Dan Wees graduated from St. Gerald Catholic School in 2000, but it wouldn’t be the last time he would walk through the school’s doors.
Afterwards he went to Gross Catholic High School and he received his master’s degree in secondary education from Creighton University.
He said St. Gerald played a big role in him deciding on his career as an educator, and applying to teach at the school was an easy choice. He started teaching sixth through eighth grade social studies at St. Gerald in 2015.
“I saw it as a great opportunity to give back to the school that did a lot for me,” Wees said.
His sixth grade teacher Darlene Sheridan was the educator who inspired him to work in education.
“She’s the teacher that stands out to me as being passionate about education and caring for her students,” Wees said.
He said his first year of teaching at St. Gerald’s was an interesting one.
“I remember walking down the main elementary school hallway and it smelled exactly the same,” Wees said. “I immediately got a flashback to when I was a kid there.”
While the building is the same as the one in 2000, there have been some changes since Wees was in school. St. Gerald has since added a middle school and created new classrooms and offices.
Catholic Schools Week had some changes done to it since Wees was a student as well.
This year’s Catholic Schools Week started Sunday with an open house at the school.
“There is definitely a buzz around the school, people are definitely excited and the biggest thing the middle schoolers are talking about is the teacher versus eighth grade volleyball game,” Wees said.
He said the eighth graders always like to talk up the volleyball game, which is Friday, and talk trash to the teachers.
“We do a lot of different things to try and bring the whole school together,” Wees said.
Catholic School Week was not always filled with fun activities.
“Catholic Schools Week was always a time to thank our parents for giving us a Catholic education and write thank you letters to our teachers and priest,” Wees said.
“I think they have done a better job now including more activities and making it more of a school-wide communal celebration.”
As for the volleyball game, Wees already has a winner picked in mind.
“I got the teachers all the way,” Wees said.