Bishop England High School
|Bishop England High School|
|363 Seven Farms Drive
Charleston, South Carolina, 29492
|School type||Diocesan, Private, Coeducational|
|Motto||Enter to Learn, Exit to Serve|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Patron saint(s)||Our Lady of Mercy|
|Founder||Rev. Msgr. Joseph L. O'Brien|
|Authority||Bishop of Charleston|
|Oversight||Diocese of Charleston|
|Superintendent||Sr. Julia Hutchinson, SND|
|Rector||Rev. Msgr. Lawrence McInerny, J.C.L.|
|Asst. Principal||Mike Darnell|
|Academic Dean||Nancy Heath|
|Chaplain||Rev. Fr. J. Kirby, S.T.L.|
|Hours in school day||6|
|Campus size||40 acres|
|Color(s)||Green and White|
|Athletics||20 varsity teams|
|Athletics conference||SCHSL Class AA|
|Accreditation||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools |
|Athletic Director||Paul Runey|
Bishop England High School is a diocesan Roman Catholic four-year high school in Charleston, South Carolina. Until 1998, the school was located on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston. It is now located on Daniel Island in the city of Charleston. With an enrollment of 730, it is the largest private high school in the state. The school was founded in 1915 and was named for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston's first bishop, John England.
On September 22, 1915, Catholic High School opened its doors as a department of the Cathedral School on Queen Street. The Reverend Msgr. Joseph L. O'Brien organized the new school with the cooperation of the Reverend James J. May. At that time there were 67 students enrolled in four grade levels: seventh, ninth, tenth, and eleventh. That first faculty consisted of three diocesan priests and three Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy (O.L.M.).
By the spring of 1916, a growing student enrollment made larger quarters imperative, and the school was moved to a building used by the Cenacle Sisters, an order of nuns, where it remained until 1919. The main building housed the senior high school, while an annex was converted into a biology lab and a seventh grade classroom. The school offered two courses of study: college preparatory and business.
With the Catholic community of Charleston increasing, a drive was initiated to raise $50,000 for a new school building to replace the one being used. From 1919 to 1921, the school was housed in its third location, Gregorian Hall on George Street, while its old location was demolished and replaced. The funding drive was a huge success, and ground was broken on July 5, 1921 on the $60,000 building. The school was opened in its fourth building at 203 Calhoun Street on February 18, 1922. By 1940, 25 years after its inception, the school's enrollment had reached 318 students, and the faculty had nearly doubled.
In 1947, the school's first Rector Monsignor O'Brien retired after having served 32 years, and he was followed by former Bishop England student, Rev. Msgr. John L. Manning.
The Catholic community of Charleston sponsored two expansion drives for the high school in the late 1940s; two new buildings were added to the campus. In 1947 the west wing (which housed an auditorium, science laboratory, and offices) was built, and in 1948 the east wing, which was the Father O'Brien gymnasium, was built. Additional land was acquired in 1957, and a two-story annex was constructed, providing eight new classrooms and additional office space.
In June 1959, the Rev. Fr. William J. Croghan, B.E. class of 1940, was appointed as the third Rector of Bishop England. By 1960 the faculty had grown to 31 members, and 740 students were enrolled. Additional property was purchased in 1963 and in 1964 on Coming Street, Calhoun Street, and Pitt Street; this property would provide classrooms, living quarters for teachers, a maintenance shop, facilities for the school nurse, and a schoolyard. The 1964 school year began with a new Rector, the Rev. Robert J. Kelly, and enrollment grew to nearly 800 students. Because of overcrowding between 1966 and 1968, freshman classes were conducted in the old St. Patrick's School on St. Phillip Street.
Bishop England integrated in 1964; in 1968, it merged with Immaculate Conception High School. The student body numbered 850 students with 250 freshmen. The former Immaculate Conception School building on Coming Street became the Bishop England Freshman Building.
Nicholas J. Theos became principal in 1973. He established the BEHS endowment fund in 1985. In 1990, Rev. Msgr. Lawrence B. McInerny became the third B.E. graduate named as Rector of the school.
In 1976, a former church building at 172 Calhoun Street was purchased from the College of Charleston. Occupancy took place in 1977 and housed the freshmen.
