After working in public schools for 35 years, Karen Trunk served as the Assistant Principal at Notre Dame before becoming the Principal at Mater Dei Academy. She feels supremely blessed to blend her faith with her passion for education.
“I thought I was going to retire from Notre Dame, but God led me to Mater Dei, and I love being here,” Mrs. Trunk says. “Both of my own children were raised in Catholic schools. It was important to us that the families we sat beside at soccer games were the same families we sat beside at Mass.”
Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is an annual tradition led by the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) to celebrate the impact of Catholic schools, and this year will be Mrs. Trunk’s first CSW at Mater Dei.
“The students are the future of our faith, and the last week of January into February we highlight the value of Catholic education every year,” Mrs. Trunk says. “It is a time to show all the things that we do related to our faith and our academics as we celebrate internally as a school and externally with the local community.”
This year the theme from NCEA is “Catholic Schools United in Faith and Community.” Different Catholic schools will interpret the theme in their own contexts.
“This theme fits really well with our goals at Mater Dei this year,” Mrs. Trunk says. “We have both academic and Catholic goals, and our Catholic goal is all focused around increasing the value of solidarity and understanding that we are all one and need to support each other.”
Each year Mater Dei celebrates CSW in some traditional ways. One of those ways is hosting multiple open houses on different days and at different times to accommodate as many people as possible.
“We invite not only our families, but we also publicize the open houses in news outlets so that all people come to see what Mater Dei is all about,” Mrs. Trunk says. “Another tradition we have is finding many ways to celebrate the students, teachers, and staff who support us.”
Something new this year during CSW will be a community breakfast to which the local priests, businesses, and different organizations are invited.
“We want to share that Mater Dei is a special place, and we want you to know about it,” Mrs. Trunk says. “Once people step through the doors, they will see and feel how special Mater Dei is.”
Mrs. Trunk is also very passionate about reaching out to all the parishes with which Mater Dei is connected, and she met with Fr. Michael Troha to discuss which Mass she will attend to offer gratitude and share about supporting the school.
“I want to speak with the congregation at Immaculate Conception and thank them truly for their support,” Mrs. Trunk says. “The parish supports the school in many ways including letting us use their facilities. Your prayers and your financial support are such a blessing.”
Mrs. Trunk is excited to welcome the community to Mater Dei during CSW to celebrate everything happening at the school this year.
“I am blessed to lead this school, and we’re really hoping to showcase the school during this week,” she says. “Come and see all the wonderful things going on at Mater Dei.”
For more information about Catholic Schools Week at Mater Dei, contact Karen Trunk at 440-585-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.