When Father Ryan began as the Nashville Catholic School for Boys, it drew its student body from the proud immigrant population of the city. Since many of those families were Irish Catholics, it wasn’t long before the school was given the nickname “Irish High” by sportswriters and city leaders.
It was the pride in this heritage that prompted the naming of Father Ryan’s first yearbook as The Emerald. The Emerald House is named to honor those first families and the foundation they helped lay for the growth of Father Ryan High School.
Emerald implies a sense of value and worth and has the connotation of being precious and rare. Traditionally, emeralds encourage growth, reflection, peace and balance, all characteristics of the Father Ryan student.
Andrew “Andy” Cupit, Jr. joined Father Ryan in August of 2012, and is truly excited to be Head of Emerald House. He began as a math teacher working with students in Algebra 1, College Algebra and Trigonometry, and Introduction to College Algebra.
In 2014, Mr. Cupit was named as the Technology Integration Specialist, and was tasked with helping Father Ryan faculty, staff, and students with technology use on campus. He has worked closely with all departments to develop online learning solutions, 3D printing, Microsoft Office, wireless classroom technologies, and more. Mr. Cupit is still excited by teaching and discovering Mathematics in Algebra II Honors and Financial Algebra.
After receiving his degree from Loyola University New Orleans, Mr. Cupit began working at his alma mater, St. Charles Catholic High School in LaPlace, LA. His roles included Alumni Relations Coordinator, Admissions Director, and Development Director. Mr. Cupit then went on to become the Director and Franchisee for a national tutoring company. After working with students to improve ACT scores at the learning center, Mr. Cupit entered the classroom and taught Calculus and College Algebra. He transitioned to full-time teaching the year before moving to Nashville with his family.
Mr. Cupit is a member of the International Society for Technology in Education, a Microsoft Innovative Educator, and has attended many conferences covering Mathematics Education, Technology, and the House System. He has been a member of several different committees at Father Ryan including the Strategic Planning Steering Committee, House System Implementation Committee, and the Identity focus group for the House System.
Mr. Cupit loves spending time with his wife, three children, and new puppy. A self-proclaimed geek, he enjoys reading science fiction and fantasy, playing board games, English Premier League Football (soccer), and all things Star Wars.
Feast Day: July 14 Patron Saint of the Environment and Ecology, People in Exile and Native Americans
St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656 to a Christian Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father in what is now New York. Her name is the Mohawk form of Catherine, which she took from St. Catherine of Siena.
As a four-year-old, she contracted smallpox, which scarred her skin. The scars were a source of humiliation in her youth; she was commonly seen wearing a blanket to hide her face. Her vision suffered greatly. Even more tragically, her family died during the outbreak. Kateri was subsequently raised by her uncle, the chief of a Mohawk clan.
At age twenty, Kateri Tekakwitha was baptized and later took a vow of chastity, pledging to marry only Jesus. Her decision was very unpopular with her adoptive parents and their neighbors. They punished her by giving her more work to do, but she did not give in.
To avoid persecution, she eventually moved to a Christian community near Montreal.
While there, Kateri was known as a skilled worker, who was diligent and patient, and for her steadfast devotion. However, she was also very sickly. She became ill and passed away at age twenty-four, on April 17, 1680. When she died, the scars on her face disappeared. Likewise, during the research for her canonization, in 2006, a young boy who had contracted a flesh-eating bacteria was cured after his parents prayed for the intercession of Kateri.
Kateri reminds us that despite ailments, persecution, loss, and adversity, we can still go on to do great things and to live as a witness to the Gospel.