January 29, 2016

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Faith and friendship mark senior’s education experience

By John Shaughnessy

When McKay Burdette thinks of a defining moment from her 14 years of Catholic education, the high school senior returns to the day she made her first holy Communion.

“Our entire second-grade class did it together,” says McKay, recalling that moment when she was a student at Pope John XXIII School in Madison. “The combination of all the students coming together to do something for their faith and being surrounded by people who care for us defines my Catholic education for me.”

The connection of faith, friends and caring has continued for McKay during her years at Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School in Madison.

“My Catholic education has been big in forming my values and what I believe in,” says McKay, who includes her two years of pre-school when she adds up her 14 years of learning in Catholic schools.

“You see the importance of valuing people. And it’s given me a more grounded personality. Because Shawe is so small, all the students know everybody, and the teachers know everybody. You see how everyone cares about you, and how much you care about them. It’s kind of a Catholic thing.

“I also like the religious things we get to do in a Catholic school. We get to pray. We get to go on pro-life marches, and we take part in Masses for the archdiocese. Being at Shawe has made me more interested in my faith, and it’s helped me grow in my faith. My Catholic faith influences how I interact with the world and other people. It’s very important to me.” †

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