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A Message from Sara Hayes, Dean of Academics


ach year I grow more proud of the accomplishments of our students and of the commitment of our faculty and administration to helping these young men and women succeed. In this magazine we shed light on some of the various ways our students are achieving remarkable things at Father Ryan. No matter the interest level, no matter the subject and no matter the academic level, these young men and women are exploring the realms of knowledge and preparing themselves for an exceptional future. Our students are studying and accomplishing in the classroom while they also are playing sports, performing in the band, testing their talents in a variety of visual and performing arts and living out a life of service. You’ll see examples of this throughout this piece; know that for every one that you see here, there are dozens more doing equally exceptional work. We recognize that the scope of knowledge changes. That’s why we are constantly evaluating and adding courses and teaching techniques to make the academic experience more rewarding. We’ve added courses like Accounting to better prepare students for the business world, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Civil Rights and Beyond: Nashville, the South and Social Justice. All of these classes, plus 25 AP classes, inspire our students to broaden their interests in their studies and succeed. I invite you to review these accomplishments and discover again how our students and faculty are making a difference at Father Ryan, and how, through their academic achievements, they are continuing our tradition of Faith, Knowledge and Service. 1

The Sky Is the Limit for Father Ryan Students F

ather Ryan has always served as a leader in the educational community. Whether it is being the first school in the nation to receive dual accreditation*, the first to integrate in Tennessee or the only private school in Nashville to offer five academic course levels, a quality educational experience is a top priority. Its rich history in educating young men and women from every background has elevated Father Ryan into one of the premier Catholic high schools in the country. Acceptance into Father Ryan is not based on academic skills. In fact, Father Ryan prides itself in welcoming students with a wide range of academic abilities. That is why the school offers five levels of academic courses (Fundamentals, College Prep, Advanced, Honors and AP) to suit the needs of its students. With over 160 courses, including 25 AP subjects across all disciplines, there is an abundance of options for students to receive an education that both challenges them and fits their interests and abilities.

Outside of the classroom, students can expand their skills in Science Olympiad, swimming, Dance Team, Mock Trial or the Respect Life Club—just a small representation of extracurriculars open to students. It is not unusual for many students to take a couple of AP classes and be a member of a varsity sport, an honor society and a service club. The magnitude of possibilities is only surpassed by the level of student achievement. Since 2005, Father Ryan students have earned 26 perfect scores in areas on the ACT and SAT; 49 students have earned recognition from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation; and 562 students have served on diocesan SEARCH teams. Students reached new heights of achievement this past year. Among the highlights: the Multi-Cultural Student Union hosted a Civil Rights Panel in honor of Black History Month;

Father Ryan hosted the Nashville Special Olympics events on campus; the Father Ryan Marching Band was chosen as one of 11 bands in the country for the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; Father Ryan broke the record for the largest youth-organized Relay for Life in the country. Next year will bring new triumphs for Father Ryan. The school will continue with what it does best—preparing its young men and women to succeed beyond the classrooms, and with the help of its dedicated faculty and staff, will enrich the lives of its community.

*Father Ryan is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).


Their Paths to College Paved Faith, Knowledge and


octor , architect , musician , teacher , engineer , actor , service volunteer . of paths that

F ather R yan

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students take is endless , but they all share the same quality

education — one built on the values of faith , knowledge and service .

T hese

values propel

and guide all of our students beyond graduation to follow their dreams and find success no matter the path .

Robert Forster has successfully balanced a challenging academic course load, including AP Calculus, with the demanding schedule of the varsity soccer team and still made time to earn his Eagle Scout award. He also served as the co-chair for Relay Robert Forster for Life and was a member of the leadership team for Special Olympics this year. For his level of service to the community, he was inducted into the St. Vincent de Paul Service Society. Alexis McCluney has excelled across many fields of interest in her time at Father Ryan. She is a member of the nationally recognized band, a varsity lacrosse player and a Eucharistic Minister. Service is also close to heart—she volunteered for this year’s largest service event, Relay for Life.

Alexis McCluney

As president of the MultiCultural Student Union, Herasanna Richards spearheaded the Civil Rights Panel during Black History Month. For her work with the student union, she received the prestigious Princeton Prize in Race Relations. She is also musically Herasanna Richards inclined—she plays in the band, studies AP Music Theory and earned the lead in Father Ryan’s musical, Once on This Island. During her senior year, she was inducted into the St. Vincent de Paul Service Society.


