Friends of OLV June 2019 Newsletter

Discovering the truth, living the good, and cherishing the beautiful

It’s no longer obvious to state that schools exist to communicate the truth. St. Thomas defined truth in common sense fashion as conformity of the mind to reality. Schools should help us to recognize and receive the meaning of life by placing ourselves under the truth as its students. Catholic classical education forms the mental habits necessary to perceive the truth: wonder, deep reading, logical thinking, clear communication.

Schools can’t stop at communicating truth, however. We must help our students to live in the truth by loving what is good. Aquinas guides us here as well again: goodness is truth, but in what we desire. We find “the good” by consistently choosing the things that are good for us that make us come more fully alive. Catholic classical education helps us to love the noblest things in life and to form virtuous habits that direct our choices.

Beauty motivates us to want to know the truth and to love the good. It is the splendor that radiates from truth and goodness, that captures us and pierces our heart. Without beauty we can lose the joy of education: it doesn’t capture our imagination or inspire us to embrace and live what we’ve learned. Catholic classical education teaches truth and goodness through the beauty of nature, and the arts and sciences, and most importantly, the life of the Church. so that the student's whole person becomes engaged in the drama of discovering the truth, and living the good, and cherishing the beautiful.

The natural world offers us many expressions of what is the true, good, and beautiful, but ultimately these things point us to the One who is Truth, Goodness, and Beauty itself. Our Lady of Victory is proud to offer a transformative education in the fullness of truth, goodness, and beauty!

Dr. Jared Staudt, President

Did you know… our GoFundMe Campaign is 58% of the way to our $10,000 goal? We really need your help to spread the word! Please post our link to Facebook and share with anyone you think might be willing to support us.

Please also consider putting us in touch with anyone who might be able to support the school with a larger gift. Thank you for your help!

A Few Updates On Our Progress

Friends, we’ve accomplished a great deal in the last month. Thank you to everyone who’s helped to make this happen.

We now have 17 students that have submitted their enrollment fees to secure their spot in our first 9th-grade class. We expect to hit our cap of 20 students soon so if you know someone that may be considering OLV, please let them know to apply now!

We have many students that have expressed interest in attending OLV in the future. With strong interest for 2020/21 already flowing in, we recommend completing an expression of interest form as soon as possible.

We’ve completed hiring all of our primary teachers (humanities, math & sciences, music, and fine arts)! See below for an introduction from our lead teacher, Garrett Cichowitz.

The school has received its Archbishop’s decree! We officially have the Archbishop’s blessing to call ourselves a Catholic school!

We’ve added a Board Profile Page to our website: You can find the first four profiles for our board members and we’re working to add more. 

Did you know… that we will be hosting our School Opening Celebration on August 10th? Please save the date and join us to meet our board, our students, and our teachers.

Meet Our Lead Teacher: Garrett Cichowitz

OLV is committed to excellence in teaching, and we are excited to share that we have hired a lead teacher and program manager: Garrett Cichowitz, who is coming to us from Dominion Christian School, a classical Christian K-12 school in Reston, Virginia. At Dominion, Garrett taught theology, and developed and administered both the school’s house system (akin to the Chesterton model) and college guidance program. He also built Dominion’s first athletics program, including conference champion-winning cross-country teams. Garrett has a Master’s in Independent School Leadership from the Klingenstein Program at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York and this Easter, celebrated his one-year anniversary of joining the Catholic Church. Garrett combines a passion for the craft of teaching in the liberal arts, strong personal faith, demonstrated leadership skills, and administrative acumen – a perfect fit for OLV.

Welcome Garrett!

A note from Garrett on joining Our Lady of Victory

When I first began my career as an educator seven years ago, a mentor said to me, “The best education is over the shoulder and through the heart.”  His words rang true because of his example. He had deeply impacted me in the way he shared his life, his wisdom, and - most of all - the abundant love he had first received from God.  In a similar way, I hope to incarnate the immense love and faithfulness God has given to me with you.

Over the past seven years, I have had the privilege of developing and teaching a theology curriculum at Dominion Christian School, a coed classical Christian school for grades K-12th in Reston, Virginia. I am passionate about mentoring adolescents and desire to continue offering my creative passions to cultivate formational places of learning both in and out of the classroom. Over my tenure, I built the school’s first athletics program, starting with a high school cross-country team. I added a middle school team, pursued membership in a local athletics conference, and led the program to win multiple conference championships. As Dominion’s needs grew, I took on new responsibilities. I was tasked with researching, developing, and overseeing a new student government house system. My interest in school leadership led me to pursue a master’s degree in independent school leadership with the Klingenstein Program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Since that time, I also developed Dominion’s college guidance program. 

This Easter I celebrated my one-year anniversary of joining the Catholic Church. It is a year that will forever stand in my life as a milestone of God’s immense faithfulness. While I can’t explain my whole story here, I can tell you that obeying the Lord’s call to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church was an act of faithful obedience that I knew would impact my career and my community.

It is no coincidence that it was the day after Easter Sunday that I received the offer to join the faculty of Chesterton Academy: Our Lady of Victory. And it is no coincidence that I get to embark on this adventure with my absolute favorite gift from God, my fiancée, Christy. Our second date was my confirmation party last year.

In 1 Samuel 7:12 Samuel has recently been established as priest and judge over all of Israel. One of his first public acts is to set up a stone as a memorial calling it Ebenezer, which means, “Till now the Lord has helped us.”  Indeed, who among us can say otherwise in our own lives? I am confident we will look back on this next year and proclaim the same.

Garrett Cichowitz


The Need For Your Donations

Our Lady of Victory high school is committed to providing an accessible education that is affordable for all families. Small donations from supporters like you are helping us with our goal of keeping OLV affordable while at the same time hiring highly qualified staff committed to this mission. In this month of May, dedicated to Mary, please say yes and make a contribution to this unique school.


We also need your help in sharing our mission with your friends and family. We have accomplished much in a few months due to the hard work of a small group of committed supporters, but we need to expand our community! Please share this email or our GoFundMe Campaign with your friends and family.