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Catholic Schools Witness Testimonials

As part of the Catholic School's Strategic Plan implementation, the Education Office is soliciting witness testimonials from catechists for publication on the diocesan website and the Education Department Update.

Writers are asked to focus on the faith development they have experienced and what has contributed to that.

Witness Testimonial Form

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Examples of Witness Testimonials

Witness Testimonials from Catholic Schools Week 2013 are below:


Cindy Massey | Christian Community Positive Influence

Cindy-MasseyGrades 6-8 Teacher
St. Mary School, Algoma
Teacher for 18.5 years

When I first starting teaching at St. Mary School, I was concerned about my ability to be a worthy candidate for teaching religious education. I had been raised a devote Lutheran (ELCA Synod) and converted to Catholicism my senior year of college.



Jolene Koeppel | Helping Students See God Among Us

Jolene-Koeppel4th Grade Teacher/5th Grade Science Teacher
All Saints Catholic School, Antigo
Teacher for 2 years

FAITH. How can one simple word have so much power and influence in a person's life? I feel faith is how my life and all of its opportunities have come to be. Faith has brought me through hardship, helped me to conquer my fears, made me shine with happiness and has lead me to the teacher I am today.


Anne Baruth | Privilege to Help Students Grow in Faith

Anne-BaruthArt Teacher
St. Francis Xavier Middle School, Appleton
Teacher since 1994

When I was a very little child, I dedicated myself to the Lord. However, during my teen years, I somehow lost that walk with the Savior. Church was still important, but my heart and life style were far from God and His ways. Thankfully, He got my attention.
Deacon Tony Abts | Amazed by Faith that Comes Forth

St. Francis Xavier Middle School, Appleton
Superintendent/Principal for 18 years

As Deacon at St. Therese Parish in Appleton, as Superintendent for the ACES Xavier Educational System and as Principal of St. Joseph Middle School (now St. Francis Xavier Middle School), I am blessed with many opportunities to share faith in big ways with a lot of people.
Nicole Selenka | Free to Discuss Catholic Christian Precepts

Nicole-SelenkaSenior English Teacher
St. Francis Xavier High School, Appleton
Teacher for one-half year

I'm what some people in the faith community might call a "Catholic revert": someone who was raised Catholic yet only as an adult begins to realize the joy of practicing the Catholic faith, the truth that fuels a Catholic worldview, and the gift of a Catholic education.
Kathy Bates | Strong Faith of Our School Community

Kathy-BatesAthletic Director and Dean of Students
St. Francis Xavier High School, Appleton
Educator for 36.5 years

The event that had the deepest impact on me and truly emphasized the strong faith of our school community was the tragic death of one of our students, Bradley Williams, who died on the football practice field in 2005.
Sarah Scovell Muraski | Integrating Faith and History

Sarah-Scovell-MuraskiTeacher, Grade 8, US History/Living History/Carpe Diem; Assistant Forensics Coach; Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School Liaison
St. Francis Xavier High School, Appleton
Teacher for 11 years

Once upon a time, an insignificant girl in the eighth grade whispered into the ear of the King of France -- and he actually listened.


Carol M. Waniger | Children Ask for Prayers and Believe

Food Service Manager
St. Mary/St. Michael School, Clarks Mills/Whitelaw
21 Years of Service

I am writing this testimonial from several different perspectives -- my mother-in-law who passed away 7 years ago at the age of 94 attended this school. My husband attended this school, my 3 children attended this school, and now my three grandchildren have attended this school, a set of twins who are now in 6th grade and a grandson who graduated last year. I went to St. Gregory's Catholic grade school and high school. I truly believe in Catholic Education.
Julie Risse | Children Learn and See Love of Jesus

Mother of 5
Three Students at St. Mary/St. Michael School, Clarks Mills/Whitelaw

Why St. Mary/St. Michael?

Well the Sunday school answer is -- because of Jesus! Yes, that was a part of our decision in choosing this school. To have my children be able to freely talk about, learn about and share Christ’s love, outside of our home. But more importantly it was out of obedience to God. Let me explain.


Patricia Nennig | Witness to Holy Spirit at Work in Students

Patricia-Nennig5th Grade Teacher
Holy Cross Catholic School, Bay Settlement, a Green Bay Area Catholic Education (GRACE) System School
Teacher for 22 years

During the "Year of Faith" I made a decision to stress to my 5th graders the importance of prayer and of developing a personal relationship with God our Father, Jesus, and the Blessed Mother.


Jan Fischer | Wealthy in a Spiritual Way

Jan-FischerMiddle School Teacher
Holy Rosary School, Kewaunee
Teacher for 11 years

After graduating from Catholic elementary and secondary schools and a Catholic university, I began my teaching career in a Chicago Catholic high school where I taught for twenty-seven years with the Felician Sisters.
Judi Diener | Seeing and Hearing How Christ Impacts Lives

Judi-DienerFirst and Second Grade Teacher
Holy Rosary School, Kewaunee
Teacher/Administrator for 25 years

Catholic education has always been a very important part of my life. My mom made it a top priority to send my sister and me to Holy Innocents Grade School in Manitowoc and then to Roncalli High School. I think both of those positive experiences brought me to where I am today.


Emily Hermus | Excited to Share Faith with My Students

Emily-HermusFirst Grade Teacher
St. Edward School, Mackville
Teacher for 3 years

Many people know that the best way to learn something is to teach it. I have found that to be very true, especially when learning about my faith. I have been involved in Catholic schools all my life -- I attended Catholic school from pre-school through college, and now teach at a Catholic school.


Jim Clark | Living Proof That God Works in Mysterious Ways

St. Francis Assisi Middle School, Manitowoc
Teacher/Administrator for 38 years

I had the good fortune in going to Catholic Schools most of my life. When I was 14 years old, my parents asked me what school I wanted to go to. In my hometown of Beloit we had two High Schools, Beloit Memorial High School and Beloit Catholic High School.


Dawn Stitkawitz | Encouraging Others to Share God's Gifts

St. Gregory School, St. Nazianz
Teacher for 5 Years

My faith has been shared with my students through daily prayer. We start each day with prayer, pray before and after lunch, and before dismissal. Throughout the day, students are reminded to treat others how Jesus would want them to treat each other.
Jason Tschudy | Students Really Embrace Their Beliefs

St. Gregory School, St. Nazianz
Teacher for 3 Years

One of the best experiences I've had as a teacher, relating to faith, is doing social studies. Students that are learning about a new culture and their beliefs, are amazing at how they are able to recall their own faith and compare it to a new culture.
Jill Riesterer | Involved in Lives of Many Families

Jill-RiestererKindergarten Teacher
St. Gregory School, St. Nazianz
Teacher for 22 Years

I've had the honor and privilege to be involved in the lives of many families across many generations and share my faith. I've gotten to celebrate baby brothers and sisters being born and then enjoyed teaching that child in kindergarten.
Patty Wilhelm | Students Teach Me about God's Love

Patty-WilhelmMiddle School Teacher
St. Gregory School, St. Nazianz
Teacher for 10 Years

In the light of the recent violence it seems that there is not enough love in the world. That is why teaching in a Catholic Christian atmosphere is a true blessing for teachers as well as for students. In our school we teach love. We do not teach the version of love that is portrayed on television or popular novels.
Rita Steffen | Witnessing Students Grow in Faith

St. Gregory School, St. Nazianz
Educator for 13 Years

In my years of service at St. Gregory School, I have had the privilege of witnessing many students grow stronger in their faith. Each student's faith development begins with a basic foundation. As students pass through the grades from one year to the next, a new layer of "faith knowledge" is added.