In an encore episode, Steve D'Agostino of Best Rate of Climb interviews Sister Hilda Ponte (shown, center), president of the Board of Trustees, Dr. David Fredette, EdD (shown, left), head of school, and Paul Jourcin (shown, right), co-director of admissions at Venerini Academy. They talk about surviving and thriving as a private, Catholic school in a tough economy.
Venerini Academy in Worcester is a 67-year-old, private, Catholic, pre-kindergarten-through-grade-8 school that provides well-rounded, faith-based and comparably priced education. The school is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
The motto of Venerini Academy: “To Educate Is To Liberate.” The school does this by teaching its students how to liberate their minds, empower their souls and live the Good Word in a highly supportive atmosphere of academic excellence, safety, small class size, and innovative, values-based learning that fosters mutual respect and self-discipline.
A couple of years after “the troubles,” which are discussed during the interview, Venerini Academy is alive and well. It is maintaining a remarkably low teacher-to-student ratio. In addition, Venerini Academy is one of the local schools taking an educational lead with an iPad program for 3rd and 6th grades. It also has a co-curricular Mandarin Chinese language program, with French, Latin and Spanish as parts of that curriculum.
Venerini Academy teaches in the Catholic tradition. However, it is open to children of all faiths and non-faiths, with limited financial aid available for those in need.
In the spirit of full disclosure, Steve D'Agostino serves as a volunteer member of the Board of Trustees and does volunteer public-relations work for Venerini Academy.