Cathedral High School (Springfield, Massachusetts)
|Cathedral High School|
|260 Surrey Road
Springfield, Massachusetts, (Hampden County), 01118
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Authority||Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts|
|Color(s)||Purple and Gold|
|Athletics conference||Pioneer Valley Interscholatic Athletic Conference (PVIAC)|
|Mascot||Congo the Panther|
|Accreditation||New England Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Publication||Cathedral Literary Magazine|
|Associate Principal||William McBride|
|Dean of Students||vacant|
|Admissions Director||Anne Pellan-Shea|
|Athletic Director (Interim)||Ferrand Violette|
Cathedral High School is a Catholic co-educational college-preparatory high school in Springfield, Massachusetts. Opened in 1883 by the Sisters of Saint Joseph at the diocese's Saint Michael's Cathedral, its current facility has been at 321 Main Street in Wilbraham, Massachusetts due to the June 1, 2011, tornado. It is one of four Catholic high schools within the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese.
In 1883, the diocese's Bishop Patrick Thomas O'Reilly sought a teaching staff for a high school in response to the growing number of Catholic immigrants in the area. Responding to the call, two members of the Sisters of St. Joseph from Flushing, New York came to Springfield to start up the school. In the years that followed Cathedral High School flourished in facilities on Elliot Street in downtown Springfield. By the 1940s the school had grown to nearly 1600 students. The school had outgrown its facilities, so the Diocese purchased a 30 acre (121,000 m²) farm on Surrey and Wendover Roads in Springfield and built a new school. It opened on September 9, 1959. In the first decade at Surrey Road student enrollment grew to more than 2600 students.
Cathedral maintains a strong reputation in the Greater Springfield area for academic excellence and success in extracurricular and athletic activities.
In 2002 the school was re-accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
In an effort to consolidate the Diocese's educational resources in the wake of increasing financial difficulties, Cathedral High School was selected to host the newly established St. Michael's Academy, which now hosts students from Grades 6 to 8. From 2008 to 2009, Cathedral was extensively remodeled to accommodate the new facility, which now occupies a full wing of the main school facility.
On June 1, 2011, Cathedral High School was severely damaged in the tornado that struck Springfield, Massachusetts. The building was declared a total loss. The students had finished the remainder of the 2010-2011 school year at Elms College, located in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The school will be based out of Memorial Elementary School in neighboring Wilbraham, Massachusetts for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years while reconstruction of the old building takes place.
The school's current Surrey Road campus is in Springfield's East Forest Park Neighborhood on a green and hilly plot of land. The school is divided into four main sections. Most of the classrooms are in a building that, from the air, is shaped like a boxy eight. Two courtyards are in the open spaces formed by the eight. A small chapel takes up part of the first floor in one of the courtyards. The school offices are near the main entrance, and the cafeteria extends toward the few athletic fields.
Extending north from the main building is the science wing. Because of the hills the school is built in, the science wing's first and second floors are just above the main building's second and third floors. The auditorium abuts the main building. It is the largest high school auditorium in the area. On a lower grade than the rest of the school, are the gymnasium, a parking lot, playing fields. The playing fields include a full size football field that doubles as a soccer and lacrosse field.
The Sage Food Service provides meals for the students every day. Until the fall of 2005, daily meals had to be purchased using brass tokens emblazoned "Cathedral High School". Subsequently, the tokens have become collector's items, fetching prices far exceeding their inherent value on websites such as eBay. The token system has since been replaced with a declining balance account that utilizes a PIN for each student. Sage Food Service offers a wide selection for the students, including a hot meal, à la carte selections, including hamburgers, cheeseburgers, curly fries, slices of pizza, homemade cookies, and pizza dippers, among others. There are also several different buffet style choices that are made available to the students: these include a salad bar and freshly made sandwiches.
Students and Faculty
Throughout its history, Cathedral has predominantly served the students of the City of Springfield. However, many of its students have come from the suburbs of the city and some as far away as Sunderland, Palmer, and Connecticut. Being a Catholic school, a majority of its student have been Catholic. However, that has never been a requirement for admission. Currently, the school has approximately 250 students. 70% of the students are from Springfield itself.
The school has 45 faculty members and administrators. Most of the faculty have a master's degree. Many have taught at the school for 20+ years. For many years the faculty consisted of Sisters of St. Joseph and a small number of lay men and women. Today members of religious communities remain a vital part of the school community, but in significantly smaller numbers. Nearly all the teachers are full-time.
Cathedral High School also sponsors teachers who are in the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers, or PACT program, part of the University Consortium for Catholic Education. Through this program, young teachers are given the chance to earn a Masters in Education from Providence College, while devoting two years of service to the school where they are assigned. Currently, there is one teacher in the program at Cathedral and two graduates of the program still teach at the school.
In recent years, the school has maintained an approximate 15:1 student/teacher ratio. Some classes, particularly those that are compulsory, have a larger ratio. Others, particularly electives, have a smaller ratio.
In 2004, the school welcomed its first lay principal. With this, all Cathedral's academic leadership, including vice-principal, guidance director, business manager, librarians, and all department heads were lay people.
Cathedral High School is a college-preparatory program, where 96% of the graduates further their education. Members of the Class of 2009 attended Boston College, Boston University, Fairfield University; Fordham University, College of the Holy Cross, Northeastern University, Bryant University, Providence College, Rochester Institute of Technology, St. Anselm’s, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts, University of Rochester, The Elms College, Villanova University, The Catholic University of America, and others.
The school offers courses that challenge students at various skill levels in all grades in all the academic departments. Within their respective departments, Cathedral offers classes in scripture, world religions, earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, journalism, computer literacy, art (painting, drawing, and sculpture), United States History, World History, sociology, Spanish, French, Latin, algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics. Many of these classes and others are available as college prep or honors. Advanced Placements are available in English, Calculus, Statistics, US History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Latin.
Cathedral has 39 sports teams at three competitive levels (varsity, JV and freshman). Over the past 70 years Cathedral teams have won countless Western Massachusetts and state titles, including in football, soccer, cross country, basketball, hockey, indoor track and field, baseball, outdoor track and field and tennis. The school's colors are purple and white. Cathedral's mascot is a Panther, recently named "Congo," and the squads are often referred to as the Purple Panthers.
- American football
- Cross Country Running
- Field Hockey
- Ice hockey
- Indoor Track and Field
- Outdoor Track and Field
With the exception of Field Hockey and Football, all sports have both boys' and girls' teams. Football, soccer, basketball, and baseball all have freshman, junior varsity, and varsity teams. The others have JV and varsity teams. In recent years, the school is perhaps best known for its Ice Hockey team. The Panthers have the only Division 1 hockey program in Western Massachusetts.
In 2009, the Cathedral High School ice hockey team won the Division 1 State Championship for the first time since 2003, beating Arlington Catholic, the Division 1 North Champions, for the title.
Cathedral's clubs include several service groups, which organize events for the school and community. Some groups direct their efforts in volunteering (e.g. at a soup kitchen) or planning religious events, others organize dances and other activities. One such group is the school's Saint Thomas Aquinas chapter of the National Honor Society.
Other groups include yearbook, the school newspaper, photography, language clubs, choir/band, lighting and sound, Red Cross, Amnesty International, pro-life clubs, adventure club, drama, and Model Senate.
- Angelo Bertelli - 1943 Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame
- Nick Buoniconti - NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker
- Joe Scibelli - 15 Yr Veteran in the NFL as a guard for the LA Rams
- Chris Capuano - Boston Red Sox pitcher
- Larry O'Brien - Advisor to President Kennedy, Postmaster General and NBA commissioner
- Tommy Tallarico - American video game music composer and musician.
- Mike Flynn - Baltimore Ravens offensive linemen
- Paul Fenton - Former NHL player and current Assistant General Manager of the Nashville Predators
- Diane Schumacher - Former USA Softball player and Athletic Director at University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Bill Danoff - Singer & Songwriter, Member of Starland Vocal Band, Wrote John Denver's "Country Roads"
- Tim Mayotte - Tennis Professional
- Nick Gorneault - Former MLB player (Los Angeles Angels)
- Thomas Reilly - Former Massachusetts Attorney General
- Wayne Budd - Former Assistant US Attorney General
- Peter Welch - Democratic Congressman from Vermont
- Derek Kellogg - University of Massachusetts Men's Basketball Head Coach
- Vinny Del Negro - NBA Point Guard from 1988–2001 and current Head Coach of the Los Angeles Clippers
- Scott Barnes - Drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 43rd round of the 2005 MLB June Amateur Draft and the San Francisco Giants in the 8th round of the 2008 MLB June Amateur Draft.
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- Shea, Tom (April 22, 2012). "Larry O'Brien, campaign architect to JFK, left long Springfield legacy". The Republican. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
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- Brown, Garry (January 11, 2013). "Cathedral High School 'play the best' hockey tradition began in 1977". The Republican. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Diane Schumacher Helps Nichols Celebrate National Girls & Women in Sports Day". Nichols College. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
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- Brown, Garry (March 22, 2013). "Cathedral High School's Scott Barnes opens baseball season with Triple A Columbus". The Republican. Retrieved February 20, 2014.