Bishop Kenny High School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bishop Kenny High School
Bkhs logo.png
1055 Kingman Avenue

, ,

United States
Coordinates30°18′33″N 81°38′26″W / 30.30917°N 81.64056°W / 30.30917; -81.64056Coordinates: 30°18′33″N 81°38′26″W / 30.30917°N 81.64056°W / 30.30917; -81.64056
TypePrivate, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
FounderArchbishop John P. Hurley
OversightDiocese of St. Augustine
PrincipalTodd Orlando
Athletic DirectorMark Thorson
Faculty84 [1]
CampusUrban Riverfront
Campus size55 acres (0.22 km2)
Color(s)Red, Black, and White
Slogan"Preparing young people for college and for life"
MascotCornelius the Crusader
Team nameCrusaders
RivalBolles School
Episcopal School of Jacksonville
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
PublicationThe Avenue
NewspaperThe Shield

Bishop Kenny High School (commonly referred to as Bishop Kenny or BKHS) is a private, college-preparatory, coeducational Catholic high school in Jacksonville, Florida. It is located in and administered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine. The founder Archbishop Joseph Patrick Hurley established the school in 1952, following the merger of three previous Catholic high schools in the Jacksonville area. Bishop Kenny High School was renamed in honor of William John Kenny, the third bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Bishop Kenny High School is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Bishop Kenny holds membership in the National Catholic Education Association, the Florida Catholic Conference, The College Board, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and the Florida High School Athletic Association.[5]

Bishop Kenny's sports teams, commonly known by their "Crusaders" nickname, are sanctioned by the Florida High School Activities Association (FHSAA). In their 60-year history, the school's varsity sports teams have won thirty-seven state team championships.[6]

Among Bishop Kenny's alumni are the computer scientist Philip Don Estridge, the federal administrator Jim Towey, musicians Billy Powell and Virgil Roger du Pont III, the MLB All-Star Jonathan Papelbon, MLB player Ben Gamel, television host and model Yoanna House, anchor Donna Deegan, and head coach Pat McMahon.


In 1952 three area Catholic high schools were consolidated as Central Catholic High School under the direction of Archbishop John P. Hurley. In 1953 Central Catholic was re-dedicated and named for Bishop William John Kenny, the third bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine.[7][8]

In 1989, Father Michael Houle was named President of Bishop Kenny. Over the last 20 years more than $20 million have been raised and invested to improve the school.[9] In 2015 Father Michael Houle announced his retirement as President of Bishop Kenny, ending the tradition of Priests as Presidents.

Geography and setting[edit]

Bishop Kenny High School is located on 55 acres of riverfront property and can be found in the historic Southbank neighborhood of Saint Nicholas.[10] The back of the campus is adjacent to the Saint Johns River. The school is located within the heart of the Jacksonville Metropolitan Area, a growing metropolitan center with a population of more than 1.5 million people.[11]

Prior to the school being established it was once the site of a Spanish fortress, and in more modern times the property served as a shipyard during World War I.[12][13]

Spiritual affiliation[edit]

Founded in the Catholic tradition, Bishop Kenny has retained its spiritual affiliation in an era when many other institutions have relinquished theirs. The majority of the students are Catholic, however they also have students from a variety of religious backgrounds and secular traditions. The students may attend services at the Paul F. Tanner Chapel which are conducted regularly.[14]

School facts[edit]

  • 15 varsity sports offered [15]
  • 48 percent faculty with or attaining graduate degrees [16]
  • 36 after-school clubs and activities [17]
  • $9.9 million in college scholarships and grants offered to 2017 graduating class[18]
  • 37 total state athletic championships won[19]


BKHS was named after Archbishop Kenny the Bishop of St. Augustine from 1902-1913.

