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St. Catherine’s Catholic School St. Catherine’s Catholic School St. Catherine’s Catholic School A Look at Four Local Schools Getting a Christian Based Education Selecting the best school for your child is never an easy task, especially considering all the choices available in Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Decisions are informed by a range of factors from perceived academic value to a safe campus environment, and sometimes, to an educational experience that includes religion. For some parents, Christian schools provide a meaningful alternative to public schools. TODAY visited four of our area’s Christian schools to share highlights of their education offerings with South County families. gmh Written By Kimberly Ewertz The parish of St. Catherine of Alexandria founded its namesake school in 1963. The school started out small, with First Grade and Second Grade students. The parish invited the Sisters of the Presentation to come and teach their young students. Enrollment grew, classes were added, and the school fl ourished. Today it serves over 300 students from Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. St. Catherine’s Principal, Fabienne Esparza, said each classroom is staffed with a full-time credentialed teacher and a full-time aid to provide quality and consistency, and “excellent support” for the students. The school is equipped with a STEM lab, providing students access to hands-on learning experiences in science, technology, engineering, and math that are increasingly relevant in the digital age. Drama director Kris Heiser leads the school’s drama program, which Esparza said gives students “a good sense of self-confidence” and the ability to present themselves effectively in public. Esparza is also proud of the school’s garden, which she initiated in 2006, a year after becoming the school’s principal. She said the students not only learn from their hands-on work in the garden but they also reap the fruits of their labor. For example, the second graders made fresh salsa from tomatoes, Pacifi c Point Christian School 90 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN Pacifi c Point Christian School JULY/AUGUST 2017