As a transfer student, Rachel Deutsch joined Father Ryan her sophomore year, but she quickly adjusted to her new surroundings. She went on to become an AllAmerican athlete in swimming and was part of the team who broke the women’s Freestyle Relay record at the state championship.

Rachel Deutsch

Tommy Natcher received the Christian Service Award as a senior exemplifying service in his every day life. Tommy is a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Respect Life Club, a Eucharistic Minister and a student ambassador. His dedication to service is Tommy Natcher evident—he has participated in three Alternative Spring Breaks and is a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Service Society. He also makes time for daily Mass while managing his academic and service activities. This senior class has already demonstrated an infinite amount of leadership and academic success. Four students have been honored by National Merit, one as a Finalist. A total of 152 students took at least one of 20 AP exams this year in addition to other courses at the college-level. Colleges were impressed, too. The Class of 2011 earned $14.8 million in scholarships and acceptances to some of the most prestigious schools in the country, including Wake Forest, Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon, The Citadel, Duke, UVA and Boston College. Although the members of the Class of 2011 will embark on many unknown paths, their experiences at Father Ryan will enable them to reap success in whatever they choose.

The Cum Laude Society

with Service Students Earn Credit for College Setting a national standard among Catholic schools is no easy feat. Father Ryan has always prided itself on the academic abilities of its students, who continue to shine in the national spotlight. The administration and faculty work to develop academic achievement in all its students and prepare them for higher education. As a result, Father Ryan students consistently attain high scores in standardized testing like the ACT and SAT. AP courses challenge students with year-long, collegelevel study on a specific subject. The preparation these courses 1st Decile 31 provide enables students to pursue upper level courses in 2nd Decile 29 college at an earlier stage, 3rd-4th Decile 26 furthering their interests and 5th-6th Decile 24 expanding their educational opportunities. 7th-8th Decile 22 Beginning with the 20119th-10th Decile 20 2012 academic year, Father Ryan will offer 25 AP courses, five more than last year. The new AP offerings include Calculus BC, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, English Language and World History. The latter course will be offered to freshmen as a two-year commitment where students will be introduced to the high level of academic expectation. By the second semester of the first year, students will begin working in the AP curriculum, followed by the full curriculum during the second year. For the past five years, the number of AP exams has increased and the pass rate—a grade of 3 or higher—has remained a constant 80 percent or above, with many students earning college credit for their scores. It’s a story of academic success that reflects the academic challenges our students embrace.

Class Rank Deciles

2010 Average ACT*

Academic Year

Number of Exams

Pass Rate
















*Because both the State of Tennessee and Father Ryan are ACT dominant institutions, only 40% of our seniors choose to take the SAT. For this reason, we have chosen to include only the ACT scores to give a view of the entire class.

The Cum Laude Society is the most prestigious academic society for secondary schools in the world. Father Ryan’s chapter began in 2003, making it one of only four schools in Nashville and the only Catholic high school with a Cum Laude Society chapter. Membership is based on weighted grade point average, nationally normed test scores and strength of curriculum. The top 20 percent of the senior class and ten percent of the junior class are considered for membership annually. Twenty-three seniors and 22 juniors received the honor this year. Seniors inducted, not including the 13 from last year, were Thomas Anderson, Andrew Ariola, Jessica Benenson, Rhodes Bolster, Katie Bontrager, Amanda Bowlds, Sarah Castilaw, Jake Clifton, Ryan Dahlhauser, Robert Forster, Taylor Hawken, Jacob Lane, Joe Malkiewicz, Anna Marsden, Camille Marsden, Lydia McMeekin, Chizo Obi, Alex Schultheis, Anastasia Sharp, Molly Spining, Cory Stratton, Bonnie Sullivan and Rebecca Wigger. Junior members inducted were Domenic Canonico, Lauren Doyle, Caitlin Faimon, Katie Gromos, EJ Hinlo, Christian Hofstetter, Robert Lindstrom, Josh Little, Maeve McNamee, Sara Menke, Chad Moss, Jimmy Oh, Samantha Palko, Courtney Panther, Catherine Peltier, Jack Quigley, Anna Sharp, Susan Steffenhagen, Ashley Steinmetz, Emma Thoni, Ryan Weiss and Jessica Zic.

