Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Welcome Mrs. Ockaskis - Middle School Interventionist

Dear All Saints Academy Families,

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.      -Psalm 16:11

The joy of life is always there for us to behold.  My dear mother, who died in April, 2018, taught me to recognize God’s presence in every moment.  Many years ago, as I carried on as a disgruntled teenage girl who would rather go off with friends than stand at the kitchen sink washing the daily dishes, my mother paused me to say, “Feel God’s presence in the warmth of the water at the kitchen sink.”  My mother was a child of God who recognized joy in everything; even in her final years of suffering; she was called to teach those who cared for her to recognize God’s calming presence at all times. 

As I follow God’s call in my life to return to teach, I feel richly blessed to be your new Response to Intervention (RtI) teacher.  However, it is not a response to my intervention that will create joy in learning for your child; but the call of the Holy Spirit within your child that will facilitate us in strengthening your adolescent child’s recognition of his or her potential.  Our prayers are for recognition of His pleasures forever. 

I join you with twenty-two years of teaching experience with degrees from both U of M and MSU.  So blue, yellow, green and white all work for me!  I served as a public school teacher at Godwin Heights and Northview.  I then answered the call to raise my son and daughter with my tremendously supportive husband, Todd.  Todd is a commercial architect at Paradigm Design.  My son, Alec, is a percussion student at U of M.  My daughter, Anna, is starting her first year of college at GVSU on the path to a career in the medical field.  My children are proud graduates of West Catholic High School and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary where I served as the RtI teacher for seven years.  Eager to return to the classroom, I taught first grade at Sacred Heart Academy until God’s call to be with my mother during her final months became a blessing of eternal joy with Christ.  As with all the Saints, my mother’s presence is wholly with me.

It is in partnership with you and the staff of ASA that I partake in guiding students to recognize God is truly there for them even in the most difficult challenges.  Middle school students are transitioning from being a child to becoming a young adult.  This can be a stressful time, but it should be a joyous time.  Stop and sit with your child at the kitchen table when homework or life gets them unwound.  “Feel the warmth of the water at the kitchen sink!”  God is truly present at every moment; in all things.  Remind them of this. There is no hurry.  Be calm.  Set a small goal.  “Wash one dish at a time.”  We are all children of God. The homework will get done and the pleasure of God’s presence is within, even this!

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!   - Psalm 118 24

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