An open letter: An education formerly formidable, Thomas More Prep-Marian High School

I once held this institution on a pedestal. I no longer do. I once had an innate pride in TMP. I no longer do.

To whom this may concern:

Since the minute I was notified of Mr. Hertel’s release from Thomas More Prep-Marian High School (TMP), his contracts not being renewed, I have been trying to muster up the courage to put my feelings into words.

I would, however, like to preface my thoughts with this: Nothing I aim to impart on those reading this is meant to discredit my education nor the many educators who gave me the wonderful four years I experienced while at TMP.

After graduating in 2014 not many people know my name anymore. I know that I am the only Ernsting to grace the halls of TMP, once considered hallowed and full of tradition. I am not one of many students who experienced the same teachers as their siblings and even their parents. I am a first generation student at TMP, and I will be the last.

When I walked out of those doors and down the many stairs four years ago, I walked away profoundly impacted, strengthened in both my education and faith. I had always been proud to say I was a graduate of TMP, regardless of the flack I received about going to a private Catholic school.

Unfortunately, a lot can change in four years. As a student pursuing a college degree, I have grown and changed, as I expect many around me to do. What I didn’t expect, however, was for TMP to change. The tradition instilled in us as freshmen was something I held close to heart, helping me to appreciate not only my education but the reverence towards faith and tradition – two items that go hand in hand.

In the years following my graduation I have heard rumblings of disconcerted voices from peers and educators about the status of TMP. However, because of the upstanding education I received, full of faith and tradition, I brushed what I had heard to the side. I cited changes in administration and time, as everyone tends to get unsettled with change. I was wrong.

Not even three years had passed and walking the halls had brought an almost entirely new set of faces to the faculty. For a school that hasn’t changed much in the last decade or two, it sure seemed to have changed a lot in a short period of time. With the release of other faculty and now Mr. Hertel, I am positive that TMP is no longer the school it was when I graduated. I have lost faith in the claims that TMP has to faith and tradition.

TMP provided me with an exceptional education, and I am indebted to my educators for making me the woman I am today. However, that was a TMP of the past, educators of the past.

“Give us four years and we’ll give you a lifetime.” You gave me a wonderful four years, TMP, but you have given me a lifetime of disappointment.

I once held this institution on a pedestal. I no longer do. I once had an innate pride in TMP. I no longer do.

I don’t care who gives you the money. I don’t care who gives you guidance.  What I do care about is how you treat people, how you treat others with faith and tradition. And for that, I am extremely disappointed.