In 1993, four modular units (eight rooms) were added to accommodate increasing enrollment, providing four classrooms, a conference room, and a chapel where Mass was celebrated. Enrollment in 1995 was 805, the largest of any private high school in the state. In September 1995, Bishop Thompson officially announced that the school was moving to Daniel Island and its current property would be sold to the College of Charleston. The Daniel Island Development Company, which was partially owned by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, donated 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land for the new school. Construction began in 1996, and Bishop Thompson blessed the ground at the site of the new Bishop England High School in June 1997. In 1998 Mr. Theos retired after 25 years of service to Bishop England. Mr. David Held, who was serving as associate principal since 1997, then became the new principal.
With the help of students, alumni, faculty, and volunteers, the school was moved to the new campus on Daniel Island in the summer of 1998. In the fall of 2010, it was announced that Michael C. Bolchoz would assume the position of Principal at Bishop England. Mr. Bolchoz is a member of the Graduating Class of 1983 from the same and had previously servered as Assistant Principal of the Cardinal Newman School in Columbia, SC. In 2011, the Bishop England athletic program won its 100th overall state championship, making the school's athletic program the most successful in South Carolina history. In the same year, the school's volleyball team broke the National Record for overall state championships, currently with 24, along with the South Carolina record for consecutive state titles, currently with 14 in a row. The Class of 2015 will be the school's 100th graduating class.
On July 1, 2013, Patrick Finneran assumed the role of principal, bringing in a new motto for the school: "Enter to Learn, Exit to Serve." Finneran stated upon taking the position that he will continue the school's tradition of academic excellence while increasing the emphasis on community and parochial service.
The school is well respected in the Charleston area for its rigorous curriculum, and boasts SAT and ACT scores well above the national and state averages. Bishop England offers three levels of courses, including Honors level courses for most subjects. Students are required to take four years of Theology, Mathematics, and English. Catholic Mass and various prayer services are compulsory throughout the year, although a significant number of students are not Catholic. Students are also required to earn credits in world language, social sciences, fine arts, technology, lab sciences, and physical education. Bishop England is supported by several K-8 Catholic "feeder" schools in the Charleston area, including Blessed Sacrament School, Christ Our King, The Nativity School, Divine Redeemer, and Charleston Catholic. The large majority of graduates from these schools go on to attend Bishop England. Language instruction is offered in Spanish and French. Bishop England also offers twelve AP (Advanced Placement) courses:
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP English Literature
- AP Calculus (AB and BC)
- AP Spanish
- AP Biology
- AP U.S. History
- AP U.S Government & Politics
- AP Studio Art
- AP Environmental Science
- AP Macroeconomics
- AP French
Bishop England's pass rate for Advanced Placement examinations in 2011 was 90%, well above most schools in the tri-county area. On average over the last 7 years, 98% of BE graduates enter college immediately after graduation. The school regularly sends graduates to in-state schools such as The University of South Carolina, Clemson University, The Citadel, and The College of Charleston, with a smaller select number of students attending in-state private institutions such as Furman University and Wofford College. Historically, the school has sent students to schools such as Princeton University, Vanderbilt University, Duke University, The University of Virginia, Wake Forest University, Georgetown University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Davidson College, Washington and Lee University, The University of Notre Dame, Boston College, The University of Southern California, and the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Clubs and activities
Bishop England offers a variety of clubs and activities throughout the year. They include:
- Student Government
- Class Board
- Archery Club
- Clay shooting
- BEHS Ambassadors
- B-Hive Newspaper
- Campus Ministry/Retreat Team
- Music Ministry
- Dance Team
- Drama Club
- French Club
- Habitat for Humanity
- Key Club
- Library Council
- Literary Magazine
- Model United Nations
- Mu Alpha Theta
- National Honor Society
- Ping Pong Club
- Retreat Team
- Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica (National Spanish Honor Society)
- Spanish Club
- Speech and Debate
- Ultimate Frisbee
- Band of Buddies
- Science Club
- Youth in Government
On average each year, 68% of the student body participates in athletics, while 89% participates in at least one on-campus extra-curricular activity.
