St. Mary’s Catholic School is the No. 4 small employer in Top Workplaces for 2022.
Description: St. Mary’s Catholic School is a dual-language Catholic school that was started in 1893 in conjunction with Boston College’s Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools. It also works in conjunction with Notre Dame. Spread across two campuses, the school has 41 employees. This is St. Mary’s third year on the Top Workplaces list.
From the organization: “We are a school of inclusion. We have partnered with Notre Dame to ensure that our teachers are trained and educated to teach our students with inclusion in mind, meeting each student where they are at emotionally, academically and spiritually.”
From the employees: “I have support from my principal and feel as though she trust me to do my job,” one teacher said. Another expressed, “I love my job because it is a Vocation of teaching with a community that works, prays, and teaches as one in the body of Jesus Christ.”
The following is an excerpt from an interview with St. Mary’s Catholic School Principal Rebecca Maestas-Sanchez, whose comments have been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
How has the pandemic changed to organization’s culture?
“Well, through great struggles always comes great opportunities, and that’s exactly what the pandemic was for us. It was a great opportunity. We capitalized on it and were able to make great strides in our school in education, not just in educating our kids but also my teachers learning a little bit more about themselves and how they could step outside of that little comfort zone and really excel as educators.”
How has the pandemic changed your concept of the staff’s work and home life balance?
“We’re very mindful of that balance. We work really hard to not just tend to the needs — the social, emotional needs — of our learners, but also of our team. We start every staff meeting with a prayer, and we start every staff meeting with some kind of meditation. We have a wind-down Wednesday for our team to just go and do stretching and meditation and it’s very relaxing. We have our counselor lead us in that. And things like that have been really, those have been the pivotal things that have helped get us through some of the tough days.”
What does mentorship look like today compared to before the pandemic happened?
“Mentorship is taking care of the people you have been entrusted to lead. And that often looks different for every employee. A lot of the times that means that somebody is having a hard time, or they can’t get to work or they’re late or something happened and we put all boots on the ground. Every single one of us, we’re in classes, we’re helping, we’re teaching, whatever needs to be done. And all of us do that, our security guard, our nurse, our counselor, my administrative assistant — we just pull together when we have to and I think that’s all part of it, is making sure that we’re all capable and willing and flexible to do the job that needs to be done.”