Bishop Ireton High School
|Bishop Ireton High School|
"Advance Always in Christ"
|201 Cambridge Road
Alexandria, Virginia, 22314
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Oversight||Diocese of Arlington|
|Head of school||Dr. Thomas Curry|
|Color(s)||Burgundy and Gold|
|Athletics conference||Washington Catholic Athletic Conference|
|Accreditation||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Newspaper||The BI Word|
Bishop Ireton High School is a Roman Catholic High School located in Alexandria, Virginia. The school was founded in 1964 by the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, and named in honor of Peter Leo Ireton, Bishop of Richmond from 1945 to 1958. The school originally admitted only male students. Bishop Ireton, more commonly known as "BI" or simply "Ireton", became coeducational in 1990 after the closing of sister school, St. Mary's Academy. In 2008, the Oblates withdrew their presence from Ireton and the school is now solely managed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington.
The school is administered by the Head of School. There are Directors who report to the Head of School: Director of Instruction, Director of Finance, Director of Operations, Director of Athletics, Director of Advancement, and the Chaplain/Director of Campus Ministry. Reporting to the Director of Instruction are the Director of Student Services, the Counseling Department, and the Dean of Faculty. The teachers report to the Dean of Faculty. Reporting to the Director of Operations are the Director of Technology, the Director of Communications, and the Chief Engineer.
The Student Council is organized in the following manner: Executive Board: Five Members that can consist of Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors. In most cases, the Executive Board consists of mostly Seniors. There is one President and one Vice President. The class officers are organized as follows:
- One President and three officers.
- Seniors: Four members who receive five nominations each year;
- Juniors: Four members;
- Sophomores: Four members;
- Freshman: Four members;
The SCA Executive board meets once a week and plans important events, such as Homecoming Week, Adopt a Family, Dress Out Day Fundraisers, the Winter Ball, and the Lenten Service Drive. The full board meets on a bi-weekly schedule. They also have a role in graduation, having the privilege of going first and carrying flags.
The Academic Department offers three levels: CP (College Preparatory), HN (Honors), and AP (Advanced Placement).
In the 1970s and early 1980s Bishop Ireton experimented with an Education by Appointment model, whereby students worked at their own pace and were encouraged to explore areas of interest in depth. For some students this model of freedom and opportunity encouraged great academic development, however, for some students the lack of structure and weight of responsibility resulted in poor academic achievement.
This experiment ended with a new principal, Father Walsh, who brought Ireton back to a structured and rigorous curriculum. This included an eight period schedule that rotate so that only seven periods meet each day. He instituted a school uniform policy instead of the informal dress code previously used and actually required freshman to wear gold and crimson beanies (which proved wildly unpopular and were soon eliminated). In the late 1970s Bishop Ireton was among the first Catholic high schools to introduce computer science classes utilizing a DEC PDP 11/40 mini computer donated to the school by The Catholic University of America when it upgraded.. Today, BI offers AP classes in almost every subject.
Bishop Ireton competes in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference which is home to schools such as Gonzaga College High School, St. John's College High School and DeMatha Catholic High School although the school plays an independent football schedule. The school has had many student athletes go on to attend college on athletic scholarship. Ireton has several noteworthy rivals, including:
Among the many sports played at Ireton are football, field hockey, cheerleading, cross country, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, track and field, wrestling, ice hockey, golf, swimming & diving, volleyball, soccer, tennis, softball, rowing, water polo, and indoor track. Almost 9 out of every 10 students at Ireton will have been engaged in an athletic activity at least once in their high school career.
Bishop Ireton Theatre Arts' award-winning program stages two mainstage shows each season; one play and one musical. In addition, the student-run Bishop Ireton Drama Club holds many events throughout the year including a trip to New York. Hundreds of students have passed through Ireton's drama program and many students are currently enrolled in acting, stage crafts, and costuming classes. Other drama events include the annual Evening of the Arts where student-directed one acts are displayed. Bishop Ireton's Garwood Whaley Auditorium is home to the Bishop Ireton theatre program. The 783-seat space is a fully equipped theatrical venue that plays host to many other functions within the school.
Ireton participates in the Critics and Awards Program for High School Students, or Cappies. The Cappies are the high school equivalent to the Tony Awards for Broadway theatre. Each year, participating high schools select one show to be reviewed and voted on by peers. The National Capital Area Cappies season concludes with a formal awards gala at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., honoring the outstanding work of theatre students in the area. The program began in 1999 with 14 high schools in Northern Virginia including 13 Fairfax County public schools and Bishop Ireton. The National Capital Area region of the Cappies now contains 55 schools distributed across the D.C. metropolitan area.
