GRACE Thanksgiving Message 2023

Dear GRACE teacher leaders!

Happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the hard work that you are doing as your school’s teacher leaders. Your role is important to the operational vitality of your staff and faculty, and students and colleagues are beneficiaries of your dedication and professionalism—thank you for saying YES to GRACE this year. Our next GRACE meeting will take place online, 1pm-3pm on Friday, December 1st. The PreK-8 GRACErs will be meeting mostly with our friends from Catapult and our high school leaders will be meeting with Debbie McLaughlin. A registration, zoom link and final agenda will be made available to you shortly before the Thanksgiving break.


I’m also writing to send out a friendly reminder that Thanksgiving (and all holidays) can resurrect different feelings for everyone – students, staff, community members – and as such, please continue to be mindful of how you approach Thanksgiving in your classroom. We all know that some of the curriculum that has been used (and still is) generally romanticizes Thanksgiving as a time when pilgrims and Native Americans had a potluck and ate in friendly communion – which we know is not accurate nor is it a fair picture of what happened in our nation’s past. Therefore, I ask that you spread the word at your school’s next staff meeting reminding your colleagues to be mindful of the books, resources, and narratives they present in their classrooms to ensure that they are not perpetuating false narratives nor dismissing the historical experiences of our Native American communities. This holiday season is a wonderful time to give thanks, gratitude, and appreciation – those are all beautiful Catholic values!

I have much to be thankful for – GRACE teachers are a blessing to our schools and I appreciate you!


PS – Please click here to see an interesting resource from Katie Novak which integrates UDL and how to approach a Thanksgiving lesson with a culturally responsive lens.