Coordinator notes positive role of counties

Schommer and her fellow team members coordinate activities


Photo submitted

As part of her county’s activities on the day of service in September, senior Kaylor Jasiak visited with a resident of a local senior citizen residence.

Jackson Hern, Reporter

One of the many traditions that makes Cathedral High School special is the county system, which helps further the spirit of family that is a part of life on the Hill.

The official mission statement of county system reads: “The county system at Cathedral High School grows and nurtures relationships between students, teachers, faculty and staff by creating a culture of inclusiveness and belonging that unites and supports the Irish family through shared values and experiences.”

Among her other titles and responsibilities, one of the individuals responsible for all things county is Mrs. Gara Schommer, who serves as the county coordinator. She explained why she believes in the county system and what her role looks like. “I make sure that all towns are set up and a safe place is created,” she said.

“I also make sure that each town is informed, relationships are being built and the mission of towns are being met; finally, I keep track of how many students and leaders attend county counts events.”

Schommer has been instrumental in enacting many changes to the county system in hopes of appealing to the student body. “We have a team that works on our topics and has the students growth at heart. Mr (Duane) Emery, Mr. (Andrew) Smeathers, Mrs. (Katie) Lewis, Ms. (Ashley) Hill, Mrs. (Julie) Barthel and myself. We are in the process of strengthening each town and working on the topics of discussion for the rest of the year,” she said. “The county counts events will receive more notice next year and we are working on some fun competitions with prizes during the year to increase engagement.”

Schommer encourages all students to be proactive and take advantage of the opportunities that their towns provide. “If you love your town, encourage others to try. Share what works,” she said. “If you don’t love your town, give it 10% more effort.  Talk to one more person. Reach out to your leaders. Bring in snacks to share.  Tell someone to have a great day. Pray for someone in your town.  It’s great experience for how to meet new people in college.”

With the second semester well underway, Schommer said she would love for more students to find ways to contribute to their towns, regardless of how challenging it might seem at first. She said, “What we overlook is the bonds that connect us and the opportunities to grow, to learn and to support someone else that shares in your journey.”