Cardinal Newman Association The Cardinal Newman Association recognizes students with an ACT of 30 or higher or SAT of 1320 or higher in math and English. Sixteen seniors and seven juniors were honored this year for their achievements. Seniors inducted, not including the seven from last year, were Alexandra Black, Jessie Benenson, Cameron Burnett, Jake Clifton, Elle Collins, Zach Coode, Ryan Dahlhauser, Parker Garrett, Joe Malkiewicz, Sarah Rolick, Kate Showers, Claire Thoni, Clayton Webb, Andrew Wehby, Dylan Williamson and Emily Young. Juniors inducted were Domenic Canonico, Christian Hofstetter, Matthew Kordowski, Josh Little, Sarah Plantz, Allison Shacklett and Ryan Weiss.

Students Recognized for Outstanding Service The 2010-2011 school year marks the second year for the St. Vincent de Paul Service Society. The society was created to recognize students who have made a commitment to service during their time at Father Ryan. Its namesake, St. Vincent de Paul, serves as a connection between the saint of the poor and students, and also honors the Daughters of Charity, who have worked tirelessly with the poor in the Diocese of Nashville. The St. Vincent de Paul Service Society honored 12 students this year. Members inducted were Margaret Arney, Paula Bagley, Catie Benenson, Jessie Benenson, Robert Forster, Alexis McCluney, Santiago Morrice, Tommy Natcher, Herasanna Richards, Anastasia Sharp, Holly Strebel and Cameron Yunker; senior Graham Englert was inducted last year.


Top Two Students Continue the Irish Tradition


s the end of each school year approaches , speculation about which two seniors will claim the coveted titles of valedictorian and salutatorian begins .

an unwavering commitment to academic excellence .

Luke Wilgenbusch and Graham Englert earn this year’s titles of valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively. These two young men have been exemplary models of Father Ryan’s mission throughout their four years, having embraced Luke Wilgenbusch and excelled in every Valedictorian challenge presented to them. Together they completed 18 AP and 25 honors courses and earned $110,000 in scholarships. Their scholastic achievements, if not surprising, are certainly impressive, but what is most extraordinary about Luke and Graham is their involvement outside of the classroom and the humility they maintain through it all. Luke, a St. Edward parishioner, has had his hand in nearly every activity on campus throughout his high school career. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Cum Laude Society, Mu Alpha Theta and Student Ambassadors. He has experienced success in every endeavor—he is a state champion in Science Olympiad, a third place winner of the Table Tennis Club, a letter winner in men’s lacrosse and an MVP of the Mock Trial team’s regional tournament. Outside of those activities, he earned a Genetic Assays internship where he performed clinical testing for hospitals. Earlier in the year, he received national recognition as a National Merit Commended Student for his performance on the PSAT. What’s more is that he also achieved a perfect score in Math and a perfect score in Reading on the ACT (two years in a row). His writing skills earned him recognition as well with the Sewanee Award for Excellence in Writing. 5

T he

names are never a

surprise to anyone , because the two students who receive the honors have demonstrated

T his

year is no different .

Even with the demands of his academic schedule, Luke still makes time for community service. Always the team player, he helped support his classmates and the American Cancer Society as a volunteer for this year’s Relay for Life, making it the largest youth-led Relay in the country. Faith is also an evident part of his life. He is a middle school leader for Fraternus and a daily communicant at Mass. His activity in the community and the church has helped develop him into a confident yet humble leader among his peers. Graham has also been a paradigm of leadership and service at Father Ryan. His reserved yet driven and self-motivated nature has enabled him to attain success, Graham Englert and it has not gone Salutatorian unnoticed. He was awarded the 2011 Alphonse J. Smith Award, an honor given to a senior who has shown the finest practical application of religious principles in his daily life. Like Luke, he has been heavily involved with his parish, Holy Family, and participates in the LifeTeen program, CYO and the Catholic Heart Work Camp. His community service is equally significant and includes serving on the Mayor’s Youth Council, where he generated the idea for the first Nashville Youth Service Day, and Team Captain for his Relay for Life team. For his service, he was awarded the DAR Good Citizens Award. He is the co-president of the National Honor Society, president of the Spanish Honor Society and member of the Cum Laude Society, Mu Alpha Theta and St. Vincent de

