Catholic Schools Week Spotlight: Aaron Howell


St. Mary’s Catholic School in Natchitoches is joining the celebration for National Catholic Schools Week by showcasing what makes education at St. Mary’s outstanding.

Monday’s Spotlight features Aaron Howell, a 17-year old student who’s attended St. Mary’s for 13 years. He is a member of the National Honor Society, FBLA, FCA and Beta Club. He plays quarterback on the football team, which he’s been on since the fourth grade. He plays forward on the basketball team, which he joined in seventh grade.

Howell plans to attend Northwestern State University on a football scholarship and major in nursing. He’s always wanted to help people, so he plans on becoming a nurse anesthetist.

“I enjoy going to St. Mary’s because of the family atmosphere,” said Howell. “It’s a close-knit group and the teachers are nice and help the students as much as possible. St. Mary’s has taught me character and leadership skills through the sports I play. It’s taught me responsibility.”

Celebrated annually at the end of January, St. Mary’s has organized a whole week of activities to show what its students are accomplishing and to celebrate the community it’s built, educating tomorrow’s citizens and church leaders.

This year’s theme is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” The theme encompasses the core products and values that can be found in Catholic schools across the country.

“Not only are we teaching students to become future servant leaders, faith-filled disciples and enriched citizens in our communities, educators are growing with them,” said St. Mary’s Principal Andrea Harrell. “In Catholic schools, we are all learners, servants and leaders. These shared qualities are what make Catholic schools work. They are what make Catholic schools succeed.”

The theme also focuses on key elements of Catholic education: faith development, academic excellence and dedication to service. These elements set Catholic schools apart from other educational options. They are why families make sacrifices to provide their children with Catholic education.

“I hope the community will join us for our All School Mass Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 9 am in the school gym and again Friday, Feb. 2 at 6:30 am in the St. Mary’s chapel for Mass, Adoration and Benediction,” said Harrell. “Please bring your friends and neighbors, particularly those who may be considering Catholic education for their service.”

Howell said participating in prayer at St. Mary’s is a really cool experience. “With 400 kids it feels like a big family meeting,” he said. “It’s cool to see that number of people devoted to one thing.”

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