Holy Cross High School (Queens)

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Holy Cross High School
Holy cross high school.jpg
26-20 Francis Lewis Boulevard
New York City (Flushing, Queens), New York 11358
United States
Coordinates 40°46′16″N 73°47′43″W / 40.77111°N 73.79528°W / 40.77111; -73.79528Coordinates: 40°46′16″N 73°47′43″W / 40.77111°N 73.79528°W / 40.77111; -73.79528
Motto spes unica
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic;
Holy Cross
Established 1955
President Michael R. "Mike" Truesdell
Principal Edward Burns
Grades 9-12
Color(s) Green and Gold         
Athletics 12 sports
Athletics conference CHSAA
Mascot Knight
Nickname Cross
Team name Knights
Rival Saint Francis Prep High School
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Newspaper Lance
Alumni over 14,000

Holy Cross High School is an all-boys Roman Catholic high school in Flushing, in the New York City borough of Queens.

Founded in 1955, the school was chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, it is sponsored by the Brothers of Holy Cross. There is a 98% college placement rate.

The School's team is the Holy Cross Knights and the school's arch athletic rival is the Saint Francis Prep High School Terriers. Since they are both located on Francis Lewis Boulevard approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km) apart, when they play each other the game is called the Battle of the Boulevard.


The concept of the first all-boys Catholic high school in Queens was born on the campus of Notre Dame University in the early 1940s out of a friendship between Msgr. Edmund Reilly, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church (Flatlands) and Rev. Frederick Schulte, CSC. The Brothers of Holy Cross were invited to staff the Boys' Department of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1944 and St. Francis of Assisi in 1947. Within two months after coming to St. Thomas Aquinas, the Brothers were invited to establish a high school in the Bayside West section of Queens.

In September 1955, ten years after the initial plans were drawn, Holy Cross High School officially opened in the still incomplete building. The support of interested parents and friends contributed greatly to the success of the school. With the first graduating class of 460 in June 1959, the school was well on its way to becoming the fine institution it is today.

One of Holy Cross' first storied athletic teams was their inaugural 1955 football team created by Coaches Gerry Begley and Bill Stetter. Coach Begley was a standout high school QB and was the back-up QB for the 1947 Notre Dame Heisman Award winning QB John Lujack. While at Notre Dame, Begley played under legendary Coach Frank Leahy in the late 1940s winning 3 National Championships. This 1955 HC football team was only the beginning of a football program that would quickly reach nationally-recognized prominence and produce many highly touted college recruits. Coach Begley was succeeded by Coach Guido Maiola and then the highly respected and successful football Coach Robert Griffin who would guide HC to their 1963 (1st school championship) and 1965 New York City championships before becoming the head coach for Idaho State, the University of Rhode Island, and QBs Coach/Offensive Coordinator of the College of the Holy Cross.

Holy Cross began as a comprehensive high school offering college preparatory courses in addition to conducting programs in industrial arts and general studies. It is now entirely college prep, with about 98% of its graduates continuing their higher education in schools throughout the country.


Holy Cross has always been a college preparatory school. When the school was first opened, they had an industrial arts program which included a print shop which printed, among other things, the school newspaper "The Lance". This program was discontinued during the principalship of Brother Aubert Harrigan, C.S.C. in favor of expanding the mission and purpose of the school as a more "college prep" environment. A New York State Education Department official remarked to John McGovern, during his principalship (1975–1981), that the industrial arts program at Holy Cross "in the early days" distinguished the school in a national profile of Catholic secondary schools in the United States. It was during the McGovern tenure that the school reached its highest enrollment (1400+); it was also during this period that the school reached its first milestone anniversary celebration of 25 years (1955–1980)and commenced its first pursuit of regional accreditation by The Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges and which was brought to completion during the early tenure of James Lembo the school's sixth principal. The school is well known for its Community Service Program and McGovern proudly accepted from NEWSDAY the designation of High School of the Year in 1979 in recognition of the hundreds of weekly hours of service which the senior class of 225 gave to parishes, community programs and most notably St. Mary's Children's Hospital in Bayside.

The Office of Alumni Relations was founded in 1977 just in time to celebrate the 20th year reunion of the school's first graduating class (1959. Graduates have attended such institutes as Cornell University, West Point, Howard University, Villanova University, Binghamton University, Boston College, University of New Hampshire, Notre Dame, Fordham, Catholic University of America, Harvard, and Columbia University.

Religious life[edit]

Besides athletics, Holy Cross offers many intellectual pursuits such as, but not limited to: Campus Ministry, Student Government, and the National Honors Society (NHS). The Holy Cross Brothers still staff the school in various capacities; however as a result of governance changes instituted during the McGovern tenure in collaboration with provincial leadership, the school is operating under a "sponsorship" model with the Brothers of Holy Cross constituting the ownership board and a local Board of Directors constituting the management board. The religious philosophy is based on the mission of The Brothers of Holy Cross which were founded in Le Mans, France in 1835.

Notable alumni[edit]


Other notables[edit]


  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Retrieved May 27, 2009. 

External links[edit]