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From Catholic Schools to CBS News

on Wednesday, 02 February 2011.

Byron Pitts Champions Catholic Schools

Byron Pitts, CBS news correspondent and 60 Minutes contributor, is a Catholic school champion.

Mr. Pitts grew up in East Baltimore, the youngest of three children, and he struggled mightily in school.  By the time he was in second grade, his mother -- a strong, disciplined woman of deep faith -- saw that he was not getting the attention he needed in public school and moved him to St. Katherine’s, a Catholic school. 

Of that school, Mr. Pitts writes in his book Step Out on Nothing, “Most of the teachers were nuns. They treated me well. The strict discipline only seemed like an extension of [my mother’s] rules.  It was actually comforting to be in a school where nearly everyone was afraid of breaking the rules. There were never any more than 12 to 15 kids in a class. …There was a great emphasis on prayer and discipline. Reading, writing, and arithmetic seemed like second tier priorities…in this new environment, being polite was no longer enough to get by” (23).

Today Mr. Pitts is an energetic proponent of Catholic schools, serving as a member of Baltimore’s Archdiocesan Catholic School Board.  He appreciates the sacrifices many parents have to make to send their kids to Catholic schools, saying, “My mother was a single parent, a social worker making a modest living. ... She had to borrow from friends and family, and there were times when other bills went unpaid so she could pay for my tuition. But I thank God that my mother had the courage of her convictions and knew the value of a Catholic education. … I thank God she made the choice she did."

Find Byron Pitts' book, Step Out On Nothing: How faith and family helped me conquer life's challenges, here.

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