MESSAGE FROM THE
PRESIDENT & DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT A stanza in Henry W. Longfellow’s poem, “The Ladder of St. Augustine,” reads:
We have not wings, we cannot soar; But we have feet to scale and climb By slow degrees, by more and more, The cloudy summits of our time.
I like this quote because it is a cogent reminder that progress, achievement and excellence are not givens. Rather, they result from diligent and consistent effort over time. This past year, the 121st in the history of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, has continued that steady climb of our school toward even greater progress, achievement and excellence. Of course, a great achievement in 2014-2015 was the recognition of Catholic High School for the fifth time as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Catholic High School is one of only a few secondary schools nationally that has received this recognition five times. Here are some other examples of achievement and progress during the last school year: •
Master Plan—After extensive planning and consultation, in May 2015, our CHS Board of Directors approved a revised master plan that lays out a long-term vision for the CHS campus and facilities. The vision includes a new Student Center, renovation of the main classroom building, construction of a new Library/Learning Commons, construction of a chapel, and upgrades to security and HVAC systems among other improvements.
Feasibility Study—The J.F. Smith Group was retained by our Board of Directors to conduct a feasibility study to determine if our school community agreed with projects outlined in the master plan and if they would support a capital campaign for CHS facility projects. After interviewing more than 135 individuals over a six week period, the consultants strongly recommended that CHS undertake a capital campaign with a working goal of $6,130,000.
Advancing the Mission—The leadership phase of the capital campaign, named Advancing the Mission: A Capital Campaign for Catholic High School, was initiated in the fall of 2015. This campaign is intended to fund the construction of a new Student Center that will include dining and casual space for approximately 600 students, some classrooms, teacher workrooms, campus ministry offices, an IT Quick Help Kiosk and a central mechanical plant for campus HVAC systems. Achievements of the 2015 Graduating Class—The 251 graduates of the CHS Class of 2015 received offers of admission to 99 different colleges and universities. The
average ACT score of this class (with 100 percent of the students being tested) was 26.2 compared to the national average of 21.0, and 23 percent of the CHS graduates were accepted to an Honors College or program within their university of choice. Collectively, the members of the 2015 class also contributed over 21,460 hours of community service. •
Habitat for Humanity—In early 2015, the CHS community sponsored a Habitat for Humanity home build. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, 263 volunteers in all, contributed 1,505 hours of work on the project that culminated a two-year process of planning and fundraising. Warrick Dunn ’93, through Warrick Dunn Charities, Inc., partnered with CHS by providing complete furnishings for the home.
Honorees—Brother Ray Hebert, SC was selected by the CHS Board of Directors as the 2015 CHS Hall of Fame Inductee, and Dr. Tommy Stryjewski ’04 was selected by the school administration as the 2015 Distinguished Graduate and was recognized at the Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Schools award ceremony in January 2015.