In 2023, Rhode Island Catholic will bring readers Q&As from the great educators from all around our schools in the Diocese of Providence, and we think you’ll enjoy getting to know what drives their passion for serving others.
What is your background in education?
Bachelor of Science in early childhood education and special education from Franciscan University of Steubenville and a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in educational administration from Providence College.
Did you always know you wanted to be a principal?
I grew up always wanting to be a teacher. My mom was in education, and I always remember dreaming of being a teacher. In late middle school and beyond, I discovered I really loved leadership opportunities whether in student government, on the athletic fields or in the classroom. In addition to that, I liked the balance between the boots-on-the-ground daily work and the necessity for strategic vision that leadership allowed for. These God-given gifts naturally lead me into the world of educational leadership.
Who has inspired you in your career in education?
Honestly, as a young Catholic, I am always inspired by the lives of the saints, but especially those saints who persevered through difficult or changing times. But in the daily grind of being an administrator, it is the kids who motivate me the most. I love my job because I love working with students. I love watching them grow and accompanying them on their journey. It's the smiles, the light bulbs, and even the tears of students that inspire me to be a better administrator each day.
What do you feel is the greatest blessing in Catholic education?
Catholic schools are not simply alternatives to public schools or private schools. They have their own distinctive ethos. The biggest blessing of Catholic education is that it is an education that is incarnational. We can teach, model, and walk with students in helping them discover that God is active and present in their lives. I also feel like a huge blessing is that in some way we are able to fight against the moral relativism that is rampant through our culture. Within authentic Catholic education, we are teaching students that there is an absolute Truth and His name is Jesus Christ.
What do you feel is the greatest challenge?
Catholic schools have challenges that all businesses face — financial challenges, enrollment difficulties, constant building maintenance and the like. But the greatest challenge of Catholic Schools today is honestly helping and supporting families and students alike to understand the importance of living out their faith by attending Sunday Mass and praying as a family.
What are some of your hopes as the Principal of Saint Augustine School?
One my hopes is that my students see that I genuinely love the Lord and the Catholic Church, and that there are young people out there who believe the same thing. On a practical level, I hope to update some of the curriculum to continue to maintain competitiveness with our public school counterparts.
Favorite memory of being principal at Saint Augustine School so far?
My favorite memory thus far is on All Saints Day, when students and teachers were invited to dress up as Saints. I was so excited to see that so many teachers and students alike participated. It made celebrating the Solemnity an exciting and memorable time!
Would you like to share a little fun fact about Mrs. Rogers?
I went to Catholic school my whole life. I love to cook and I LOVE the beach.