Holy Cross High School (Pennsylvania)
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|Holy Cross High School|
|501 East Drinker Street
Dunmore, Pennsylvania, (Lackawanna County), 18512
|Type||Private coed. high school|
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Superintendent||Dr. Kathleen Hanlon|
|Dean||Mrs. Kandy Taylor|
|Administrator||Msgr. David Tressler|
|Principal||Mr. Ben Tolerico|
|Vice principal||Mr. Charles Buzad|
|Chaplain||Father Brian J.T. Clarke|
|Average class size||18 students|
|Student to teacher ratio||12:1|
|Athletics conference||Lackawanna Interscholastic Athletic Association|
|Accreditation(s)||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Affiliation||Diocese of Scranton|
|Bishop of Scranton||Joseph C. Bambera|
|Director of Religious Formation||Mrs. Kathryn Yaklic|
|Athletic Director||Mr. Terry McNulty|
|Assistant Athletic Director||Mr. Al Callejas|
Holy Cross High School is a Roman Catholic secondary school located in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. It operates under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton, and is the second largest of four diocesan high schools in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The Holy Cross School System has included five feeder schools since the 2011-2012 school year: All Saint’s Academy, Scranton; LaSalle Academy, Dickson City and Jessup; Our Lady of Peace, Clarks Summit; St. Clare/St. Paul, Scranton; and St. Mary of Mount Carmel, Dunmore.
In 1964 Central Dunmore Catholic High School, founded by Sal Corma, was built at the school’s current location by the efforts of the five Catholic parishes within Dunmore to serve as centralized, larger secondary school than individual parish centers. In later years, the school was renamed Bishop O’Hara High School to commemorate the first bishop of Scranton, William O’Hara, and to reach out to Catholic students outside of Dunmore. In the 1960s Cathedral High School was built in Scranton to serve Catholic students at the secondary level in the central city. In later years, it was renamed Bishop Hannan High School to commemorate the fifth bishop of Scranton, Jerome Hannan, and as it absorbed other Catholic high schools within Scranton, and to reach out to Catholic students outside of Scranton.
However, due to changing demographics and culture, the enrollment of Bishop Hannan and Bishop O’Hara declined through the 1990s and 2000s. Foreseeing an eventual demise of Catholic education, the ninth bishop of Scranton, Francis Martino, hired the Meitler Consultants to conduct a diocesan-wide study of the Catholic schools and submit recommendations for the renewal and strengthening of the Diocese’s schools. In early 2007, the Meitler Consultants recommended that the equally-sized Bishops Hannan and O’Hara merge to form a new high school to serve all of Lackawanna County.
In 2007 Bishop O’Hara and Bishop Hannan graduated their last classes, and the schools were closed. Holy Cross High School was then formed, which operated in the O’Hara building as the Dunmore Campus and in the Hannan building as the Scranton Campus. The Dunmore and Scranton Campuses retained the upperclassmen of the original schools, and all of the freshmen attended the Dunmore Campus. For the 2008-2009 school year onward, the Scranton Campus was closed, several modular classrooms were added on to the Dunmore Campus, and Holy Cross High School was physically united.
Holy Cross Today
Holy Cross High School enrolled 891 students in the 2010-2011 school year, and is projected to have a minimum of 890 students for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. The current student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1. Holy Cross has an academic curriculum that includes four years of Latin, Spanish, and French. All students are required to take four years of Theology, English, Mathematics, Physical and Natural Sciences, and Social Studies. Holy Cross offers a variety of Advanced Placement classes and many electives in Fine Arts, Computer Science, and Humanities. For the 2011-2012 school year, the I.H.M. Scholarship Program will be in effect, where interested students can attend part of the school day at Marywood University to take advanced classes. Holy Cross High School has an annual theatrical performance and art show. Holy Cross High School offers twenty-two extra-curricular clubs and twenty-five sporting activities.