Bishop Ireton's entry for the 2014 Cappie Season was its spring musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. How to Succeed played to over 70 student critics on March 22, 2014 where it was met with universal praise. One critic raved that "there was not a single low point of this amazing show," while another claimed that this production will "certainly be remembered for its brilliance in years to come." Sam Miller of McLean High School, a student Cappies Critic, wrote, "Bishop Ireton still continues to tap into its limitless potential and create fantastic, successful shows that are a pleasure to watch. Their shows demonstrate such talent and expertise that it’s quite clear that no one in their theatre department got where they are without really trying."
Ireton's Cappies show for the 2015 season is The Drowsy Chaperone. The Drowsy Chaperone was also met with near-universal praise on March 21, 2015.
Awards and Nominations
|BI Cappies Show History: 2010's|
|2014||How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying||Best Song||"Brotherhood of Man"||Nominated|
|Lead Actor in a Musical||Joey Ledonio||Nominated|
|Supporting Actress in a Musical||Abby Giuseppe||Nominated|
|Comic Actress in a Musical||Loren Gant||Nominated|
|Male Dancer||Rolf Lundberg||Nominated|
|Special Effects and or Technology||Megan Brusnahan||Nominated|
|Sets||AnnaLin Woo, Samantha Christoff, Megan Brusnahan||Nominated|
|2013||Something's Afoot||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Lead Actress in a Musical||Sarah Moffit||Nominated|
|Female Vocalist||Brenna Carroll||Nominated|
|Featured Actress||Catherine Schreiber||Nominated|
|Choreography||Caroline Mea and Sarah Robertson||Nominated|
|Stage Crew||BI Stage Crew||Nominated|
|Special Effects and or Technology||BI Special Effects Crew||Won|
|Props||Abby Giuseppe and the BI Prop Team (Hannah Johnson, Angelica Miguel, Kelly Sabol, and Lilly Najafzadeh)||Won|
|Costumes||Charlotte Kuhn, Becky Littlefield, Charlotte Rodger, and Meg Webster||Nominated|
|Sets||Megan Brusnahan, Mary Bukoski, Andy Santalla, and AnnaLin Woo||Nominated|
|2012||The Taming of the Shrew||Lead Actor in a Play||Bruno del Alamo||Nominated|
|Lead Actress in a Play||Melanie Blower||Nominated|
|2011||Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat||Lead Actor in a Musical||Ricky Drummond||Nominated|
|Costumes||Cierra Coan, Meghan Pearson, Danielle Rowen, and Meg Webster||Nominated|
|2010||GO-GO BEACH the Musical||Critic Team||Nominated|
|Comic Actor in a Musical||Adam J. Santalla||Nominated|
|Costumes||Julia Munro, Meghan Pearson, and Nicole Weinard||Nominated|
|Rising Critic||Ally Markussen||Nominated|
|BI Cappies Show History: 2000's|
|2009||Romeo and Juliet||Critic Team||Nominated|
|Featured Actor in a Play||Andrew Ferguson||Won|
|Featured Actress in a Play||Emilia Lynch||Nominated|
|Ensemble in a Play||Mercutio & Benvolio (Andrew Ferguson and Jake Gaudet)||Won|
|Graduating Critic||Emily O'Connell||Won|
|2008||The Pajama Game||Critic Team||Nominated|
|Ensemble in a Musical||The Sewing Factory Girls||Nominated|
|Choreography||Andrea Borrelli, Celine Daubresse||Nominated|
|Props & Effects||Clara Candalor, Raymond Curry, and Will Sefton||Nominated|
|Returning Critic||Emily O'Connell||Nominated|
|Cameo Actor||Matt Szemborski||Nominated|
|Props & Effects||Clara Candalor, Raymond Curry, and Jessica Seeley||Won|
|2006||Zombie Prom||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Comic Actress in a Musical||Mary Myers||Won|
|Ensemble in a Musical||The Students||Nominated|
|Props & Effects||Bethany Candalor and Julie Williams||Won|
|Makeup||Andrea Borrelli and Hannah Goldman||Won|
|Costumes||Hannah Goldman, Criss Herrera, and Cosima Storz||Nominated|
|2005||South Pacific||Comic Actress in a Musical||Deanna Zapanta||Nominated|
|Comic Actor in a Musical||Ed Culbert||Won|
|Female Vocalist||Beth Rothschild||Nominated|
|Stage Crew||Glenna Gallagher and Alexander Aki||Nominated|
|Featured Actor in a Musical||Jake Odmark||Won|
|Female Vocalist||Beth Rothschild||Nominated|
|Ensemble in a Musical||The Apostles||Won|
|Costumes||Brigid Prescott and KC Wright||Nominated|
|Lighting||Danielle Cook and Kim Miller||Nominated|
|2003||The Diary of Anne Frank||Featured Actor in a Play||Alex Storz||Nominated|
|Sets||David For, Brian Hickey, and Kerry Stinson||Nominated|
|Sound||Andrea Bornhoft, Alex Larzelere, and Chad McCreary||Nominated|
|Male Critic||Stephen Santayana||Nominated|
|2002||Barnum||Featured Actress in a Musical||June Suepunpuck||Nominated|
|Comic Actress in a Musical||Sara Rouhi||Nominated|
|Ensemble in a Musical||Circus Performers||Nominated|
