About Me

My name is Phil Drey and welcome to Curriculum Resources for Catholic Educators! This website has taken over two years of my life to put together, starting from its initial concept, piecing together different parts and ideas obtained from talking with and listening to various people, and down to its current state of development. The “last” piece to this puzzle is an “About” page – the one part of this website’s creation I dreaded the most but also one that might be the most important to its success!

About Me

I have always found the world of high school education fascinating, with the chance to challenge and shape the minds of young people. To give this opportunity even greater depth, assisting in the formation of a Catholic teenager in his/her relationship with God is truly significant. I’ve been fortunate to joy this incredible opportunity at Xavier High School, Cedar Rapids, IA. And I’m not alone in this challenge – and that is the purpose of this website.

My personal education background started with my parents, both incredibly devout Roman Catholics. I attended a Catholic grade and middle school (Holy Spirit School, Carroll, IA), a Catholic high school (Kuemper High School – now Kuemper  Catholic – in the same town), and a Catholic university (University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, IN).

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor’s degree in History, I was very fortunate to be accepted into the graduate program of Andrews University (Berrien Springs, MI). There, I received Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Biblical (Syro-Palestinian) Archaeology and Biblical Languages.

In 1998, I was hired as a theology teacher by Jeff Henderson, the then-principal of Xavier High School, and given the chance to shape the minds of the next generation of Catholics. I have been at Xavier ever since.

Now, why should you care what I say? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • I have been educating and engaging high school students for 15 years and counting.
  • I have presented at several teacher meetings about how to actively engage grade through high school students regarding their faith in any academic area.
  • I have co-created a high school apologetics course called “Why Am I Catholic” that has been adopted by three other Catholic high schools in Iowa.
  • I have overseen the implementation of the USCCB Curriculum Framework at Xavier High School as Theology Department Chair.
  • I have participated in several Diocese of Dubuque committees regarding the implementation of the USCCB Curriculum Framework in Catholic high schools as well as diocesan parishes.
  • I have been assigned the responsibility of incorporating Catholicity across the curriculum at Xavier High School according to its Visioning Project.

About the Website

The last three points are the origin of this website and its overarching philosophy. At Xavier High School, I have had the distinct pleasure of watching and working with many very devoted and ingenious Catholic educators. I have learned so much regarding how to engage a Catholic teenager in an academic area but also how to develop and deepen their faith and relationship with God. One part of this website is how to accomplish this goal on a daily basis. In a Catholic high school, every educator is a catechist for the Catholic Church, not just the educators in the Theology Department. We are all in this together – the educating of the next generation of Catholics is an awesome responsibility and one that includes the entire high school! To that end, this website provides resources assisting high school teachers in their pursuit of bringing Catholic faith into their classrooms by incorporating Catholicity beyond an opening prayer or journal reflection. How can Math teachers use quadratic equations to teach the Catholic faith? How can Art teachers use clay to increase their students understanding of Trinity? Allowing teachers of the same subject area to assist other teachers of the same academic areas with incorporating Catholicity into their curriculum is one of the purposes of this website: By Catholic Educators; For Catholic Educators!

In addition, this website is for teachers specifically working in religious education, whether that is in the parish or in the high school. With the implementation of the USCCB Curriculum Framework in high schools and in local parishes, the question concerning best pedagogy is being asked. Teacher manuals have been written and are very useful. However, as a teacher of 15 years, I know how limited teacher manuals can be as they do not speak specifically to the uniqueness of my classes and of my students. They also may include assessments of certain textbook parts but ignore a different part of the textbook that I personally may want to emphasize. This website offers curriculum resources of the USCCB Curriculum Framework written by teachers like you and I for high school Theology teachers and parish catechists: By Catholic Educators; For Catholic Educators!

Another feature of this website is online forums, allowing all teachers of parishes and high schools to communicate with each other. The forums will allow educators from across the country to collaborate on lesson plans or to discuss issues in specific academic areas with their colleagues. Plus, in my years of high school teaching, I have always found it fascinating how separated high school teachers and parish catechists seem to be. And yet, we are teaching the same generation of Catholics. We are all in this together!  If we possess the ability to learn from, collaborate with, and assist each other in developing the best curriculum resources to teach the USCCB Curriculum Framework and to bring Catholicity into all academic areas, then the quality of the education for the next generation of Catholics is strengthened.

Please enjoy this website, and I truly hope it assists you in becoming the best educator of the next generation of Catholic young people!