The richness of Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s cultural diversity was celebrated with its Flag Ceremony Sept. 10 at the all-girls college-preparatory day-and-boarding high school. This annual event recognizes and honors the breadth of international diversity on its Lake Forest campus.
Its rich cultural diversity is viewed as a true blessing at Woodlands Academy – one of the many forms of diversity which Sacred Heart Schools seek and cherish. Indeed, it’s 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. “To influence our world, we must understand it,” she said.
The flags of 19 nations, carried into Woodlands Academy’s chapel during the ceremony, will be displayed in the building during the entire school year as 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 2021-22 school year, those nations are: Belize, Bolivia, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States and, Venezuela.
“How wonderful it is that we can celebrate our diversity with the beautiful flag procession we just witnessed,” senor Lani English, of Highwood, said. “Among the flags carried was our National Blue Ribbon flag, a symbol of great pride and honor that Woodlands Academy has been recognized for its excellence in education.”
The ceremony also featured students and staff from nine 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 other countries worldwide. And its students can participate in an exchange program at one of the other Sacred Heart schools in addition to Global Odyssey and Global Scholar programs.