January 17, 2019. Our program
featured Dr. Brooke Tesche, the Deputy Superintendent of Education for the Diocese of Allentown. She told us of her long-standing desire to establish a school for students recovering from substance abuse and addiction.
There are a number of these schools operating in the US but there is a high rate of recidivism associated with existing programs. Brooke's idea was to utilize existing methods but add a strong component of faith. She believes that the addition of this missing ingredient will make a big difference in the success rate. She is now leading the way in establishing a positive, Christ-centered school here in the Lehigh Valley. The result is Kolbe Academy, named after St. Maximillian Kolbe who is the patron saint of amateur radio operators, drug addicts, political prisoners, families, journalists, prisoners, and the pro-life movement. The school's vision is to transform and restore the lives of students in recovery so they may fulfill God's plan for their lives. Their phoenix-adorned logo represents the transformation available to their students. The purple and blue colors represent recovery and the blessed mother.
Principal John Petruzzelli explained that the school is open to 91'1 through 12lh grade students that have completed a minimum of 30 days of treatment. The capacity is estimated at 90 students and annual tuition is about $15,000. The tuition can be minimal compared to the cost of treatments. There will be no expulsions for relapses; these will be treated as teachable moments. The school is obviously centered on their Catholic identity but students of all faiths are welcome. The hope is to have Kolbe Academy up and running in the Fall of 2019.