This story first appeared in Fall 2022 Vision.
Generosity is gratitude in action. Here at Visitation, we witness this daily – gifts of time, talent, and treasure that inspire and sustain us. The members of our community believe in our mission – and they invest in it. This issue of Vision, combined with our Annual Report, celebrates this generosity.
We started our school year with gratitude, watching it kick into action when we gathered as an entire faculty and staff, during the MEA break, to focus on the Visitation philosophy of educating the minds and hearts of our students as part of our Salesian Assessment and Self-Study. This assessment is conducted every five years by the National Visitation Salesian Network (VSN) to ensure our Catholic, Salesian philosophy is interwoven in everything we do at Visitation – from our academics and classroom discussions to our activities and athletics.
Our gratitude finds expression in celebrating theater director Wendy Short-Hays’ 100th production for Visitation School and Saint Thomas Academy. VISTA Productions’ Peter and the Starcatcher opened in November. Additionally, we have had a successful fall athletic season with more than 295 students participating on 17 teams. Cross Country won its 10th straight conference championship and sent Ava Kirr ’23 to state. Our tennis team won the section 3AA championship, qualifying for state as a team for the first time in program history. Volleyball finished second in their conference earning a second seed in sections; soccer competed against the best teams in the state improving with every game, and our swim/dive team is vying for its 13th overall and 9th consecutive state championship. Guided by our expert coaching staff, numerous student-athletes earned all-conference, all-section, and all-state honors. In fact, more than 10 percent of the class of 2022 continued their athletic careers at the collegiate level and four student-athletes signed their national letters of intent earlier this month.
Led by our master faculty, this excellence also permeates our students’ academic experience. Last year, of the Visitation students who took Advanced Placement exams, 90 percent scored above the state and global mean. Our admit rate to the most highly selective colleges and universities for the class of 2022 was three times higher than the average admit rate at those schools.
Our young alumnae are excelling confidently in and out of the classroom, even across the globe. With grace and poise, they know how to command a room, use their voice, and be catalysts for positive change.
This is our vision for our graduates as we implement and live the Salesian philosophy of educating our students. The Sisters wrote in Educating the Mind and Heart in the Visitation Tradition, “As educators in the Visitation tradition, we understand that we are forming lives as well as imparting knowledge.” See the full document at visitation.net/heart and mind.
We have a 150-year legacy to lean on and learn from. Our students are prepared for an education for life. In facing today’s challenges, educating the mind and heart can sometimes feel countercultural. Yet, there is no better place than Visitation to navigate this time's complexities, have difficult conversations, and seek connection and understanding. Our students are learning to maneuver conflict, understand Catholic truths, and remain firmly rooted in their Salesian heritage.
We are always learning and growing. When issues arise, we collaborate with faculty, parents, and students to recenter and reground our work. We embrace our blueprint from the Visitation Sisters and the lived experience of so many lay faculty and staff committed to our Visitation Salesian philosophy of education, never wavering, always centered, offering our students “strong academic programs that integrate the search for truth with intellectual pursuits directed toward a faith-filled vision of life.”
Your continued support impacts the lives of our students every day. It is through your generosity that we can accompany our students on their incredible journey. We are so grateful.
Live + Jesus!