That all children who desire, but cannot afford, a quality Catholic education will have that opportunity, regardless of the neighborhood in which they live, economic status of their families, or their religious beliefs.
To participate in God’s work by providing advocacy, resources and governance to Guardian Catholic School. These resources enable the school to provide educational and spiritual opportunities to children and families regardless of financial situation or religious preference.
Guardian Catholic Schools serves as a critical, high-impact presence within Jacksonville’s educational landscape. More than 20 years ago, under the threat of closure, our founding members were called to support St. Pius V and Holy Rosary Catholic Schools — two of North Jacksonville’s highly respected faith-based elementary institutions. During the past 20 years, both schools flourished, serving nearly 400 children each year. However, as the facilities continued to age, our Trustees decided to combine the two schools — more than 90 years old — into one brand new school. With the support of many generous donors and partners throughout our community, we were able to successfully raise funds to build and open Guardian Catholic School in August 2017.
A Message from Our Executive Director of Advancement
I have been incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support the Guardian has received since we began our “Build the Dream, Guard the Legacy” capital campaign just over two years ago. The idea for building a new school was the results of a feasibility study that determined the need and evaluated the support needed to bring this project to fruition. The old buildings of Holy Rosary and St. Pius V required an increasing number of expensive repairs that directed funds away from financial aid for students. What was required was clear and also daunting – to replace the existing infrastructure with a completely new school. This meant raising the largest amount of capital in the Guardian’s 22-year history. A hefty investment for sure, but one that would pay off in the long run.
The new Guardian Catholic School, which opened its doors in August 2017, provides our students with more than ever before. Modern classroom designs, educational technology, and a new gymnasium allow for greater learning opportunities. Larger capacity means we can increase enrollment to serve even more students. This is the whole purpose behind raising capital – investing to enable future growth.
While this campaign is drawing to a close, the Guardian continues to make capital investments every day – in our students. Building a strong foundation through education and spiritual guidance are the cornerstones for continued success throughout life. Our families, our neighborhood, and the entire North Florida community, benefit from students who have a bright future full of possibilities.
This new chapter in the Guardian’s legacy would not be possible without our generous donors, dedicated board members, school administrators, and many others. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all of those who helped make this dream a reality.
One such person is undoubtedly Paul Kerins, who has served as Chairman of the Guardian’s Board of Directors for the past five years. Early this year, Paul announced that he would retire from his long tenure as Chairman. We are overwhelmed with thankfulness for the effort and time he has invested in our students and school. His leadership has helped preserve the Guardian’s legacy of providing quality, affordable education to students in north Jacksonville, regardless of financial need or religious background.
We are pleased to announce that Steve Foody has been named as the Guardian’s new Board Chairman, and Greg Roth has been appointed Vice Chairman. We are also excited to welcome Mark Dawkins, the newest appointee to the Board of Directors. Mark is Dean of the University of North Florida’s Coggin College of Business and a parishioner of St. Pius V Catholic Church.
As you look forward to the new year, I hope that you will save the date for the Guardian’s 14th Annual Golf Classic on March 12, 2018 at Deerwood Country Club. Former Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee will return as Honorary Chair of this year’s tournament, sponsored by Merrill Lynch. New tournament Chair Mike O’Hare and Vice Chair Jason Burhyte are already hard at work planning what is sure to be a fantastic event.
All of us here at the Guardian would like to wish you a very blessed holiday season with your family and friends. Thank you for helping us protect our students’ potential.