In a 2009 special edition, the Bishop England athletic program was named number one in the state of South Carolina by Sports Illustrated Magazine, regardless of size. Over the last decade, many teams including volleyball, soccer, baseball, tennis, football and cross-country/track have won several state championships in a row. In 2013, MaxPreps ranked Bishop England's athletic program 5th in the nation in a combined rankings list of both public and private schools.
The volleyball program is particularly dominant, and currently holds the National record for state championships with 25 overall. The team has won every state title since 2000, and their championship win on November 4, 2013 gave the Battling Bishops their 14th consecutive title, a South Carolina record. On December 2, 2011, the football program won its first ever AA state championship. Likewise, on March 3, 2012, the girls' basketball team won its first ever state championship. Football repeated as state champions in 2012, bringing the overall title count to 105, the highest of any South Carolina school. The school has been awarded the SC Athletic Director's Cup for each of the last 12 years, given to the top athletic program in the state. In 2013, USA Today named Bishop England among the Nation's top 10 high school athletic programs, writing that "the Bishops carry a tradition of dominance unmatched in the state of South Carolina and much of the Southeast." 
BE is one of three private schools in the state that compete in the SCHSL instead of SCISA, along with Christ Church and St. Joseph's School, both located in Greenville (SC). The Bishops compete in the AA division. The Be a Bishop Backer Club, dubbed "the Triple B Club," funds a staff of on-campus medical trainers for BE athletes.
Fall Sports: Volleyball, Football, Girls' Golf, Girls' Tennis, Swimming, Cross Country, Sailing, Cheerleading
Winter Sports: Wrestling, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Cheerleading
Spring Sports: Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Track, Boys' Tennis, Boys' Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing.
Bishop England is among the oldest educational institutions in the city of Charleston, and among the oldest private secondary institutions in the state. Generations of Charleston families have attended the school, making it a significant part of Charleston's history. Several traditions take place throughout the year. These include:
- John England Day- An all school carnival held every September to celebrate the school's namesake, Bishop John England.
- Key Club Food Drive- Held each year leading up to Thanksgiving to support local charities and shelters.
- The March for Life- School sponsored trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the annual pro-life march on Capitol Hill.
- Academic Awards Night- Award ceremony held each Spring to honor students for their academic achievement throughout the year.
- Ring Mass- Blessing of class rings by Bishop Guglielmone held each Spring.
- Senior Awards- Presentation of scholarships and awards to graduating seniors.
- Baccalaureate Mass
- 45 Classrooms
- 4 Science Labs
- Art Studio
- 2 Technology Labs
- The Bishop Thompson Center for the Performing Arts
- The Commons
- 10,000 volume Library
- Jack Cantey Stadium
- Father Kelly Field
- Father O'Brien Gymnasium
- Track and Field Complex
- Weight and Fitness Performance Rooms
- Girls' and Boys' Tennis host their home matches at LTP Tennis Center in Mount Pleasant.
- Golf hosts their home matches at the nearby Daniel Island Club.
- Ice Hockey hosts home games at the Carolina Ice Palace.
- Our Lady of Mercy Chapel
- Campus Ministry Center
- Joseph P. Riley, Jr. - (Class of 1948) - Mayor of Charleston, South Carolina since 1975
- Thomas F. Hartnett - (Class of 1960) - U.S. Representative from South Carolina, member of South Carolina House of Representatives, and South Carolina Senate.
TV, film, and media
- Dorothea Benton Frank - (Class of 1969) - Author of numerous books set in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
- Thomas Gibson - (Class of 1980) - American actor.
- Vanessa Minnillo - (Class of 1998) - Miss Teen USA 1998, American television personality, television host, model, and actress.
- Tom Lavelle - (Class of 1960) - 1964 NBA Draft Pick by the New York Knicks. Varsity Basketball Coach at Bishop England from 1977-1997. Inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1996 and South Carolina Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2010.
- Temoc Suarez - (Class of 1992) - a U.S. soccer player who spent three seasons in Major League Soccer, two in the National Professional Soccer League and five in the USL First Division.
- Drew Meyer - (Class of 1999) - Major League Baseball player for the Houston Astros.
Film and television
- SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23.[dead link]
- Welcome to Bishop England High School
- "Best Sports High Schools By State (cont.)". CNN.