From left: Kate Showers, Graham Englert, Luke Wilgenbusch

Paul Service Society. His test scores have also earned him distinction among his peers. For his achievement on the PSAT, he was among the 1% of high school students in the nation recognized as a National Merit Finalist. He earned a perfect score in Math on the SAT, a perfect Math II subject score and a perfect English score on the ACT. Outside of the classroom, he represents Father Ryan as a student ambassador, a Eucharistic Minister, a Senior Class Representative for the Student Council and member of the Spanish Club, Father Ryan’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the ACE Mentor Program. He’s also an athlete—an MVP lacrosse player and the Assistant Captain of the hockey team who helped the Irish win the 2009 state championship. With the heavy amount of academic and extracurriculars under their belts, these top students will have the capability to pursue excellence beyond Father Ryan and achieve leadership roles in their own communities. “These young men have personified what it is to be a Father Ryan student in every aspect of faith, knowledge and service,” says Jim McIntyre, president. “I am continually impressed with the successes our students achieve each year. Luke and Graham are phenomenal examples of what can be accomplished with hard work and the support of a community of teachers, friends and family.” What Luke and Graham have in common is their dedication in everything they do, whether it be in the classroom or out in the community. They also share the same destination next year. They have both chosen to continue their Catholic education—as well as the Irish tradition—by attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall.

and Quinn O’Heeney.

Students Tip the Scales in National Merit Four more students have been added to the National Merit honoree list this year. Graham Englert was named Finalist and Quinn O’Heeney, Kate Showers and Luke Wilgenbusch were named Commended Students by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for their performances on the Preliminary SAT (PSAT). Since 1996, a total of 208 Father Ryan students have been honored by National Merit. It is not surprising that these students are top performers in their class, not to mention the country. They completed a total of 54 honors and 33 AP classes among them. According to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, of students who take the PSAT, only 2% of students are named Commended Students and 1% are named Finalists each year.

Graduates Seek Catholic College Education Father Ryan’s emphasis on faith, knowledge and service parallels the qualities that Catholic colleges and universities are looking for in their students. This year’s seniors have been accepted to and many are attending the following Catholic colleges: Aquinas College Bellarmine University Belmont Abbey College Boston College Carroll College Catholic University of America Fairfield University Franciscan University Gannon University John Carroll University Loyola University of Chicago

Loyola University of New Orleans Marquette University Marymount University Spring Hill College St. Louis University St. Mary’s College University of Dallas University of Dayton University of Notre Dame Xavier University 6

Academic Highlights Education For The “Net Generation”


he speed at which today’s technology evolves is lightning fast, and as technology changes, so does the way we learn. Adapting to the needs of 21st century learners is a challenge that educators everywhere face—and one that Father Ryan is taking head on. A decade ago, it was hard to imagine that textbooks would ever become an archaic means of learning, something equivalent to the antiquated abacus. But the reality is that the academic environment is moving towards a more accessible and tech-friendly form of learning, and one that caters to all learning abilities. The advent of e-readers is one such example. In 2009, Father Ryan introduced Amazon’s Kindle to its Cooperative Support Program. The handheld device can store up to 1,500 books and is a backpack-friendly alternative at only 10.3 ounces. The Kindle operates just like a regular book—highlighting, bookmarking and note-taking are all options—but its audio capabilities have been the biggest hit among students. Those who reap the most benefit from this element tend to be auditory learners (as opposed to visual or tactile learners). With its text-to-speech feature, users can listen to the text much like books on tape. What’s more, they can also control the speed of the audio while following along to the print text. “Students who read at a slower pace really benefit from this feature,” says Academic Dean Sara Hayes. “They can customize the Kindle to fit their learning needs.” Because of the Kindles’ rising popularity among the student body, the school decided to increase the number to 20. Any student can check one out in the library, not just those in Cooperative or Academic Support. “The kids love them,” says Ms. Hayes. “The Kindles have been wonderful for our students in providing them the best possible academic experience.”


