Partner Spotlight: Sandra Jimenez

TAW Sandra

When did you join St. Peter’s? What made you choose this school in particular?
Back in 2002, I was teaching at a public school in San Francisco, and it just didn’t have a real sense of family. When I toured St. Peter’s with Ms. Butler and Sister Marian Rose that summer, I felt that sense of family right away. Teachers were very encouraging and open to offer me help as a new teacher. I was hired as a 5th grade teacher, so I got to know the staff first, and when I met the students and families in the Fall, it became even clearer how strong that community was.

How do you think the BASIC Fund has impacted your students and the school community?
The BASIC Fund helped open doors for students who otherwise would not have considered attending a Catholic school. A lot of Catholic education is out of reach financially for many families. The majority of our students get assistance from The BASIC Fund, and because of that assistance, there have been thousands of children over the years who have had that opportunity to attend St. Peter’s School.  From here, many students continue into Catholic high schools.

What do you appreciate the most about your teachers and staff?
I appreciate how much commitment and dedication they have to teaching our students. There are such a wide variety of needs in every classroom, and our teachers work hard, getting to know the students and trying different teaching strategies, to meet the students where they are at.

Our teachers also make every student feel loved and welcomed, and they do their best to create a community where they can be heard and where the students can take ownership of their education.

With their commitment and love for the students, our teachers help the children learn, grow, and succeed.  It’s clear that the students are a very important part of our teachers’ lives!

This year, over 350 BASIC Fund scholars will enter high school, including many St. Peter’s 8th graders. What values do you hope this year’s 8th grade class takes with them when they graduate?
At St. Peter’s, we always remind our students, “Open hearts, open minds.” If they try something and don’t succeed the first time, we want them to understand that that is part of the learning process–there’s always room to learn and grow.  “Grow” is one of our core values here at school.  It’s also important to show kindness. “Love” is another core value, and we encourage them to show love and kindness–to serve others to help make our world a better place.  I hope that they show empathy, and consider other perspectives beyond their own.

What advice do you have for this year’s graduating BASIC Fund scholars?
Like I tell our students: be grateful and remember to show appreciation for those who have helped you achieve your goals. And when you remember those helpful individuals and how they have impacted your lives, follow their example and continue to help others. You will lead others to do positive deeds as well!

 

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The BASIC Fund is a privately funded 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to advance education equity for low-income families by helping offset the cost of tuition at private schools in the Bay Area.

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