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Saints on the Hill: Familiar Face Shares Her Feelings with Students

Saints on the Hill: Familiar Face Shares Her Feelings with Students

Every Canterbury student who goes through the meal line in the dining hall knows Luz Burns. She greets them enthusiastically, serves delicious food, and always has a warm smile. And recently, she brought that warmth to Maguire Auditorium for a Saints on the Hill presentation.

It was clear from her talk that Luz has a strong bond with our Saints, and she was eager to let them know just how strong. “As I was thinking about what I wanted to share with you, I was remembering a speech that Rachel Stone gave,” Luz said. “She was talking about the Saints promise and our five values—honesty, respect, compassion, spirituality, and self-reliance.”

Those values resonated with Luz, and she thought of ways she could not only practice them but pass them on to students she encountered each day. Honesty was an easy one—“I promise to honestly tell you what you should and should not eat,” she proclaimed, drawing laughter from the audience. Luz also stated that she and the staff are always very respectful to students on the line, and they return that respect in kind.

Showing compassion comes easily for Luz, who seems to sense when a student is feeling down or under the weather, and spirituality has always been important to her. “My faith is number one, and I know that we have that here at Canterbury too,” she said. 

Imparting the last value, self-reliance, required some self-reflection from Luz. “That was the one that made me wonder how I could apply it from the kitchen here,” she shared. “I remember growing up in our apartment in the Bronx, sitting at our dining room table practicing basic words and sentences with my mother because she did not speak English. She was then able to go out and provide for her family. That was a very profound moment for me.”

Luz came to realize she could do the same thing for students at Canterbury. “I know all of our students have to take a foreign language,” she explained. “So I decided I could help them with that. I want them to feel empowered to use their foreign language. The world we are living in today is very diverse. It is comforting for people who come from abroad when you can say a simple word to them—‘Hola! Hello! Bonjour!’ I don’t remember my French very well, but I’m practicing with Mr. Lord and all of our French students.”

Luz closed by sharing how exceedingly grateful she is to be a part of the hilltop family. “You are all fantástico, and I want you to make every day in your life a great day,” she said. “I am a proud mother of four, a very proud daughter, a good friend, and I feel like a wonderful member of this Canterbury community. Thank you!”