January 25, 2008

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

Making their mark: 20 reasons to celebrate Catholic schools

Physical improvements at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis reflect recent efforts at high schools across the archdiocese to make the campuses better for students. Roncalli added a fine arts center. (Submitted photo)

Click to download a larger version of this list (as it appeared in our print edition).

Story by John Shaughnessy, design by Ann Sternberg

In their emphasis on faith, service and quality education, Catholic schools in the archdiocese have left their mark in the past year. Here are 20 reasons to celebrate Catholic schools, teachers, students and administrators in the archdiocese. (Download a PDF version of this list)

  1. Two Catholic high schools in the archdiocese won Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) state championships in the fall of 2007. Bishop Chatard High School in Indianapolis won the 3A state championship in football, tying a record with its ninth state championship in the sport. Cathedral High School in Indianapolis won the state championship in girls’ soccer.
  2. Twenty-five of the 71 Catholic schools in the archdiocese have now earned recognition as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. No other diocese in the country has matched that distinction.
  3. In 2007, St. Pius X School in Indianapolis was selected as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.
  4. In the spring of 2007, the softball team at Father Thomas Scecina Memorial High School in Indianapolis won the IHSAA 2A state championship while the Cathedral baseball team won the IHSAA 4A state championship.
  5. For her lifelong dedication to Catholic education and the Church, Annette “Mickey” Lentz will receive the 2008 F. Sadlier Dinger Award during the National Catholic Educational Association Convention in Indianapolis in March. As the archdiocese’s executive director of Catholic Education and Faith Formation, Lentz has served for 46 years as a teacher, principal and administrator.
  6. In the past 12 years, about $3.9 million has been raised to provide need-based scholarships for economically disadvantaged students to attend schools in the archdiocese. The money has benefited more than 4,000 students.
  7. The Catholic high school graduation rate in the archdiocese is 97 percent.
  8. Three individuals from Catholic high schools in the archdiocese were chosen as part of the Role Model Program of the Indiana High School Athletic Association for the 2007-08 school year: Ellen Alerding of Bishop Chatard, Katie Zupancic of Cathedral and Ivie Obeime of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, all in Indianapolis.
  9. Susan McGregor of St. Simon the Apostle School in Indianapolis is one of 12 teachers from across the U.S to receive the 2008 Distinguished Teacher Award from the Department of Elementary Schools of the National Catholic Educational Association.
  10. About 94 percent of Catholic high school graduates in the archdiocese attend college.
  11. In the 2007 Bridge Building Competition at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis for junior high students, teams from St. Thomas Aquinas School in Indianapolis earned first-place honors in each of the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade divisions.
  12. Immaculate Heart of Mary School principal Annette Jones of Indianapolis was chosen to participate in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. As part of the program, she traveled to Finland and Ireland in the fall of 2007.
  13. In the ISTEP—Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress—students in the archdiocese continue to improve at significant rates. Scores for archdiocesan students range above state averages by 14 percent in third grade to 25 percent in 10th grade.
  14. This year, Seton Catholic High School, which opened in 2002, will reach another landmark for Catholic education in Richmond. The 2008 graduating class will be the school’s first class to be together from seventh grade through grade 12.
  15. In August, about 100 students entered the first class of Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis, the latest school in a national network that is building a reputation for helping students from low-income families through a work-study program that is challenging lives.
  16. Roncalli High School volleyball coach Kathy Nalley-Schembra became the second coach in the history of Indiana high school volleyball to surpass 900 wins. In 36 years of coaching, she has won 911 games.
  17. Enrollment in the Indianapolis center-city Catholic grade schools—known as the Mother Theodore Catholic Academies—increased for the 2007-08 school year by about 170 students.
  18. Cardinal Ritter principal Jo Hoy has been chosen as one of six people in the country to receive the Catholic Secondary Education Award from the National Catholic Educational Association.
  19. Bishop Chatard students raised more than $29,000 for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis through the school’s dance marathon program. The programs at Cathedral and Roncalli each raised about $10,000.
  20. Ben Ivers, a member of St. Christopher Parish in Indianapolis and a senior at Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis, was selected as Indiana’s male winner of the 2007 Wendy’s high school Heisman Award. The program “recognizes the nation’s most esteemed high school senior men and women for excellence in academics, athletics and community/school involvement.”†

Local site Links: