Catholic High School (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
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|Catholic High School|
|855 Hearthstone Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, (East Baton Rouge Parish), 70806
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic,
Brothers of the Sacred Heart
|Asst. Principal||Tom Eldringhoff,
|Enrollment||1,271 (August 16, 2013)|
|Color(s)||Black and Orange|
|Athletics||Louisiana High School Athletic Association|
|Athletics conference||District 5-5A|
|Rival||Central High School
Dutchtown High School
Parkview High School
|Accreditation||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools |
|Admissions Director||Sherie LeBlanc|
|Athletic Director||J.P. Kelly|
Catholic High School was founded in 1894 as St. Vincent's Academy. The school was so named in recognition of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who helped organize and establish the school. The original site of the school was an old frame building in downtown Baton Rouge, and the enrollment was 106 students. By the 1920s, the enrollment had grown to approximately 300 students, and in 1928, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart built a new school, gym, and brother's residence at the corner of North Street and Fourth Street.
With this move, the school's name changed to Catholic High School. This name change stemmed from the fact that the word "academy" was becoming more associated with all-girls schools in the 1920s. In the 1930s and 1940s, the school's enrollment continued to increase, prompting the Brothers to acquire 10 acres (40,000 m2) of land in midtown Baton Rouge to build a campus to accommodate a larger student body, which was donated by R. Frank Cangelosi. After 10 years of delayed construction, Catholic High School, with its student body of 450 students, moved to its present location at 855 Hearthstone Drive in September 1957. The original buildings on the new campus included a residence for brothers and teachers, a small building used as a PE locker room and band room, and a main building. The main building at the time contained several offices, a library, six classrooms, and a few science lab classrooms.
In 1963, the gymnasium was built. In 1971, the R. Frank Cangelosi Mall was built between the main building and gym for student use as an auxiliary cafeteria. In 1972, a new student wing, containing six classrooms, a cafeteria called the Union, and a library was added; the original library was converted into a faculty workroom.
In the early 1980s, a football practice field and baseball field were added, along with an all-weather track (which was renovated and repaved in 2000). In 1985, the Fine Arts-Computer Center, containing a computer lab and classroom, a band room, a chorus room, art room, drafting room, and several classrooms was added. Around this time, the original band room was converted into a weight room. In 1990, a maintenance shed was added, and in 1991, in preparation for the school's 100th anniversary, the Centennial Courtyard was built. Also in the early 1990s, the school purchased three homes across the street from the campus to use as additional offices.
In the fall of 2002, the gymnasium was renovated to install air conditioning, and at that time CHS dedicated a new Health and Physical Education Center with a weight room, a wrestling room, locker rooms for athletes and PE students, and two new classrooms. In 2005, the Brother Gordian Udinsky Science Center, containing updated science labs for biology, chemistry, and physics, a new computer lab, and several classrooms, was dedicated and opened.
In the future, the school plans to build a new brother's residence, chapel, and library. There are also plans to expand the current student union.
At the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, Catholic High has 1,031 enrolled students. The dress code consists of collared shirts and khakis. There is also a requirement for community service and annual participation in a retreat. Admission is selective, with school records, interview, recommendations, a standardized admissions test, family history of attending Brothers of the Sacred Heart schools, prior attendance of Catholic schools, and minority status all coming under consideration.
CHS was designated as a “National School of Excellence” in 1989, 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2014 by the U.S. Department of Education. As of 2007, only 2 other schools in the United States have received this honor five times. From 1990-2006, CHS had 149 National Merit Semifinalists. In 2005, 13 students were named National Merit Semifinalists, all of whom were additionally awarded National Merit Finalists. 8 students of the Class of 2007 also were named National Merit Semifinalists and Finalists along with one recipient of the National Achievement Award. The class of 2007 had average ACT and SAT scores of 25.1 and 1250, respectively.
It offers five AP courses: US History, World History, Calculus, English Literature, and Biology foreign language instruction in French, Latin, and Spanish, and honors level courses in mathematics, science, social studies, English, and the foreign languages. Elective classes are offered in: accounting, architectural drafting, art, band, business law, chorus, computer applications and science, foreign languages, physics, psychology, publications, speech, theater, and word processing.
Each year, a student must take at least one class in English, math, religion, and physical education. During freshman and sophomore years, students must take a required semester class that alternates with P.E. Those classes are Civics and Free Enterprise. Starting with the Class of 2013, religion became a full year class junior year. In each year, a service requirement, ranging from 5 hours for the 8th grade year to 40 hours as part of a Christian Service Experience for junior year, is done concurrently with the religion course. A science class is mandatory for all students save seniors; they are nevertheless encouraged to take physics. American history is required of juniors, and world history is required of seniors.
Eighth graders have a separate curriculum of courses in which they must take: Algebra I, Louisiana History, Religion 8, English 8, Physical Science, Physical Education 8, and one elective.
Students who maintain a 4.0 GPA each year receive Principal's Honors (also known as Highest Honors), and students who have a 3.5-3.99 GPA receive First Honors. A student can letter in academics if he maintains at least a 3.5 GPA for two years.
As of 2006, there are 99 faculty and staff. The average class size is 28. In addition to a president and principal, the school has four assistant principals: one in instruction, one in academics, one in discipline, and one in formation.
One notable feature of Catholic High is its Honor Code. It was written and installed in 1997, and it was modeled on various honor codes at universities. The Honor Code is enforced by the Honor Board, which consists of three sophomores, four juniors, six seniors, and two faculty members, and these are all nominated and elected by the student and faculty bodies.
At the beginning of each school year, every student must make a handwritten copy of the Honor Code and sign it with his parents. Around September of each year, there is an Honor Code Ceremony in which all freshmen, eighth graders, and other new students sign it before the student body. At the end of each test and quiz issued at Catholic High, a student must write a statement swearing that he abided by the Honor Code and sign it.
If a student is accused of cheating or plagiarism, he is asked to report himself to the Honor Board. At a weekly meeting, the accused student pleads his case before the Honor Board. After reviewing the student's case, the Honor Board, along with the assistant principal for discipline, deliver judgment to the student and any punishment the student may have.
The school is a member of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
CHS has teams in Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Track, and Wrestling. In many of these sports, there are varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen teams. The school also runs intramurals in basketball, pickleball, volleyball, flag football, and other sports.
Since 2000, Catholic High has won 22 state championships, 22 state runner-up titles, 52 regional titles, 31 city titles, and 39 district championships. In 2003 and 2004, Catholic High won the local Sportsmanship Award presented by BellSouth.
The swim team claimed the 5-A Louisiana Swimming State Championship in 2005. They did it again in 2011.
The wrestling team won the 2008 LHSAA Division I State Championship. They became the first non- New Orleans area school to win the championship since Catholic High won in 1975. The wrestling team won the LHSAA Division I State Championship again in 2010.
The track team has won the indoor state championship for eight consecutive years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. The team also won the outdoor title in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. This made the Bears the first 5-A team in Louisiana high school history to win four consecutive outdoor track and field championships. The team also won the outdoor state championship in 2013.
The cross country team, known as the "Big Orange Wave", has won seventeen state titles, as well as four state championships since 2000. These came in 2001, 2008, 2009, and 2011. In 2009, they scored the lowest points(greatest score) in 5-A LHSAA State Meet history. They were state runners-up in 2006 and 2010.
The Catholic High School baseball team won the LHSAA Division I State Championship in 2010. They lost in the 5-A State Semifinals in 2011 to Jesuit High School. In 2013, the Bears again won the LHSAA State Championship behind the pitching of Clay Moffit.
In 2009-2010 academic calendar year, Catholic High School Athletics completed an astonishing feat capturing five of the eleven state championships sponsored by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association: Baseball, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, and Wrestling.
Catholic High offers an array of extracurricular activities, and many of these local chapters receive awards on a state and sometimes national level. Its extracurriculars include Lacrosse,4-H Club, Art Club, Bearly Published (newspaper), Bruin (yearbook), Disc Sports Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, French Club, Games Club, Hi-Y, Junior Classical League, Key Club, Lacrosse, Martial Arts Club, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, Photography Club, Science Club, Spanish Club, Student Council (in which members are elected by their grade or appointed by faculty members based on an interview), and Student Ministry (which helps plan the class retreats and monthly freshmen and eighth grade small group talks). Some clubs are operated jointly with the nearby all-female school, St. Joseph's Academy, including the band, Bruinettes (dance team), cheerleaders, chorus, drama club, and intramural volleyball.
Tuition for the 2011-2012 school year is $8,040 for returning students and $8,140 for new students. Books and additional fees may also apply. Financial aid is available upon condition of participation in a summer work study program. This program involves simple manual labor and pays a minimum wage salary (in addition to any aid grants the student might receive).
Awards and recognition
During the 1988-89, 1992–93, 1997–98, 2003-04, and 2013-14 school years, (one of only two schools in the nation to receive the award five times) Catholic High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education.
- Donnie Jones, Class of 1999, football player for the LSU Tigers (1999-2003); Seattle Seahawks (2004); Miami Dolphins (2005 & 2006); St. Louis Rams (2007 - 2011); Houston Texans (2012) and currently Philadelphia Eagles (2013). Holder of numerous awards and team records, inclulding being named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week in two successive Eagle games in 2013.
- Major Applewhite, Class of 1997, football player and former Co-Offensive Coordinator and Running Backs Coach at the University of Texas
- Travis Minor, Class of 1997, football player for the Miami Dolphins and St. Louis Rams
- Kurt Ainsworth, Class of 1996, baseball player for the San Francisco Giants and the Baltimore Orioles
- Warren Capone, Class of 1970, football player for the Dallas Cowboys and the Birmingham Americans
- Warrick Dunn, Class of 1993, former running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons
- David Dellucci, Class of 1991, retired Major League Baseball player for the Baltimore Orioles, Arizona Diamondbacks (a member of the 2001 World Series team), New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Indians, and Toronto Blue Jays
- Jeff Fortenberry, Class of 1978, Nebraska U.S. Representative
- Brandon Harrison, Class of 2003, football player for the Houston Texans and currently the United Football League's California Redwoods
- Brother Ivy LeBlanc, Class of 1963, Provincial of the New Orleans Province of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart until 2006
- John Fred, Class of 1959, musician and co-writer of the song "Judy in Disguise"
- Judge Frank J. Polozola, Class of 1959, United States district court Judge
- Paul M. Hebert, Class of 1924, Dean of the LSU Law School (now known as the Paul M. Hebert Law Center)
- Fred S. LeBlanc, Class of 1916, former Louisiana attorney general, mayor of Baton Rouge, and judge
- John Maginnis, Class of 1966, Louisiana political journalist, author, and commentator
- P.J. Mills, Class of 1951, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Shreveport; former president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana
- Erich Ponti, Class of 1983, member of the Louisiana House from Baton Rouge
- Carl Weiss, Valedictorian of the Class of 1921, a local doctor and alleged assassin of Huey Long
- Chris Williams, Class of 2003, football player for the Chicago Bears
- Gayle Hatch, Class of 1957, head coach for the 2004 USA Men’s Olympic Weightlifting Team
- As a Brothers of the Sacred Heart school, CHS is not a parochial school, falling outside the direction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge.
- Catholic High School is one of the few United States schools without a federally funded lunch program. The school has an independent lunch program which offers either a hot plate or hot sandwich meal for students to purchase using their student ids as debit cards. In addition, the program also offers breakfast before school begins and snacks after school. The lunch service is run by Picadilly Cafeterias starting in the 2011 school year.
- Catholic High School runs several classes and extracurriculars jointly with St. Joseph's Academy (Baton Rouge), the all-girls school located near CHS.
- SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23.[dead link]
- Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 1982-1983 through 1999-2002 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Program: Schools Recognized 2003 through 2006 (PDF), United States Department of Education. Accessed May 11, 2006.
- "Emily Lane, LaPolitics publisher John Maginnis dies at age 66". New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 25, 2014.