Story by Erin Foley
"For us, Catholic education is synonymous with excellence in education.” -- Jeff Enlow, SHG parent

The Enlow Family - Sacred Heart Griffin High School
                                                                                   photo by Ed Clark

A handful of words defines what matters most to the Enlow family. Tradition, community, gratitude and laughter shape their daily lives.

Jeff and his wife Nancy (Sgro) Enlow are lifelong residents of Springfield. Both grew up in the North End in large Catholic families. At one time or another, their combined families have had students in attendance at 12 Catholic educational institutions, most in Springfield: three grade schools (St. Agnes, St. Joseph, and St. Aloysius); four high schools (Griffin, Ursuline, Sacred Heart Academy , and SHG); and five colleges (Springfield College, St. John’s College of Nursing, University of Notre Dame, St. Mary’s College, and University of Dayton).

“For us, Catholic education is synonymous with excellence in education” Jeff says. In particular, he feels that SHG’s “rigorous preparatory curriculum and nurturing spiritual environment” are second to none.

Jeff is the LRS Web Solutions Manager at Levi, Ray and Shoup, Inc. and a graduate of St. Aloysius School (1982), Griffin High School (1986) and Springfield College (1988). In 1990, he earned a B.S. in Graphic Design from Illinois State University. Jeff’s mother, two brothers and three sisters also attended Springfield Catholic schools.

Nancy works as an accountant at Alterna-Care Home Health System. She graduated from St Joseph School in 1983, Sacred Heart Academy in 1987, and Springfield College in 1989, and earned her B.S. in Accounting in 1991 from Illinois State University. Her father, mother and three brothers graduated from several Springfield Catholic schools.

Jeff and Nancy have been members of St. Agnes parish for 20 years. All four of their children have been servers there, and have been consecutively enrolled at St. Agnes School for 15 years. The youngest, Michael, is 12 and in sixth grade.

Jeff is a Eucharistic Minister, past member of the St. Agnes School Annual Fund Committee, and current member of its Marketing and Enrollment Committee. He is also Vice-Chair of SHG’s Board of Directors. Nancy has volunteered as a room mother, Parents’ Club treasurer, Share the Word minister & coordinator, and Girl Scout leader.

Oldest sibling, Sydney is 20 and a graduate of SHG. She is currently a sophomore at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Haley (17) is a senior and Alison (15) is a sophomore, both at SHG.

“There was never any question as to where our kids would attend high school. Not only are the academics at SHG unmatched in the Springfield area, but my wife and I are always amazed at how helpful and caring the faculty and staff are” says Jeff.

Alison, Haley and Sydney have all enjoyed math and science classes at SHG, as well as Tom Lavin’s history classes. All have been active in student government, and Alison and Haley are student ambassadors. Sydney was involved in cheerleading and JV softball; Haley has participated in cheerleading, poms and track; and Alison is on the track team. In the future, Michael, who plays basketball at St. Agnes, will carry on the family tradition of attending SHG and playing sports there.

“At SHG, they truly want the kids to succeed at the next level and it shows” Jeff continues. SHG students have the highest average ACT scores in the area and an astounding 98% of its graduates go on to college.

“While there is no question that SHG is a strict, college preparatory environment, it’s also a family. Attend any school event and you’re likely to see dozens (even hundreds) of friendly, familiar faces…and they’re not just current parents. The amazing thing about SHG is that its community spans multiple generations. ‘Cyclone Nation’ isn’t just a term for the football fans. It’s a network of devoted alumni spread across the country, who are determined to continue the school’s mission. We are truly honored to be a part of the incredible tradition at that school” says Jeff.

“The seven Springfield Catholic grade schools and SHG are both a blessing for our community and a wonderful gift from those who came before us” Jeff says. “Being aware of the sacrifice that our parents made to send us to these wonderful schools only strengthens our desire to pass on that gift to future generations.”

“We learned a lot from our parents” he continues. “We were blessed to have them guide us to adulthood and we’ve tried to emulate them in many ways. Of course, we have our own style, but we can never forget how much they taught us and how important it is to pass those lessons on.”

Nancy and Jeff really enjoy spending time with their kids, and laughter is always a by-product of that time spent together.

“We may not be perfect parents” says Jeff “and we don’t have perfect kids, but we all really enjoy each other’s company.”

Whether it’s “cracking each other up,” watching Survivor, squeezing in as many family vacations as possible before the kids are grown up, or just hanging around in the family room, these rituals have created new traditions that the Enlows cherish and will one day happily pass on.

We now have past stories ready for viewing.


St. Aloysius
Blessed Sacrament
  Christ the King
Click on a school logo to link to that school's web site.

Sacred Heart-Griffin

St. Agnes  
Little Flower 
St. Patrick