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Best of the Week 2019-2020: Teaching to the Future


St. Edward High School encourages our Edsmen to uphold seven community standards rooted in our Holy Cross Pillars of Faith, Excellence, Relationships and Servant Leadership. The Seven Standards of an Edsman reflect our Holy Cross Mission by providing seven characteristics that each of our students strive to uphold as they become well-rounded individuals academically, socially and spiritually. These Seven Standards hold Edsmen to a higher caliber to help foster their competence to see and courage to act as men of faith. The Seven Standards of an Edsman are:

  • GRIT - the relentless determination to keep pursuing a desired goal and never give up. We are men who work through challenges and obstacles set before us.

  • CHARACTER - the integrity to consistently do the right thing. We act in humility, knowing that our successes are gifts given and deeply intertwined with the help of others.

  • TRUST - the belief through faith that God is good and has a plan. Thus, we can also trust others in our St. Edward Family who are supporting us.

  • RESPECT - the act of holding a person in high regard and giving honor to all. Respect is granted to all in our community and to ourselves in the form of self-respect.

  • SELF-SACRIFICE - the capacity to be generous to others and see all as neighbors. This generosity stems from our ability to empathize with those with whom we interact.

  • FAMILY - the understanding that together we are part of something greater than ourselves. We develop bonds that make us brothers in unity.

  • ACCOUNTABILITY - holding ourselves and our brothers to our standards. It involves frank and respectful communication as we hold each other to the truth of our actions.

To ensure that the Seven Standards of an Edsman are met, St. Ed's Administration developed the Culture Cards system. Rather than discipline and behavioral formation beginning with the Dean of Students, St. Ed's sought to implement an innovative system that would repair behavioral strain and relationships between teachers and staff members and their students immediately. Through the exchange of Culture Cards, highlighting which of the Seven Standards students aren't upholding, teachers and staff members are able to emphasize and reinforce our standards to continue shaping our school in a relationship-centered culture by repairing interpersonal connections.

"The Culture Cards system is rooted in two areas: the Seven Standards of an Edsman and our Holy Cross pillar of Relationships. We wanted to devise a system that centered on behavioral formation and relationship repair rather than merely a discipline policy," says Mr. Mark Urban, Dean of Students. "The most important component of this new approach is the utilization of our exceptional faculty and staff to facilitate our students' relationship reparation within the community. The cards and new posters that colorfully display the Seven Standards of an Edsman around St. Ed's campus have an aesthetic that emphasizes the standards and help us all to promote them more vibrantly and openly."

A vital component to the Cultural Cards system allows teachers and staff members the opportunity to recognize a student who has exceeded one of the Seven Standards of an Edsman. "I feel that it is imperative that a Holy Cross school makes certain to recognize and reward its students for living out our Seven Standards in exceptional ways. When students are recognized for exceptional behavior via the Culture Cards, their positive behaviors are also documented as part of their overall student profile," says Mr. Urban. "Thus far, students have appreciated being recognized for their exceptional behaviors. While a student's character should always be intrinsically motivated, it is exciting to watch young men actuated to continue to do good on behalf of their community and their world."

The new Culture Cards system positions everyone within the St. Ed's community as responsible for the formation of our Edsman, ensuring that they live out the Seven Standards of an Edsman and maintain healthy relationships rooted in Holy Cross values that will ultimately empower our community to continue living out our Holy Cross Mission.

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