The primary admissions entry point for Bishop Kenny is in 9th grade, with varying transfer opportunities offered in 10th and 11th grades. Transfer is not allowed going into the senior year, unless the student is transferring from a Catholic or Jesuit Highschool from outside of the Jacksonville area. Admission is based on standardized test scores; recommendations, grade point average, and involvement in extracurricular activities. After an application is completed, then the student must go through a formal interview process.[20]

Statistical profile[edit]

Bishop Kenny currently enrolls 1,210 students.[21] Minority populations constitute about 21 percent of the student body, with 5 percent African-Americans, 8 percent Hispanics, and 4 percent Asian-Americans or Pacific Islanders.[22]

Dress code[edit]

A student uniform is required.[23][24] Male students are required to wear navy blue pants, white button down dress shirts, belts, embroidered ties, and brown or black dress shoes, with socks. Girls are required to wear uniform skirts, white button down blouses, and black or brown dress shoes and socks.


Homecoming week signals a week of accessorizing the school uniform in a daily themed schedule, which may include "Western day", "College day", and "Color Your Class".

Class colors are voted on by the student government and are traditionally: freshmen yellow, sophomores orange, juniors blue, seniors pink. Other traditions include athletic events with rivals The Bolles School and Episcopal School of Jacksonville.[25]

"Yearbook Presents" is a ticket-only event held during the final week of senior classes in which the Drumline appears, a teacher produced skit imitating the most popular seniors is performed, and a multimedia presentation of Senior memories is shown.[26]


Tuition to Bishop Kenny for the 2013–2014 school year is $7,020 for Catholic students and $9,900 for non-Catholic students. In addition, the cost for funding 2 Catholic student is $12,940 and for 3 or more Catholic students is $17,420. There are also registration fees of $1,200 per academic year.[27]


Every student at Bishop Kenny is involved in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. Honors and Advanced Placement sections exist in each of the curricular disciplines. Admissions are based on grades, an entrance exam, and various other criteria. Bishop Kenny is known for its academic rigor, and the diploma requirements exceed the requirements for a Florida high school diploma.[28]

Academics at Bishop Kenny, consist of small class sizes and many Advanced Placement programs. The curriculum is diverse and allows room for innovation by faculty. Many classrooms are set up in a style to encourage conversation and communication.


The faculty at Bishop Kenny includes a total of 83 men and women. Approximately half of the faculty hold advanced degrees (master's or doctorates). Faculty members are state certified teachers with an average teaching experience of 17 years.[29] Bishop Kenny High School is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Bishop Kenny High School has an honor system, which is formally known as the Honor Code. Students are obligated to follow the Honor Code and are expected to protect the privilege and not tolerate any violations.[30]


Bishop Kenny places a particularly strong emphasis on community service, encouraging their students to serve the community. All students are required to fulfill community service requirements of 20 hours per academic year. If a students fails to complete the service requirements, then they will face an academic penalty. During the 2016-2017 academic year the student body performed 17,248 hours of community service.[31]

AP curriculum[edit]

Advanced Placement Program (AP) courses includes the following:[32]

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps[edit]

Bishop Kenny has a prestigious Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. Officially founded in 1973, it is one of the largest programs in the state. The program teaches discipline, honor, and dedication through the uniform inspections, drill instruction, and academics placed in the hands of the students.

The curriculum teaches four naval science courses for students who are in the program. The program is sponsored by the United States Navy and has a staff of two retired military personnel.[33]

Student Newspaper[edit]

The Shield is the student paper. In Spring 2009 the Florida Times Union bestowed the Henry A. Blumenthal Memorial Trophy to The Shield. This is an annual High School Journalism Awards contest for the best student newspaper in the Jacksonville area.[34][35]


Bishop Kenny's athletic sports teams, known as the "Crusaders", compete in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA).

Athletic competition has long been a part of the Bishop Kenny tradition. In the 1970s the William H. Johnston Football Stadium was built and included bleachers, concession stands, and a press box.[36] In addition the stadium is located on the St. Johns River, and is directly across the river from TIAA Bank Field (home of the Jacksonville Jaguars). The school won its first state championship in men's basketball in 1957, and the Baldwin Gymnasium (named after the late Kenny basketball coach John Baldwin) was completed in October 1961, which was the largest in the city of Jacksonville at the time.[37]

Bishop Kenny competes in sports against schools from throughout the state of Florida. Teams are fielded at the varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen levels. There are 20 different sports in interscholastic competition.[38] The athletic program has been awarded as the top program numerous times by the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame. In addition, the school field teams in every sport sanctioned by the Florida High School Athletic Association.[39]

