Why We Say "Yes"
Jeff and Marnie Bigler
Rochester Catholic Schools has played a significant role in our lives over the past 22 years. It has been a second home for our children, a foundation of their faith, and a community in which we feel blessed to belong. Three of our children, John ‘13, Mary ‘15, and Grace ‘17, have graduated from RCS, and Luke will become a Lourdes alumnus this spring.
Our story with RCS began in 1994 when our first child was born. Jeff and I both come from small towns, and our learning environment included small class sizes and a close community. All four of our parents started their careers as teachers and, as such, involvement in academics and extracurricular activities was strongly encouraged. When we began to think about where our children would attend school in Rochester, we looked at class size and the ability for our children to get involved in more than one extracurricular activity, as well as for an environment that was well rounded and balanced.
The choice to us was obvious. RCS had stellar academics and a sound reputation in the fine arts and sports, with faith being at the center of their environment. We felt other schools could provide some of these things but not with the same level of excellence that RCS could. In addition, we loved the community we were building in our home parish at St. John’s and knew this would continue as our children entered their school years.
During their years in RCS, our children received an excellent education that has served the older three in college and now in their careers. To this day, they maintain strong connections with their teachers and coaches. In addition, as hoped, our kids have been involved in almost every activity one can think of including sports – football, basketball, baseball, track, cheerleading, danceline; the arts – art club, elementary band, school plays and musicals, jazz nights, Christmas and spring concerts; and faith-based activities – school altar servers, Eucharistic ministers, Mass sacristan, and involvement in the community through volunteering.
Early in our RCS journey, we felt compelled to give back to the wonderful community which we were now involved in with our time and talent, as that is what we had to offer as a young family of six. I volunteered in the classroom, library, mass, art classes, lunchroom duties, carnivals, and plays, and tried to say “yes” anytime staff needed extra help. Jeff volunteered for class trips, carnivals, and coaching all four children’s many sports teams. Over the years, as our children grew, we took an interest in helping financially where we could and volunteering time and expertise as needed.
We feel blessed as a family to be a part of the RCS community. We would like to encourage young families to become involved and volunteer as often as possible. You will never regret the time you chisel away to volunteer in a classroom or help with a school activity. The memories and relationships built are priceless. And for alumni and families of alumni, we would like to encourage all to become involved again, creating a stronger and broader foundation for current and future children to experience all the benefits involved in a Rochester Catholic Schools education.