Class of 2011
On the third of June, 2011, Holy Cross High School held its fourth annual graduation ceremony at the Mellow Center in Marywood University. Although not the first general class from Holy Cross High School to graduate, it was unique in the fact that none of the students ever attended one of the two predecessor schools, and were always Crusaders. At the ceremony, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, the tenth Bishop of Scranton, handed diplomas to one-hundred and seven graduates. The Class of 2011 has forty-one boys and sixty-six girls. There are two semi-finalists and one commended student from the SAT standardized tests. Ninety-eight percent of graduates are attending post-secondary education in thirty-five different colleges, universities, or technical schools. For the second year in a row, one student is pursuing a vocation in the Roman Catholic priesthood and will attend Immaculate Conception Seminary in New York City. The Class of 2011 merited slightly over nine million dollars in post-secondary grants and scholarships. The Class of 2011 has raised over twenty-thousand dollars in donations and goods for various charities, mostly in aid to Holy Cross High School’s sister school in Rivier Froid, Haiti. Additionally, the Class of 2011 has worked over five-thousand hours of community service. The upcoming Class of 2012 currently has one-hundred and thirty-eight students, a twenty-nine percent increase from the Class of 2011. On 14 June 2011, a letter was mailed home to all families that Mr. James Marcks, the first principal of Holy Cross High School who was successfully at the helm of the effort which seamlessly combined the rival Bishop O'Hara and Bishop Hannan High Schools into a unified school community, retired in August 2011.
On the 14th of January, 2011, James Kotula, a junior, was killed while traveling to school in Dunmore when his vehicle went over a patch of ice and careened into the woods. He was fatally injured, and later died at a hospital in Scranton. That day, the entire Holy Cross community prayed for the repose of his soul and for his family and friends in the auditorium. James, commonly called Jamie, was well-liked and known for his good nature, intellectual and athletic capabilities, good sense of humor, and dedication to his friends, family, schoolwork, and God. He is the first and only death of a student in the Holy Cross High School community. He was an active member of St. Stanislaus Polish National Church in Scranton. The funeral held at St. Stanislaus Cathedral was attended the following Monday, January 17, by over two-hundred Holy Cross students.
Holy Cross performs a yearly school musical. Bishop O'Hara was well known for its theater department and produced many actors and singers, including Broadway performer Judy McLane. Current extracurricular activities offered at Holy Cross include:
- A Cappella
- Anime Club
- Art Club
- Ceramics Club
- Chess Club
- Computer Club
- Drama/Annual Theatrical Performance
- Environmental Club
- Fiction Fanatics Reading Competition
- Foreign Language Club
- Latin Club
- Mathematics Club
- Ministry Team
- Mission Club
- Mock Trial
- National Honor Society
- Peer Tutoring
- Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science
- Pro-Life Club
- Sacristan Club
- Service Club
- Scholastic Club
- Show Choir
- Students Against Destructive Decisions Organization
- Student Council
- Library Aides
- Yearbook Committee
The boys varsity basketball team captured the 2008 District 2 PIAA championship in its first appearance since Hannan and O'Hara combined to form Holy Cross. Previously, the Bishop Hannan Golden Lancers boys varsity basketball team won the PIAA state championship in 2002 and went to the state championship in 2006, where it was defeated by Elk County Catholic High School. The following sporting activities are offered by Holy Cross High School:
- Varsity Football
- Junior High Football
- Girls Varsity Soccer
- Boys Varsity Soccer
- Co-ed Cross Country
- Varsity & Junior High
- Co-ed Golf
- Girls Tennis
- Cheerleading (Football)
- Boys Varsity Basketball
- Boys Junior Varsity Basketball
- Freshman Basketball
- Girls Varsity Basketball
- Girls Junior High Basketball
- Freshman Girls Basketball
- Cheerleading (Basketball) Varsity
- Junior Varsity and Junior High
- Varsity Baseball
- Junior High Baseball
- Co-ed Track & Field
- Boys Tennis
- Varsity Softball
- Junior High Softball
- Co-ed Swim Team
In 2013, Holy Cross' varsity boys' basketball team advanced to the PIAA Division II Championship game against Beaver Falls, losing 69-63.
- In 2012, Rico Galassi became Holy Cross' first individual state champion, securing the PIAA Class A state title in cross country with a time of 15:59 on a 3.1 mile course.
- In the spring of 2013, Rico Galassi obtained his second state title at the 2013 PIAA Track and Field State Championship Meet. He won the men's AA 3200 meter race with a winning time of 9:12.48.
- In the fall of 2013, Holy Cross' varsity girls' cross country team became the first team in Holy Cross' history to win a state title, beating Elk Lake in the PIAA Class A State Championship Meet 64-99.
Notes and references
- MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved 2009-05-23.