The official colors are red and white. The school offers 9 girls' sports and 11 boys' sports. Bishop Kenny maintains athletic rivalries with the Bolles Bulldogs and Episcopal Eagles.[40]

Athletic facilities[edit]

Bishop Kenny has several athletic facilities, such as the John Baldwin Athletic Center, a multi-purpose arena and home to the basketball teams and volleyball team. William Johnston Stadium is home to the football team and the track & field teams. The Abbie Lenahan Tennis Courts are home to the tennis teams (which consists of 6 courts). In addition, Bishop Kenny has a baseball stadium, multiple weight rooms, the Roger Strickland Field House, and a softball field.[41]


In their 60-year history of athletic competition, Bishop Kenny's varsity athletic teams have won thirty-eight state championships. The boys' varsity teams and the girls' varsity teams each have won nineteen state championships.[42]

Girls' State Championships
Basketball 1990, 1991, and 1992
Cross country 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2008
Track (relay) 1995, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008
Volleyball 1999, 2014
Boys' State Championships
Baseball 2002, 2008
Basketball 1957
Cross country 1991, 1992, 1993, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009, and 2012
Soccer 1973
Swimming 2004
Track (team) 1991, 1992
Track (relay) 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2000


Student organizations and clubs range from cultural and athletic to subjects pertaining to philanthropy. Some of the most popular organizations are Key Club, the Student Newspaper, the Yearbook, Chorus, Band, the Drama Club, and Student Government.[43]

Alumni Affairs[edit]

The Bishop Kenny Booster Club (BK Boosters) is an alumni organization and booster club for the school. It is a membership organization for alumni and friends, as it does not require one to be a graduate. In addition, Bishop Kenny's academics & athletics have been supported by this organization for over 30 years. In total the BK Boosters have raised over $3.5 million to support the school's athletic and extra-curricular programs.[44] The BK Boosters serve the school through programs, events, and services targeted at alumni and friends. Some of the programs include membership options, golf tournaments, auctions, and tuition raffles.[45]



The President of Bishop Kenny served as the principal executive officer for the school. Bishop Kenny has had many individuals lead it throughout its history:

  • Monsignor Terence Farrelly (1952-1956)[46]
  • Monsignor Mortimer Danaher (1956–1967)
  • Monsignor Daniel Logan (1970–1989)
  • Father Michael Houle (1989–2015)[47]

Notable alumni[edit]

Bishop Kenny has over 16,000 alumni and a large number of them are supporters of the school after they graduate.[48] The following is a select list of notable alumni of Bishop Kenny High School sorted by last name:

Alumni Notability
Cameron Smith
Current First Baseman/Statistician for #NMT.[49]
Mason Cathey
former member of two SEC Championship Track and Field teams at University of Florida and former Collegiate Cross Country Head Coach. Finished 4th at the PanAmerican Games in Mexico and qualified for the finals in the 3000m steeplechase at the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Tyler Cathey
1998 High School 4A Wrestling (189 lb) State Champion and former two-sport star (in football and wrestling) at Muhlenberg College. 2018 Inductee into Muhlenberg College Athletic Hall of Fame
Travis Chapman
Former MLB baseball player for the Philadelphia Phillies, and current New York Yankees scout.
Donna Deegan
Former weekday anchor for WTLV/WJXX[50]
Virgil Roger du Pont III
Founding member and lead singer of the band The Crüxshadows[51]
Todd Dunn
Former MLB Baseball player for the Milwaukee Brewers[52]
Philip Don Estridge
Computer specialist, known as "Father of the IBM PC"[53]
Joi Williams Felton
Current Head Coach for UCF Women's Basketball 2007–present.[54]
Ben Gamel
Major League Baseball player[55]
Mat Gamel
Major League Baseball player[56]
Kevin Gilbride, Jr.
Currently tight ends coach for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League and former tight ends coach for New York Giants[57]
Carla Harris
Named to Fortune Magazine's list of "The 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in Corporate America,[58] and gospel singer who has performed at Carnegie Hall[59]
Yoanna House
American fashion model. Winner of America's Next Top Model[60]
Pat McMahon
Former Head Coach for the Florida Gators and Mississippi State Bulldogs baseball baseball teams, current Head Coach for the Staten Island Yankees[61]
Darren O'Day
Current Major League Pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles[62]
Jonathan Papelbon
Former MLB baseball player and closer for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies[63]
Billy Powell
Keyboardist of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd[64]
Tommy Raffo
Former MLB baseball prospect with the Cincinnati Reds, and current head baseball coach for Arkansas State University[65]
Sam Rivers
Current bassist, and co-founder of the band Limp Bizkit[66]
Roger Strickland
Former professional basketball player with National Basketball Association[67]
Alejandro Taylor
Current professional soccer player with Liga de Honra[68]
H. James Towey
Former president of Saint Vincent College, and director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives[69]
Elizabeth Tucker
Recipient of the NCAA Woman of the Year Award in 2014 after an outstanding soccer career with the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish women's soccer team.
Kevin Witt
Former MLB baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays, and the St. Louis Cardinals[70]
Toni Yates
Current news reporter and anchorwoman for WABC-TV[71]

