Trinity is right school for my family

Published 12:02 am Monday, October 16, 2017

When my family moved to Natchez in 2014, I was met with different reactions from many people.  Some told me we were crazy, there was no opportunity in Natchez, and we were doing a disservice to our children by moving back to the area.  Ultimately, my husband agreed to pick up our life to move to the other end of the Natchez Trace with nothing but faith that things would work out for the best.  The fact that my mother was dying took precedence over anything else.

After securing employment and housing, we turned our attention to the education of our children.  Our son, Caleb, was in second grade, and Emily needed daycare.  Since both my husband and I attended public schools, we thought the Natchez Adams School System was the answer; however, were not willing to place our child in a failing school system.  After touring private schools, we found all of them to be similar in scope, services and price.  We chose Trinity contrary to the advice of friends and colleagues because the small class size was perfect for my son, and we are not Catholic.

Some told me Trinity was closing; however, I have since learned that people have said that about the school for years with no basis for the statement other than their opinion.  Many told me that Trinity was essentially a public school, yet in the three years we have been here, Trinity has not seen as many problems as other private schools regarding the inappropriate behavior of students.  Some said that the teachers at Trinity were not performing at a level equal to those at other schools, and I know that information was incorrect based on the data associated with the ACT and standardized test scores.  Despite popular opinion, we chose a school that was the best fit for our child and his needs.  We have been more than happy with our decision ever since, and we enrolled Emily as soon as she could enter the Early Childhood Program.

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While the Headmaster position has been a revolving door for the past few years, the basics have never changed.  Amazing teachers are still here, and Trinity Episcopal Church still provides the Christian identity essential for the development of the whole child.  Then, what has changed for enrollment to decline?  The only thing different about this school appears to be public opinion and changes to the demographics of the population of Natchez.  Before the opinions start to roll in, I realize that many people may have had a bad experience with someone who worked at Trinity, or they may have had a bad experience at the school.  While I cannot change the past, I can certainly learn from it, and look to the future.  Someone recently told me that he did not feel Natchezians were interested in a college preparatory education due to the focus on sports in our community.  I refuse to believe that is the case.  Really, parental participation in a child’s education is the key ingredient to a successful student.

Now, the question remains, “Why Trinity?”  Small classrooms and one-on-one attention are what some children need to excel in an educational environment.  Parental support and Christian values are what children need to excel in life.  Put those two sentences together, and you have defined what it means to be a Trinity Saint.  I think everyone should choose the right school for their children based upon the right fit for the child.  These are my beliefs and they happen to correspond with the beliefs of this school, which is why I have chosen to change careers and focus on maintaining the opportunity for children to obtain a college preparatory education with the Episcopal tradition of academic excellence in a small environment in which my children continue to thrive.  Although I would love to increase Trinity’s enrollment, we are small for a reason, and I will not forget that as we continue to build this school alongside Trinity Episcopal Church with all the blood, sweat and tears put into it by my predecessors.  Why Trinity? The answer is simple.  Because it is right for my family.
Christina “Cricket” Daugherty is the headmaster at Trinity Episcopal School.