“What does it mean to be a Marauder?”: Teachers weigh in on the complex

In 1963, Jesuit High School Sacramento’s mascot was chosen to be the Marauders when the school was founded. This fall the significance and meaning of that mascot was explored by various perspectives within the Jesuit Community  — each member asked a variation of “In 2020, what does it mean to you to be a Marauder?” In this edition, teachers reflect on the different ways 2020 has challenged being a Marauder. 

At Jesuit High School Sacramento, teachers are not just instructors of education, they are role models. From world languages to theology, educators across academic departments provide their personal insight on what it is to be and act as a Marauder, connecting its full message and impact as a reflection of the school’s motto, “Men for Others” and parallel characteristics that are a part of Jesuit’s core values. 

“Being a Marauder means being self-aware and informed, about one’s gifts and privilege,” said World Language Department Chair Ms. Lesile Willison. “It means showing compassion and care to others, especially to those who are suffering. It means accompanying others.” 

Math Teacher Ms. Kimberly Pell also relates a Marauder to the act of service and discusses what she hopes students take away from her classes. 

“I think being a Marauder is about using your skills to serve others,” shared Ms. Kimberly Pell. “As a math teacher, I encourage my students to figure out ways they can use engineering, science, or math careers to help make the world a better place. Those may not sound like ‘helping’ careers, but when you consider fields like biomedical engineering, alternative energy development, or environmental protection, you will see they certainly can be!”

Mr. Jon Witucki, a Latin and English instructor, cites a Latin proverb as he muses what it is to be a true Marauder in this unprecedented year. 

“During these troubled times, besieged as we are on all fronts, the true Marauder will conduct himself responsibly and with great consideration,” Mr. Witucki said. “Being considerate entails putting another’s needs before one’s own. All Marauders should be following the suggested protocols carefully and with good judgment. As Cicero once stated in his treatise on the debilitating onslaught of old age: Non viribus aut velocitate aut celeritate corporum res magnae geruntur sed consilio, auctorotate, sententia (De Senectute 17). ‘Great affairs are carried on not by strength or speed or swiftness of body, but by plan, by authority, and by sound judgment.’”

Father Perry Petrich S.J., who joins the Jesuit community this year as a freshmen teacher and priest, associates the school’s mascot as a testament to character, which has shown new depth during COVID-19. 

“It means to be generous, caring, and resilient,” Fr. Petrich answered. “In these crazy and awful times, we live out God’s mercy toward each other as we are all pushed to our limits. And it seems, somehow, that a lot of us are hopeful, so that’s cool too.”

English Department Chair Mrs. Jennifer Borasi identifies the characteristics that have defined what it means to be a Marauder this year. 

“In 2020, being a Marauder seems to mean being resilient and adaptable,” Mrs. Borasi said. “This year has presented countless challenges, but the students have been patient, flexible and understanding as they adjust to everything looking and feeling different. I think it’s impressive that the Marauder spirit has thrived and the school community has found creative ways to connect and inspire each other.”

As a Theology Teacher and Coordinator for Adult Faith Formation, Mr. Patrick Brabec discusses the nuances of meaning across his roles and the relation 2020 has to being a Marauder.

“[B]eing a Marauder, for me, first and foremost means being on mission with Jesus Christ,” Mr. Brabec said. “During this time of COVID-19 and racial injustice in particular, being a Marauder means providing individualized care for each student as they navigate the stresses and challenges of hybrid learning this year.”

“Furthermore it means making better and more intentional efforts at creating and maintaining a more inclusive classroom for all as called for in the Gospel and Catholic Social Teaching,” Mr. Brabec added. “And finally, as Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation, it means caring for and supporting our faculty and staff to participate in this same mission of Jesuit High School in whichever capacity they serve here.”

For teachers, being a Marauder is about character and the ability to be adaptable has emerged from this pandemic as an integral component of the Jesuit community. While 2020 has been a difficult journey for all, fortitude and resilience have surged beyond the classroom  — a testament that the Marauder spirit spans beyond the sacred walls of Jesuit High School.