One of Father Ryan’s strongest developments over the past year has been the number of interactive whiteboards in the classroom. Similar to a projector, an image from a computer is projected onto the whiteboard where the teacher or student can use a finger or stylus to control the computer and write. The boards also capture what is written and record it to a digital file. First incorporated into the math and science labs, the boards have become a useful tool in the classroom, benefiting both students and teachers. Calculus teacher Doug Bontrager uses his board every day and has noticed the difference in how he teaches. “[The interactive whiteboard] has helped me be more organized for each class,” he explains. “I can also look back and make sure that I have covered all the material I felt was important.” Math teacher Janet Tate is also a daily user of her whiteboard. “My interactive board has changed the way I teach. Because my notes will be online, I present my examples constantly thinking about how it will look and be interpreted by an absent student.” Her students love the board, too. “I feel that they are more attentive during class because of the board.” Students’ attention spans are not the only aspect that have increased—so has instructional time. Having written information readily available cuts back the time teachers take writing out formulas or students taking notes. This means more time for discussion and teacher-student interaction. Plus, students who are absent are able to catch up more easily from online notes. Today, every math classroom has an interactive whiteboard. Computer access for students has always been a priority for Father Ryan. Nearly every class incorporates online education resources into the curriculum, and it’s no wonder with everything one could possibly imagine available with an internet connection. Today there is one computer on campus for every seven students. “Our goal is to provide the best and most updated technology to our students,” says Jeff Mesch, Director of Technology. “Part of that is encouraging and preparing our faculty to move forward with technology, thereby enhancing the total learning experience. We’re continually

piloting and evaluating the latest educational tools.” Netbooks have become a significant part of classroom education thanks to their portability and long battery life. Phyllis Adgent has equipped her science lab with netbooks, which give her class easy access to online resources without taking up space needed for experiments. Online tools like LabWrite and Kahn Academy Video Lectures have been integrated into daily classroom activity thanks to the netbooks, allowing teachers more time for individual help and encouraging students to become more involved with the learning process. One of the biggest advantages of netbooks has been the expansion of curriculum opportunities. In addition to the wet labs conducted in class, students can also participate in computer simulated labs like blood analysis. “[The netbooks] enable students to perform experiments that are not normally a part of the high school curriculum,” explains Adgent. The 2010-2011 school year was a trial for the netbooks, and because of their success, she plans to restructure her AP Biology and Anatomy & Physiology curricula for the following year; AP Biology also will begin using the electronic textbook exclusively.

The fine arts have always been an integral part of Father Ryan since its founding in 1925. The arts play a substantial role in the lives of many students and for good reason—they provide a platform for the creative and expressive minds that make up much of the student body. As a freshman, Lauren Knoop remembers being shy. Her involvement in theatre and Forensics introduced her to a whole new world—and what she refers to as a “family”—that helped her overcome her timidity. Four years later, Lauren has become a shining star on stage, having performed lead roles in Father Ryan productions like Seussical and Bye Bye Birdie. In the spring of 2011, she represented Father Ryan in the regional Shakespeare Competition, and she was awarded a $1000 scholarship by the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program. Luke Reesman has also thrived under Father Ryan’s arts program. He’s a top competitor on the Forensics team and has accumulated more points in the National Forensics League than any other Father Ryan student

A Little Less Paper, A Little More Action

Students perform the 2011 spring musical, Once on This Island.

Students Find Inspiration in the Arts


hile Shakespearean literature, Civil Rights history and mathematical equations are all important components of an education, they aren’t the only ones.

The idea of a paperless classroom might be a shock to some veteran educators, but to Doug Jones, it’s an exciting opportunity to change the classroom to a more effective learning atmosphere. It was his idea to begin a “paperless initiative” and as the Environmental Science teacher, it was right up his alley. “I have felt that a course instructing our students to be better stewards of the environment should follow the same teachings [in the classroom],” he says. Besides the obvious benefits to the environment, going paperless streamlines the teaching process to become more focused on students. Less time writing, more time discussing. “Everything changes in the way you teach and the way students learn in a paperless environment,” says Jones. “Students spend more time learning through collaboration with each other. The teacher has to become more of a facilitator of information instead of delivering all of the information directly.” Although teachers and students alike will have to adapt to a different teaching style, it is one that will have lasting benefits.


