Graduate column: Erin Hargrove


Erin Hargrove maintains that her parents sent her to a Catholic school because of the experiences Hargrove’s mother had as a Catholic school student. For those same reasons, Hargrove and her husband, Bryce, chose a Catholic education for their two sons.

“My mother was part of a nice, close-knit community, and she wanted to give me the same thing,” said Hargrove, who, along with her siblings, attended Catholic schools from kindergarten to eighth grade. She graduated from Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School in Maplewood in 1993. “The idea of making sure that I was able to go through the process of receiving the sacraments and a foundation in my faith was incredibly important to my parents,” said Hargrove.

For her sons, Hargrove found the same intimate community her parents sought — and she experienced — years ago at Presentation. There, Logan is in first grade, and Milo is in preschool.

“I had 42 students in my class, and now I’m 36 years old, and I still keep in touch with over half of them,” said Hargrove, a learning account executive in government digital communications. “Having that cohesive community for so many years as I grew up truly shaped who I am — personally, professionally, as a parent and in my marriage.”

Hargrove believes the small class sizes at Presentation not only provided her with a caring community, but they also gave her the space in which to grow and flourish.

“I was one of 42 voices, and I could see and affect change, something that was incredibly valuable to me and something that I sought in my professional career,” said Hargrove, who has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in organizational leadership and strategic management from St. Catherine University in St. Paul. “Everything is different when you feel as though you can make a difference and you’re not just one of many.”

The Hargroves chose Catholic education to provide their children with opportunities to build relationships within a faith community.

“Our decision was based on the relationships that I have held on to from my own time in Catholic school. I cannot imagine not

giving that opportunity to my kids,” Hargrove said. “It makes me very happy and comfortable to know that even though my sons have only been in the school for the last couple of years, I know the names and parents of over half of the kids in the school. We all know each other to a deeper level than I ever could have imagined that we would have in any other situation.”

Hargrove regularly volunteers as a library reader in Logan’s class and serves on several school committees. In the spring, she coaches her son’s baseball team and cheers on several different sports teams.

“I’m very happy that we made the decision to enroll Logan and Milo into Presentation, and I know that they will receive the same experience that I did,” Hargrove said. “Walking around, it still feels like I’m home.”

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