DeSales High School (Louisville, Kentucky)

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DeSales High School
425 West Kenwood Drive
Louisville, Kentucky, (Jefferson County) 40214
United States
Coordinates 38°09′44″N 85°46′28″W / 38.16230°N 85.77440°W / 38.16230; -85.77440Coordinates: 38°09′44″N 85°46′28″W / 38.16230°N 85.77440°W / 38.16230; -85.77440
Type Private, all-male
Motto "Faith + Brotherhood + Tradition"
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic,
Carmelite Brothers
Patron saint(s) St. Francis DeSales
Established 1956
CEEB code 181604
President Doug Strothman
Dean Lance Hammond[1]
Principal Anastasia Quirk
Grades 912
Gender Male
Campus Suburban
Houses Abbati, Brandsma, Elijah, Kalinowski, Mazzinghi, Pereira, Rabata, Spagnoli and Thomas
Color(s) Brown, Orange, & White               
Slogan "Stand up, Stand out, Stand proud!"
Athletics 12 KHSAA Sports
Athletics conference Kentucky High School Athletic Association
Mascot Colt
Team name DeSales Colts
Rival Holy Cross, Christian Academy of Louisville
Yearbook The Yearling
Athletic director Don Bowers '81

DeSales High School is a self-sufficient archdiocesan-sponsored Catholic high school for boys, serving families in and around the Louisville area.

Located near Iroquois Park in the center of Louisville, Kentucky, DeSales provides a standards-based college-prep curriculum in a small, all-male environment.

School symbols[edit]

Patron: St. Francis DeSales[edit]

Francis DeSales was born in 1567 in the backwoods of the lower Alpine mountain ranges in France. At the age of 15 he traveled to Paris to study at the Jesuit University College of Clermont, near the Sorbonne. In 1593 he was ordained a priest, and in 1602 he was consecrated Bishop of Geneva. He died in December 1622.

Francis DeSales is best remembered for his unique ability to spread the Christian message to people of many different cultural backgrounds, from the hardy people of his native mountains to the learned and sophisticated men and women of the French capital. King Henry IV described him as: "A rare bird indeed; devout, learned and a gentleman into the bargain… He does not know the art of flattery: his mind is too sincere for that…He is gentle, good and humble, deeply pious, but without useless scruples."

The patron of writers and journalists, Francis DeSales holds an honored place in French literature. His great work, Introduction to the Devout Life, was popular in his day and remained a widely read piece for centuries. The book was a pioneer piece of literature in showing that the Christian life is the challenge of every baptized Christian, of whatever rank or state of life, of whatever spiritual insight.

DeSales strives to imitate his dedication to the Christian message, his scholarship, his spiritual heroism, and his love for all people.[2]

Coat of arms[edit]

The four quadrants of the coat of arms are separated by a cross, a symbol of Christianity. DeSales is a Christian school which seeks to promote and encourage the Christian way of life as expressed in the message of Jesus and in the history and traditions of the Catholic Church.

In the upper left quadrant is the shield of the Carmelite Order, which helped found DeSales in 1956. The arched line represents Mount Carmel in Palestine where the Carmelite friars began; the three stars represent Elijah and Elisha – prophets of the Old Testament – and Mary, the mother of Jesus, three persons whose way of living has influenced the history and traditions of the Carmelite Order.

In the upper right quadrant is the quill-pen of scholarship, symbolic of the academic endeavors of teachers and students at DeSales High School.

In the lower left quadrant is the Olympic Torch – an ancient Greek symbol representing the athletic endeavors of the DeSales High School Community.

In the lower right quadrant is the fleur-de-lis, the symbol of Louisville, the city in which DeSales is located.

Within the entire coat of arms is represented the hopes and aspirations of every person who is a part of the DeSales Community – to give to the city of Louisville educated young men, filled with the vision of the prophets and the zeal of Jesus, imbued with a spirit of academic and athletic excellence.[2]

Mascot: the colt[edit]

The colt is the symbol of the DeSales spirit. The significance of the colt is almost self-evident to the people of the DeSales neighborhood – a neighborhood that encompasses the home of the Kentucky Derby. The Colt is a symbol of life and vitality. Within the Colt are the strains of future greatness – a greatness that must be conditioned by discipline, training, experience, freedom, responsibility and love. Like the Colt, DeSales is still young. We manifest the tensions, frustrations and impatient idealism of youth. We thirst for success in all areas of endeavor, but primarily in the process of becoming mature, free and responsible Christian men.

