Shanley High School

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Shanley High School
5600 25th Street South
Fargo, North Dakota, (Cass County), 58104
United States
Coordinates 46°47′56″N 96°49′2″W / 46.79889°N 96.81722°W / 46.79889; -96.81722Coordinates: 46°47′56″N 96°49′2″W / 46.79889°N 96.81722°W / 46.79889; -96.81722
Type Private, Coeducational
Motto "To teach the total person and foster the following of Christ"
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1889
School district Fargo District John Paul II Catholic Schools Network
Principal Sarah Crary
Chaplain Fr. Charles LaCroix
Grades 912
Enrollment 314 (September, 2013)
Color(s) Red and White         
Fight song Forward for Shanley High
Team name The Deacons
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
Newspaper S.H.A.C.K.
Yearbook Reminiscor
Athletic Director Randy Nelson

Shanley High School, once called Sacred Heart Academy, is a Catholic high school located in Fargo, North Dakota. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fargo. It currently serves about 320 students and is a member of the Fargo District John Paul II Catholic Schools Network. As a Catholic school, Shanley's mission is to "Teach the total person and foster the following of Christ." Shanley uses an eight period class schedule. Students have one Religion class and up to seven academic classes each day.[2][3] Religion classes include vocational discernment, service based programs, education in morality and Christian apologetics, and individual formation. Academic classes are strongly oriented towards college preparatory. Graduating classes generally contain 75 students.


The athletic teams at Shanley are called "The Deacons".

Shanley had one of the most prominent football teams in the state through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, led by coach Sid Cichy. At one time the Deacons had the longest consecutive unbeaten streak in the country: 59 games in a row, with the 32-16 streak-ending loss coming at the hands of Wahpeton in 1970. Earlier in the same season the winning streak ended after 53 games with a 0-0 tie with Grand Forks Central.[citation needed] Their last Class "A" state championship was in 1983 when the undefeated Deacons defeated Bismarck St. Mary's under head coach Bruce Larson. Coincidentally, that same day the girls basketball team won the state championship in Williston.[citation needed]

In 2009, Shanley was reclassed to "AA", the second level of North Dakota's four-class football system. It was the first year Shanley had not competed at the level of the largest schools in the state, with some over 1800 students larger by enrollment. On November 14 of that year, Shanley won the "AA" state football championship, defeating Devils Lake 31-30 in overtime, the first overtime finish of a state championship game in "Dakota Bowl" history, which is the event that decides all four of the state's football champions.

In 2010, the Deacons won their second consecutive "AA" championship, again against Devils Lake, on a last second field goal which put them ahead 24-21.

The Deacons reached the state championship again in 2011 where they fell to the Grafton Spoilers by a score of 22-6. They reclaimed the title in 2012 with a 22-6 victory over the Spoilers.

Recently, the Deacons have been state champs in Girls' Basketball, Boys' Golf, and Volleyball.

The school is also known for its strong basketball programs, and co-ops with area schools for various sports.


[citation needed]

Shanley High boasted a nationally renowned forensics program under Dr. Robert Littlefield in the early 2000s. Particularly successful in Policy and Lincoln Douglas debate, SHS often saw debaters in the elimination rounds at national "circuit" tournaments. Still very successful at the state and regional levels, Shanley's debate program recently achieved international recognition after winning the 2012-2013 International Public Policy Forum debate competition. The team won $10,000 in scholarships and funding for the program.

North Dakota State Championships[edit]

[citation needed]

  • State Class 'A' football: 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1983
  • State Class 'B' Football: 1939, 1940, 1941 (as Sacred Heart Academy)
  • State Class 'A' Girls Golf: 2005, 2006, 2007
  • State Class 'A' Boys Soccer: 2008
  • State Class 'A' Boys Golf: 2014

Choral Department[edit]

[citation needed]

Shanley is home to a very large choral program with two choirs, the Concert Chorale and the Varsity Choir both directed by Rebecca Raber. The Varsity Choir is made up of Freshmen and Sophomores, while the Concert Chorale is made up of Seniors, Juniors, and select auditioned Sophomores. The membership of both choirs is usually about one-half of the total membership of Shanley High School. The choirs have toured recently to Seattle, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, St. Louis, Nashville and Colorado.

