International Servite Schools Network
Marian Strengthens Connections Through ISSN
Most people within the Marian community are aware that Marian is a Servite school; however, what most do not know is that it has connections and ties to several schools all over the world through the exceptional core values of the Servants of Mary. Marian has made a conscious effort to maintain and develop strong links with our sister Servite schools across the world. This connection has been revitalized in recent years. Through this partnership, Marian expects to keep its students engaged and informed by providing a global perspective.
Learning from each other…
In September 2014, Marian had the wonderful opportunity of hosting The International Servite Schools Network Conference in Omaha. A total of 18 students and 33 adults from Australia, Canada, England, France, India, Italy, Mexico and the U.S., as well as a strong showing from the Servite Sisters and Friars, attended. During the week, students focused on the conference theme of “Servite Values in Education.” Each student attending the conference spent time in the classroom presenting his or her perspective on the core values that the Servite Schools share—Compassion, Empowerment, Community, Marian Identity, Spirituality and Service—as well as the unique gifts that each school brings to the ISSN. Representatives from each school came together with the goal of unifying the schools and exchanging ideas that would improve all of the schools sponsored by Servants of Mary around the world. In addition to planning another international conference, the ISSN further developed an exchange program that allows students the opportunity to visit the different schools abroad and, hopefully, connect with the schools on a more personal level. The plan is for two teachers each year to accompany six to 10 students to visit another Servite school internationally.
Conference highlights were as follows:
- Delegates cheered on Marian’s defending state championship volleyball team in their home game against Papillion-La Vista South High School.
- Marian and international students participated in a service project through Habitat for Humanity at two separate build sites.
- Adult attendees visited the Henry Doorly Zoo and the Durham Museum.
- Delegates joined the Marian school body to celebrate a student-led Mass.
Strengthening ties through technology…
Staying connected continues to be a key goal of the ISSN. Through technology, most students are fortunate enough to meet students from other Servite schools via the ISSN website and video chatting. A group of students posted a video discussing and explaining American government on the ISSN website. In exchange, the other countries participate in creating videos about their different forms of government. In addition, all the schools have made explanatory videos about their own Servite schools. The video chatting program Skype has helped students get to know each other through the computer screen. These different forms of technology are a way for all of the students to get hands on learning experience and improve the unity of the Servite schools.