Academic Highlights before him. He also plays trumpet in Father Ryan’s nationally recognized marching band. The Father Ryan Band has been a launching point for many student careers in music. The band experienced a phenomenal year with first place at the Travellers Rest Invitational and at the Music City Invitational, winning the Mayor’s Cup for a record tenth time—more than any other school in the contest’s history. This year also marked a significant milestone for the marching band. They were selected as one of only 11 bands across the nation to perform in the 2012 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Today, Father Ryan offers AP Studio Art, Dance Team, Honors Choir, Marching Band, Forensics, Music Theory, Theatrical Design and a dozen more. “The arts provide a voice and an outlet for students,” says Kelli McClendon, Theatre Director. “They’re able to express their creativity in a supportive atmosphere—that’s the goal. When they go out into the real world, having these experiences under their belts makes the transition a little easier.”

Father Ryan Goes International

Spanish students welcome Cuban filmmaker Caridad Cumana.


hen it comes to a well-rounded and quality education, Father Ryan thinks outside the “borders.” Realizing the value of international cultural experiences, the school offers an expansive foreign language program to give its students a more global perspective. As the language of the fourth largest and fastest growing economy in the world, Chinese has been an important component in preparing students in their postsecondary studies. In its fifth year at Father Ryan, this past year marked its first as a full four-year language program. 9

Like the other language courses, Chinese incorporates software programs in addition to texts to aid students in hearing, speaking and writing the language. Graduates who have completed three years of the Chinese program have met with great success at the post-secondary level. Studies in the language have prompted more and varied interest from college and universities that offer courses in the language or international business. Students are also achieving success at the secondary level with a total of 77 students inducted into this year’s Foreign Language Honor Society. Many students are seeking the international experience outside of the classroom. Four students in Father Ryan’s Spanish program will embark on an overseas trip this summer to Salamanca, Spain for a three-week immersion program. Erica Bastida, EJ Bell, Liz Haynes and Jessica Zic will live with native families while studying the Spanish language and culture through classes and excursions around the country. The study abroad program enables students to develop language skills, meet high school students from around the globe and gain an understanding for other cultures. Students who complete the program will earn a half credit in their elective courses. Every student gets a taste of multiple cultures, no matter their choice in language courses. Each year, the school dedicates a week to the international experience. Multi-Cultural Week has evolved to become one of the biggest celebrations of the year. Through the collaboration of the Department of International Languages, the MultiCultural Student Union and Student Council, students are treated to a specific cultural experience each day, including coordinated meals in the dining hall, after-school zumba class, concerts and movies. Father Ryan also partnered with Vanderbilt University and Belmont University this year to host a roundtable discussion with Cuban documentary filmmaker and cultural critic, Caridad Cumaná. Students were able to meet with her to watch and discuss the cultural significance shown in a Cuban film. Not only are these programs consistent with Father Ryan’s mission, but they are also part of the school’s strategic plan—for each student to graduate with an international cultural experience. Today, Father Ryan offers international language courses in French, Spanish, Latin and Chinese. Among its student organizations, it counts the Multi-Cultural Student Union, Spanish Club, Latin Club, French Club, Chinese Club and the Foreign Language Honor Society.

Creating the National Measure of Excellence

(From left) Kathleen McInnis, Thomas Anderson, Jessica Zic and Madeline Havrilla analyze DNA for the Research Club. Members not shown: Margaret Payne, Mye Owens and Allie Shacklett.

Father Ryan Researches Alternative Fuel Source


hile drivers everywhere are worrying about rising gas prices, Father Ryan students have been actively researching alternative fuel sources. This year, Father Ryan teamed up with Rutgers University to conduct a genome sequencing project for high schools to find biofuel solutions. Science teacher Laura Lee Morin was one of 75 teachers in the country to receive a fellowship from Rutgers to conduct the project; Father Ryan is one of only seven high schools outside of New Jersey selected to participate. Last fall, Morin chose seven students to join the year-long independent project. The “Research Club” met with Morin before and after school, sometimes as early as 6 a.m., to conduct cloning experiments and analyses involving amplifying and separating DNA. Throughout the year, the group has kept in close communication with Rutgers staff who track the students’ progress in sequencing the information. Senior Thomas Anderson was eager to be involved in the research, although he has never liked biology much. “I’m more fascinated by the smaller, molecular aspect of biology—the genetics. That’s why I wanted to be part of this,” Anderson said. Along with the other members of the group, he will continue the research project through the summer finishing the clone sequencing. Once students have analyzed five DNA sequences, Rutgers will publish one of the analyses in the National Center for Biotechnology Information Database. Conducting research with top-level scientists is a rare opportunity for high school students. In fact, most students do not conduct DNA sequencing until the fourth year of undergraduate study. “This has been an arduous process, but the students have remained dedicated,” says Laura Lee. “They should be commended for their outstanding commitment to learning and research.”

