Jesuit Administrators and Program Directors reveal what it is to be a Marauder amid 2020 challenges

Plank Article Matt Parks ’21

Jesuit High School Sacramento’s mascot was chosen to be the Marauders when the school was founded in 1963. This fall the significance and meaning of that mascot was explored by various perspectives within the Jesuit Community  — each member asked a variation of “In 2020, what does it mean to you to be a Marauder?” This second edition explores the insights of Jesuit’s administrators and program directors. 

Behind every school is a team of executives who work together to enhance the day to day life of students. At Jesuit High School Sacramento, these individuals are responsible for nurturing the vision which unifies many programs and stakeholders that comprise the Jesuit community. 

In a year that has been unpredictable and disruptive to daily routines, the new normal has been something with which everyone in the Jesuit community has grappled. Because of the dramatic change in what was considered normal, The Plank asked the Administrators and program directors to reflect on the impact that 2020 has on being a Marauder, revealing their connection to the school’s mascot and the qualities they associate with it. 

For Assistant Principal for Instruction & Student Life Dr. Fadia Desmond, being a Marauder in the COVID-19 climate does not just pertain to academic work and concerns.

“Right now being a Marauder is about being patient – patient with ourselves and patient with one another,” Dr. Desmond said. “As we transitioned as a school into a pandemic, thinking of the greater good, caring for others, and assuming the good, all became trademarks of our students. We have moved through periods of fear, isolation, and uncertainty, yet our students have had the constancy of God’s love for them which often manifests in love and care for one another. Being a Marauder right now is so much more than just being a student at Jesuit High School. It’s about lifting others up – friends, family members, and classmates.”

While 2020 has been filled with challenges and obstacles, Director of Academic Support Mrs. Carol Rose sees this year as an opportunity for Marauders to practice characteristics of the Grad at Grad.

“For me, especially during 2020, being a Marauder is being someone who is Open to Growth, Loving, Committed to Justice, and a person of faith, hope, and gratitude,” Mrs. Rose said. “During challenging times such as 2020, we have to work even harder to be open to others, even when we don’t agree. Openness, growth, and faith are themes that have resonated with me throughout my entire life. My goal is to remain hopeful and faithful, even during the most difficult times and 2020 has certainly been a challenge. Understanding and looking at life through a lens of ‘otherness’ is important to me. It means that it isn’t all about me and it means that there is a much larger force at work in the world and that keeps me hopeful.”

Mrs. Rose also added that “2020 offers each Marauder an opportunity to grow and understand that life is a gift and how we choose to spend each day is important and even how we spend time during each day matters. The examen that St. Ignatius offers us, reminds each Marauder to remain open and grateful for this gift of life.” 

The Director of Campus Ministry Mr. Paul LeBouef and Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Mrs. Kelly Barnes asserted that the essence of being a Marauder lies within the core values, of faith and the bonds of a tight-knit community. 

“A Jesuit Marauder is about a true brotherhood,” Mr. LeBouef said. “If one is a true brother he has no option but to be a man for others. I would hope that a person who calls themselves a Jesuit Marauder is a person who cares for the good of others, seeks out reconciliation, strives to be their best self, and does it all for the Greater Glory of God. Our faith and values should shine forth.” 

“Being a Jesuit Marauder means I am included in something bigger than myself – I am part of the Jesuit High School Community as well as the Jesuit Schools Network throughout North America, and all who are involved in Jesuit education world-wide,” Mrs. Barnes said. “Ignatian Spirituality invites me to go deeper in my faith, be intentional in my commitment to human dignity, and to draw near to the Lord. It also means I am quite fortunate because I get to spend my days surrounded by colleagues and students who are also on the journey of discovering who God is calling us to be, and actively trying to answer that call in a loving, giving way. ‘Go, Big Red!’”

Having both a perspective as a faculty member and a parent, Chief Financial Officer & Director of HR Ms. Anne Long reflected on what her sons took from their time as Marauders and talks about how that was carried into life. 

“I am a proud mother of two Marauders!” Ms. Long said. “Looking at my sons and their actions since graduating from Jesuit, I would simply say that Marauders go out and make the world a better place by living every day for the Greater Glory of God.”

From Jesuit’s leaders, the complexities within this year give Marauders a chance to deepen their faith, openness, and patience. If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us is the strength of the Marauder spirit and connection beyond just the walls of Jesuit Sacramento; it’s existing within the bonds of community.