he was beat.
Coach Cogley, the assistant coach, entered the team room and said Coach Comeau wanted to talk to Jordan. "My teammates were all saying things like “good luck” or “we’re praying for you” and that worried me," says Jordan.
"When I walked in the coaches room, Coach Comeau asked if I knew why he’d been so hard on me. I told him it was because I missed practice the day before we travelled. He said that wasn’t it. What he said is still motivating me today. He said “I’ve been on you so much because you are special. If you keep working as hard as you have been working these past few weeks, there is no doubt in my mind you’ll be the next football player from Monroe to enter the college ranks. Keep working and there is no doubt in my mind you’ll go far.”
They say the best athletes make the worst coaches because they expect others to be able to perform at their level. Jordan says, "I’m lucky, because I’m not a great student, but I am able to help others learn. I know how hard it is sometimes."
To fulfill his 50 hours of community service (required of all Monroe graduates), Jordan tutored ICS elementary students. He worked on math with third graders, social studies with the fifth graders, and spelling with the second graders. "I had such a great time volunteering, my service hour total was closer to 100 hours."
"Things like tutoring elementary students in the same building, mentoring kindergarten buddies, participating in MAGIS houses, and all school Masses make Monroe special. Without Monroe, I would not be the person, student, athlete, or friend I am today. This is a sincere thank you for helping to make these stories possible. I'm only one of the hundreds of children you have helped provide Catholic education for - it's working. It is my hope you will continue to support these schools."