School history[edit]

In 1954 Archbishop John A. Floersh approved an invitation to the Carmelite Order to start and administer a boys high school in the southern part of Louisville. During the following year the Provincial of the Carmelite Order, Fr. Raphael Kiefer, O. Carm., Fr. Dominic Lichteig and Fr. John Larkin began the long process of negotiations with the diocese for the establishment of St. Francis DeSales High School.

On August 9, 1956, Fr. Jude Cattelona arrived inLouisville to become the founding principal of DeSales High School. On September 10, 1956, approximately one hundred thirty boys began their first year at DeSales, and on May 29, 1960, eighty-five young men became the first graduates of DeSales at ceremonies in the outdoor amphitheater in Iroquois Park. Fathers Casimir Zielinski, Linus Crowley and Robert Lee and one layman were the first faculty of DeSales High School. Fr. Jude was principal of DeSales until 1965.

From 1965 to 1983 three Carmelite principals directed the continued growth and development of DeSales High School. Fr. Murray Phelan, Fr. Tom Batsis and Fr. Farrell Kane each strove to maintain the quality of a DeSales education while adapting it to important changes within the local community and American society as a whole. A shared-time program was initiated with local public schools whereby students could take vocational education courses for half of the school day. DeSales was one of the first high schools in the Louisville area to equip itself with computers and require all students to take a course in computer literacy. A Language Arts Center was established to aid high school students who had special difficulties in reading, writing and study skills. The religion program was expanded to include an opportunity for each senior to participate in an intense Kairos Retreat and for all responsible juniors and seniors to join in a program of community service.

In June 1983 Mr. Raymond Rieber '65 was named the first lay principal of DeSales. As a graduate of DeSales, and a teacher and administrator for many years, Mr. Rieber was personally aware of the assets of the DeSales community and sought to develop them to their greatest potential. During his four-year term as principal, Mr. Rieber helped to establish the DeSales School Board more firmly as an active, policy-making body, which would guide the school's growth and development. That development included the major renovation of the library and gymnasium, a $700,000 project completed in July 1987. Archbishop Thomas Kelly and the Archdiocese of Louisville provided critical support for these improvements.

In June 1987, Mr. Rieber was succeeded by Mr. David Winkler. Mr. Winkler had served as a teacher and administrator at DeSales for twelve years prior to his appointment as principal. His primary goals were to promote the vitality of DeSales and to work toward its long-term financial security. Under his guidance an IBM networked computer lab was created to permit each student to have his own work file for word processing and tutorial programs. Joint programs with CARITAS Hospital and the Jefferson County Police Department permitted each DeSales student to gain first-hand information about careers in health services and police and law enforcement. With regard to financial security, DeSales joined with the Archdiocese of Louisville to set four-year tuition rates and provide in excess of $75,000 per year in financial aid to deserving families.

In July 1994 Mr. Marty Minogue succeeded David Winkler as principal. Mr. Minogue, a teacher at DeSales since 1974, had served as Assistant Principal of Studies for seven years. Mr. Minogue was integral to the renovation and addition to the main entrance of the school building, a project completed in 1996. In April of that year, DeSales added Mr. George Pressey as president. Mr. Pressey had previously been the Superintendent of Secondary Schools for the Archdiocese of Louisville. Later in 1999, Dr. Penney Sanders became the first Executive Director, replacing George Pressey as head of school. Dr. Sanders had previously served as an administrator in southern Jefferson County Schools and in the Office of Accountability for the State Department of Education.

In July 2000, the position of Director of Academics was created to replace the role of the principal. Mr. Frank DeSensi was hired as Director. Mr. DeSensi served as a teacher and administrator in the Jefferson County schools for thirty years and had most recently served as a Distinguished Educator for the State Department of Education. The following year, the positions of executive director and director of academics were eliminated, and Mr. Tim Keogh was appointed as Principal by Archbishop Thomas Kelly. Mr. Keogh had been a teacher at DeSales for thirteen years prior to this appointment. During Mr. Keogh's term, DeSales launched the award-winning Teach-nology initiative, a cutting-edge technology program which included the wireless networking of the entire school and the provision of a notebook computer for every student and faculty member. In 2006 President Doug Strothman began his tenure as head of school.

DeSales High School has nearly 6,000 alumni living in 49 states.[3]


External links[edit]