|- |Thomas Hern
(2010) |Named one of the 30 most influential Conservatives under the age of 30 by Newsmax and the Washington Examiner and is the Current National Grassroots Director for ACT for America[72] |}


  1. ^ about the faculty
  2. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
  3. ^ about the student SAT mean
  4. ^ about the student ACT mean
  5. ^ Accreditations Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ 36 State Titles Archived November 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ History of Bishop Kenny High School accessed on July 13, 2008 Archived November 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Diocese of St. Augustine former bishops retrieved on May 12, 2007
  9. ^ About Father Houle Archived November 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ about the size of the campus
  11. ^ 2016 Census Data
  12. ^ Geography Archived October 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Shipbuilding, repair have deep roots in Jacksonville". December 23, 2011.
  14. ^ About religious services Archived February 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ About the sports offered
  16. ^ Faculty with advanced degrees
  17. ^ About student clubs
  18. ^ scholarships awarded class of 2017
  19. ^ About the state championships
  20. ^ About BKHS Admissions Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Total Number of Students Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ Statistical Profile
  23. ^ about the dress code Archived June 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ Dress Code requirements Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ athletic rivals
  26. ^ About Yearbook Presents Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. ^ Paying For BKHS Archived January 17, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ Academic requirements Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  29. ^ About the faculty and staff[permanent dead link]
  30. ^ About the Honor Code Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  31. ^ Statistics for community service hours completed Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ AP Courses Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ About the NJROTC Program
  34. ^ info about award
  35. ^ additional info
  36. ^ About William Johnston Football Stadium Archived October 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  37. ^ About the Baldwin Gymnasium Archived October 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  38. ^ About BKHS Athletics Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ Additional info about the Crusaders Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  40. ^ About the rivalries
  41. ^ About the athletic facilities Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ BKHS Athletic accomplishments Archived November 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  43. ^ BKHS Student Organizations Archived November 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  44. ^ About the BK Boosters Archived July 25, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  45. ^ About the BK Boosters Archived January 17, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  46. ^ added info about Monsignor Farrelly
  47. ^ About Father Houle
  48. ^ About the alumni Archived October 23, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  49. ^ CAMERON Smith
  50. ^ [1]
  51. ^ About Rogue
  52. ^ The baseball Archived September 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. accessed March 7, 2008
  53. ^ About Estridge
  54. ^ Player Bio: Joi Williams Felton :: Women's Basketball Archived June 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  55. ^
  56. ^ Mat Gamel career stats Archived August 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  57. ^ About Kevin Gilbride at NY Giants
  58. ^ Women Shaping the World: Speakers Archived October 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  59. ^
  60. ^ About Yoanna House
  61. ^ About Pat McMahon
  62. ^ Los Angeles Angels website accessed April 2, 2008
  63. ^ Jon Papelbon career stats Archived August 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  64. ^[permanent dead link] retrieved August 12, 2007
  65. ^ About Tommy Raffo
  66. ^ About Sam Rivers Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  67. ^ About Roger Strickland
  68. ^ About Alejandro Taylor
  69. ^ About Jim Towey
  70. ^ Baseball accessed March 7, 2008
  71. ^ About Toni Yates Archived June 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  72. ^ [2] Error in Webarchive template: Empty url.

External links[edit]