Woodlands Academy Celebrates its Diversity with Annual Flag Ceremony
The richness of Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart's cultural diversity was celebrated with its annual Flag Ceremony Sept. 13 at the all-girls college-preparatory day-and-boarding high school in Lake Forest.
"One of the many blessings that we have here at Woodlands is the richness of our cultural diversity," Director of the Center for Global Studies Amy Perlick said. "This is one of the many forms of diversity which Sacred Heart Schools seek and cherish, for as our knowledge and experience of new cultures and peoples expand and deepen, we come to more fully understand ourselves, our world and our global interconnectedness."
Perlick added, "This is very much the educational vision of Sacred Heart Schools, as articulated by the foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, who said 'To influence our world we must understand it.'"
The flags of 20 nations, which will be displayed in the building during the entire school year, are a proud visualization of the breadth of Woodlands Academy's cultural diversity. They represent nations where either a student or faculty/staff member was born or where they hold dual citizenship.
For the 2019-20 school year, those nations are: Afghanistan, Austria, Belize, Canada, People's Republic of China, Colombia, France, India, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela and Vietnam.
"It is not by chance that we are all here at Woodlands surrounded by such rich cultural diversity and giftedness in this special place," senior Áine Heaney, of Chicago, said. "We hope that as we gather as one community that this liturgy will unite us as we explore and celebrate our diversity."
The ceremony also featured students and staff from 13 countries offering a brief prayer in their native language.
Woodlands Academy offers students a variety of ways to experience cultural diversity first-hand. Its boarding school is home to several girls from other countries who are pursuing their high school education at the Lake Forest school. In addition, Woodlands is part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans the United States and 40 countries around the world. Its students can participate in an exchange program allowing them to spend some time at one of the other Sacred Heart schools in addition to Global Odyssey and Global Scholar programs.
Founded in 1858, Woodlands Academy is an independent Catholic college preparatory day and boarding high school for young women, and part of a worldwide network of Sacred Heart Schools that spans the United States and 40 other countries. A nonprofit, Woodlands Academy's identity is rooted in Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat's desire to inspire young hearts and minds to excel, to lead lives of integrity and to serve. For more information about Woodlands Academy, please visit www.woodlandsacademy.org