The choirs present their popular annual "Candlelight Christmas Concerts" at the Church of the Nativity each December. Under the direction of Mrs. Raber, the concerts begin the program with the majesty and great wonder of God’s creation and the prophecy of Christ’s coming before continuing to journey of the Holy Family, Bethlehem, and the birth of the Christ Child. The musical journey concludes with Christ’s sacrifice for us and our call to serve one another with love. The concerts include multiple choirs, lighting, orchestra, narration, audience participation and liturgical dance.

The department also sponsors various small groups includuding Quintessence, Sandpebbles, Psalm 100, LifeLine and Cornerstone. Quintessence is a special women's choir consisting of 12 members. Its male counterpart is Sandpebbles, which also contains 12 members. Psalm 100, LifeLine and Cornerstone are worship teams which provide music for services at the school. Members of the choir are also able to participate in numerous music festivals and competitions.

In the fall of 2005, Shanley's Concert Chorale was given the honorable designation of "Governor's Choir" for the state of North Dakota.


[citation needed]

In 2001, the FCSN schoolboard decided to move Shanley from the northern part of Fargo to a new location in the southern part of Fargo. They also decided to have Sullivan Middle School built on the same campus.[citation needed] The Shanley-Sullivan campus includes two separate academic wings with a number of shared facilities including offices, chapel, gymnasiums, cafeteria, and the music department located between them.

Beginning in summer 2009 and completed in fall 2010, Shanley High school recently completed construction and expansion of existing activities facilities along with the creation of a fully functional, multi-purpose football and soccer field named "Sid Cichy Stadium" in honor of one of the program's great former coaches. Sid Cichy Stadium is part of Shanley's Shelly Ellig Athletic Complex which will see the addition of a full track and baseball and softball fields in the coming years. Considered one of the state's premier high school athletics facilities, outdoor, artificially surfaced Sid Cichy Stadium has already hosted numerous state playoff competitions, including the 2010 State Boys' Soccer Tournament.

Faith and Service Activities[edit]

Deacon Day[edit]

Deacon Day is Shanley High School's annual day of service. Deacon Day generally occurs in the fall during the school's homecoming week and stands as a strong marker of Shanley's commitment to Catholic social teachings. Faculty and staff members lead groups of students as they serve at a variety of locations in the Fargo-Moorhead community. All students attending Shanley participate in this day of community service. In the past, students have served at homeless shelters, food banks, churches, schools, parks, and other non-profits in the area. September 24th 2014 marked the 16th annual Deacon Day. [4][5]

Students for Life[edit]

For years Shanley High School has had a strong and active Teens for Life group. Due to their substantial pro-life activism, the Students for Life of America Conference named Shanley's Teens for Life group the National Pro-Life High School Group of the year in 2013. Shanley was honored again in 2014 when the National March-for-Life Committee selected Shanley to carry the lead banner in the 2015 National March-for-Life in Washington, DC. Shanley High School plans to have the entire student body march in the 2015 March-for-Life. [6][7]

Know Your Faith Competition[edit]

On January 30th 2014 at St. Mary's Central High School, Shanley won the fourth annual Know Your Faith state competition. The contest occurs during National Catholic Schools Week and is meant as a celebration of Catholic learning and community. The four Catholic High Schools of North Dakota (Bismarck St. Mary's, Dickinson Trinity, Minot Ryan and Fargo Shanley) face off against one another in a definitive Catholic trivia challenge. Shanley was the first school to beat incumbent champions St. Mary's Central since the competition began. [8]

Notable alumni[edit]

School song[edit]

Forward for Shanley High

Never give up and don't say die!

We will cheer our team to victory

We will keep our spirits high!

You Rah! Rah!

Forward to Shanley High

We will fight to win this game!

We will Fight, Fight Fight.

We will Cheer, Cheer, Cheer.

Victory for our Shanley High!



External links[edit]