By MIKE ZINN     4/9/2024

Why is Catholic education important?

According to eighth grade student Mya David Fu, the answer is simple.

“Not only do you learn about God, but you receive a quality education,” she said.

Fu added: “We have a very tight-knit community and I see God in every person. He draws us all closer together.”

Fu is considered a student leader at St. Irenaeus and she has impacted the school in many ways.

“Through our conversations, I have learned that Mya is beyond her years in understanding the importance of building a just society and upholding the dignity of the human person,” said the school’s principal, Stella Costello. “She exemplifies a servant’s heart that truly cares for others.”

Over her years at St. Irenaeus, Fu has interacted with many teachers and staff members. The message is overwhelmingly positive and consistent.

Sarah Lambert, current librarian and former Student Government coordinator, said, “Mya likes to read and enjoys helping younger students who may be overwhelmed by the library and the number of book choices. She goes out of her way to help them find the right book.”

Fu was the unanimous choice of all three eighth grade teachers to be featured in this article.

Homeroom teacher Angela Burke has known Fu for three years. She lists her best qualities as “dependable, consistent and reliable.”

“She always performs to the best of her ability,” added Burke, who called Fu “the type of leader who analyzes issues and works with the group on solutions. She involves everyone and brings out the best in other people.”

Fu has an impressive resume of involvement with school activities. She has been in Student Government for three years. Being involved in this group has allowed Fu to mentor others within the school framework.

During Catholic Schools Week, students in Student Government help their teachers by teaching a class for one hour. Fu has had varying roles in Student Government including been the commissioner of Religious
Events as well as secretary and commissioner of Student Affairs.

Through Student Government, she does community outreach like helping out at the parish food pantry and working with her first grade “buddy.”

“On Fridays, we sit with our ‘buddy’ at Mass and help them with various school projects,” she added.

Fu has exhibited academic excellence throughout her St. Irenaeus career. She has won such awards as the Eagle Award (twice), the Sister Anne Broderick Award (twice), and the Reading Award (twice).

Her broad list of academic awards comes with an equally broad list of favorite subjects.

“My favorite subjects can change every day,” she said. “Right now, it is English and the reading of ‘The Book Thief.'”

Many role models have influenced Fu’s life.

“My grandmother is adventurous,” she said. “My parents are smart and kind and all of the teachers at St. Irenaeus. I love them so much and learn many things from each of them.”

Fu feels proud of the many academic opportunities she’s been offered at school as well as the many good people she’s been able to grow relationships with there.

Of her classmates, whom she refers to as a second family, she said: “We are close-knit, and everyone is easy to interact with when we work together.”

St. Irenaeus Catholic School uses the “Learning, Believing and Serving Together” motto to guide students’ educational paths. This motto shapes each of their student’s spiritual and academic journey. During her time at this school, Mya David Fu has fully embraced this motto in her journey and has connected to all members of the St. Irenaeus family along the way.