|Male Dancer||Brandon Fauquet||Nominated|
|Stage Crew||Gwen Grewe||Won|
|Props & Effects||Mary Beth Jonas, Katie Miller, and Brian Moon||Won|
|Sound||Patrick DeRoche and Alex Larzelere||Nominated|
|2001||Reckless||Lead Actress in a Play||Carolyn Myers||Won|
|Lead Actor in a Play||Michael Toscano||Nominated|
|Actor in a Cameo Role (Play)||Zack Baber||Won|
|Stage Crew||Liz Smith||Won|
|2000||Once Upon a Mattress||Criticism||Nominated|
|Actress in a Musical||Carolyn Myers||Won|
|Male Vocalist||Michael DaGuiso||Nominated|
|Male Critic||Michael Toscano||Nominated|
The Journalism Class publishes the student-run, monthly newspaper, The BI Word. A website for The BI Word came up in the 2006-2007 school year, was discontinued, and then reappeared during the 2008-2009 school year. Most articles are available in the printed edition, but additional articles can be found at The BI Word website. Brief biographies of the editors and reporters can be found there. This website can be found here.
Bishop Ireton is home to many clubs such as:
- The Cambridge Road (fine arts club)
- The Board Game Club
- The Ping Pong Club
- National Honor Society
- Office of Student Government
- Model United Nations
- Drama Club
- It's Academic
- Beta Club
- Best Buddies Club
- Foreign Language Clubs
- Stage Crew
- Spirit Club a.k.a. "The Cardinal Crazies"
- Campus Ministry Squad
- Pro Life Club
- Hope Club
- The Film Club
- Cardinals for the Cure
- International Thespian Society
- Cappies Critics
- Economics Club
- Debate Club
- The Gamer's Club
- Culinary Club
- Latin Club
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes
- BI Ambassadors
- Anime Club
- Cardinals for Freedom
- Haitian Alliance Club
- Charity Through Medicine Club
The Bishop Ireton Music Department features a choir, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble and the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Membership in the ensembles is audition-based. The Bishop Ireton music program was started by Dr. Garwood Whaley. It is now currently under the leadership of Dr. Randy Eyles. Each spring, the ensembles go on tours. One of the most well known is the Symphonic Wind Ensemble's international tour.
In April 2009, the students at Bishop Ireton entered the Verizon Text 2 Win Competition and won. They were awarded with a free Taylor Swift concert, held in the school's auditorium.
- Homecoming Dance
- Winter Ball (A semi-formal dance, in which all proceeds benefit Bishop Ireton's sister school in Haiti, Louverture-Cleary)
- Prom (Juniors and Seniors are invited)
Senior All Nite Grad Party
Events normally include swimming, laser tag, blackjack, races, obstacle courses, karaoke, and prizes. It is generally not over until 5:30 AM the following morning.
- Renaissance Faire - A sophomore long-term project culminating in a large digital "faire", with the intention of educating the students and faculty about the Renaissance.
- Fall Drama and Spring Musical
- Fall, Winter, March, and Spring Band Concerts
- Coffee House Variety Shows
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2012)|
- Jon Carroll, Grammy Award Winning Songwriter and Performer (Starland Vocal Band).
- Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters and Nirvana (did not graduate, attended during his freshmen and part of his sophomore year). Dave Grohl transferred to Thomas Jefferson High School, but did not graduate high school.
- Helen Kim, contestant on CBS's Big Brother 15.
- Bob McDonnell, former Governor of Virginia
- Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media, venture capitalist and high-tech executive noted for promotion of open source software and reform of the U.S. patent system
- Jake Odmark, professional actor, performed in Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and is currently starring in Kinky Boots on Broadway
- Charlie Raphael, former professional soccer player.
- Andrew Rodriguez, winner of the 2011 Campbell Trophy, given annually to the top scholar-athlete in NCAA Division 1 football
- Morakinyo Williams, professional basketball player in Europe 
Notes and references
- SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23.[dead link]
- History of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales at Bishop Ireton
- Principal, Oblates to Leave Bishop Ireton HS
- "Bishop Ireton High School Announces Andrew Rodriguez, ’08 wins Campbell Trophy". Bishop Ireton High School. Retrieved 16 August 2013.
- "Kentucky Transfer Morakinyo Williams Signs With Duquesne". CBS Interactive. 10 June 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2013.