Jennifer Ramirez keeps long hours at St. Philip the Apostle School, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ramirez has worked at the school for more than 20 years, first as a teacher and now as its principal. It’s not uncommon to find Ramirez on campus from 6:30 a.m. to as late as 8 or 9 p.m., yet parents boast that she is always relaxed despite her many responsibilities, and she treats the children with patience and caring.
Ramirez oversees the school’s staff and curriculum. In addition to basic education, there are before and after school programs and a wealth of activities. More than 200 children in grades K-8 participate in its sports programs, there are two drama productions each year, as well as a chess club and speech and debate team. All of these activities — and more — are included in the tuition. Outside providers come to the school to offer classes like martial arts and ballet. And St. Philip offers tuition assistance for families that need it.
“We are very diverse and we want to stay diverse,” Ramirez said.
The school is active in community endeavors, too, including a food bank and student projects like visits to senior homes, serving meals to senior citizens and serving meals to the homeless at Union Station. Ramirez oversees all these programs.
“We want our students to learn to serve because that’s what makes the community run,” she said. “That’s what all communities need in order to function. It’s our mission to teach them to do what Jesus would want them to do, which is to help other people.”
– Michelle J. Mills