When Father Ryan released its Strategic Plan in 2009 outlining its 15year vision, the school set in motion a wave of transformations that would push its academics to the forefront. Two years into the plan’s implementation, Father Ryan has already made considerable progress. Enhancements to the curriculum have already pushed Father Ryan ahead in terms of academic innovation and distinction among its peers. With the addition of seven courses this year, including classes like Accounting and Civil Rights, the school now boasts a total of 25 Advanced Placement subjects with dozens more in College Prep, Advanced and Honors levels. Also new this year are the revisions to the theology curriculum to more closely mirror the guidelines established by the National Council of Catholic Bishops. New textbooks have been chosen that are in compliance with these guidelines; additionally, new courses will be more inclusive of personal prayer and emphasize ways to stand firm in faith and grow in virtue despite cultural norms. Finally, Father Ryan has made strides in helping parents and students better prepare for graduation and college applications. On every report card, the student’s weighted GPA, unweighted GPA and core GPA are listed with a definition of each so that parents and students can understand how course selection will affect college applications. Each course is also identified as either core or non-core with respect to Father Ryan expectations and NCAA requirements. Each of these steps is critical to preparing students for 21st century global realities and helping Father Ryan create the national standard for secondary Catholic education. Visit to read the Strategic Plan.


Luke Wilgenbusch, Valedictorian Headed to Notre Dame

Graham Englert, Salutatorian Headed to Notre Dame

Relay for Life—Largest in Country

Where This Class Goes, Good Things Will Happen

Father Ryan’s emphasis on our tradition of Faith, Knowledge, Service has laid the groundwork for the 2011 graduation class to become leaders in their fields. The class gained acceptances to more than 100 colleges and universities across the country, including 21 Catholic institutions, with $14.8 million scholarships already awarded.

Where will this class lead? Anywhere they want. Aquinas College Auburn University Austin Peay State University Baylor University Bellarmine University Belmont Abbey College Belmont University Berry College Birmingham-Southern College Boston College Brandeis University Carnegie Mellon University Carroll College Carson-Newman College Case Western Reserve University Centenary College of Louisiana Centre College Citadel Clemson University College of Wooster Columbia College Chicago Columbia State Community College Cumberland University DePauw University Duke University East Tennessee State University Eckerd College Emory University Fairfield University Florida Atlantic University Florida Southern College Franciscan University of Steubenville Furman University

Gannon University Georgetown College Georgia Institute of Technology Hanover College Hollins University Huntingdon College Indiana University at Bloomington Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Iowa State University James Madison University John Carroll University Lindsey Wilson College Lipscomb University Louisiana State University Loyola University Chicago Loyola University New Orleans Marquette University Marymount University Memphis College of Art Meredith College Miami University of Ohio Michigan State University Middle Tennessee State University Mississippi State University Mount Holyoke College Nashville State Community College Niagara University Norwich University Nova Southeastern University Oglethorpe University Otterbein University Pace University

Pellissippi State Technical Community College Pepperdine University Purdue University Rhodes College Rollins College Saint Louis University Saint Mary’s College Samford University Savannah College of Art and Design School of the Art Institute of Chicago Sewanee: The University of the South Skidmore College Spring Hill College Stephens College Stetson University SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Tenneseee Technological University Tennessee State University Texas Christian University The Catholic University of America Transylvania University Trevecca Nazarene University Tulane University Tusculum College Union College University of Alabama University of Buffalo University of Charleston University of Dallas University of Dayton University of Evansville

University of Georgia University of Kentucky University of Louisville University of Mississippi University of Missouri University of Montana University of North Carolina University of Notre Dame University of Oregon University of South Carolina University of Tenneseee at Chattanooga University of Tennessee at Knoxville University of Vermont University of Virginia at Arlington University of Wyoming Vanderbilt University Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Wake Forest University Western Kentucky University Wittenberg University Wofford College Xavier University

*Schools attending in bold.

700 Norwood Drive • Nashville, TN 37204 • 615-383-4200 •

Academic Achievements 2011  

Academic Achievements 2011

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