BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - After 18 months of hard work, it was the news everyone had been waiting to hear.
"I was elated! I was excited! It was a big relief," said Mike Ladner, Superintendent for Diocese of Biloxi Catholic Schools.
The Diocese of Biloxi Catholic Schools learned it will receive a recommendation for accreditation through the AdvancEd Accreditation program.
"They're only four other Catholic Dioceses in the nation accredited through this process," Accreditation Team Chairperson Therese Williams said.
AdvanceEd Accreditation goes beyond state accreditation standards. Districts must work toward achieving seven standards in categories like teaching and learning, and commitment to continuous improvement. The district even added an eighth category, catholic identity.
"The students strongly let us know that religion is not just a subject, its the way they live their life and their faith is very important to them," Williams said.
A strong commitment to Catholic identity and rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina were just two of the areas for which the district was recognized. As for improvements, the district is in-step with the team's recommendations.
"The biggest challenge is keeping Catholic education affordable for parents and also reaching out to those who really can't afford Catholic education," Ladner said.