Holy Cross High School (Connecticut)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Holy Cross High School
"Our Only Hope"
587 Oronoke Road
Waterbury, Connecticut, (New Haven County) 06708
United States
Coordinates 41°31′52″N 73°3′54″W / 41.53111°N 73.06500°W / 41.53111; -73.06500Coordinates: 41°31′52″N 73°3′54″W / 41.53111°N 73.06500°W / 41.53111; -73.06500
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1968
Founder Basil Moreau
Status Active
President Frank Samuelson
Principal Margaret Leger
Grades 912
Enrollment 500 (2015)
Average class size 21
Campus Suburban
Campus size 37 acres (including playing fields and XC course)
Color(s) Green and Gold         
Slogan "Educating Hearts and Minds since 1968"
Athletics conference Naugatuck Valley League
Team name Crusaders
Accreditation New England Association of Schools and Colleges[1]
Publication CrossWords
Communities served Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Naugatuck, Newtown, Prospect, Woodbury, Middlebury, Oxford, Beacon Falls, Cheshire, Southington, Southbury, Torrington, Litchfield, Roxbury, Thomaston, Derby, Ansonia, Seymour

Holy Cross High School is a Catholic secondary school founded in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1968 by the Congregation of Holy Cross. It is the largest Catholic secondary school in Connecticut, situated on thirty-seven acres in the West End of Waterbury, Connecticut, accessible via Route 8 and I-84. It is not part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford.

Holy Cross has a total enrollment of 500 students and an average class size of 125.[2] Originally an all-boys institution, it became co-educational in 1975 when it merged with the Waterbury Catholic High School, an all-girls school. The Holy Cross High School campus maintains a campus-wide wi-fi signal; a computer-equipped, Internet-connected library; a large instrumental and choral music room with adjacent practice rooms; science labs; a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art foreign language lab; a guidance complex; a 750-seat tiered auditorium; a full-service cafeteria; a gymnasium; the Stephen J. Ross Fitness Center; and state-of-the-art digital classrooms and art studios in the recently constructed two-million-dollar Alex Family Gallery Art and Technology Center.

The school's founding faculty (1968) included among others, Brother John McGovern, first band director of the school, who became Academic Vice Principal in 1972 prior to his leaving for New York to lead Holy Cross High School, Flushing. In 1989 McGovern returned to the CT area to become Superintendent of Schools of the Archdiocese of Hartford.


Admission to the school is competitive, requiring a 3.5 hour placement test, a transcript from the applicant's grammar school, a letter of recommendation, and an essay.

Holy Cross scholarships and financial aid to those that qualify. Applicants may be eligible for merit scholarships if they score within the top 10%. Scholarships are usually renewable yearly. Once admitted, students have the opportunity to take proficiency tests in mathematics and/or foreign language to advance their freshman year placing (Ex. A student may take the Spanish proficiency exam to place him/herself out of Spanish 1 CP and into Spanish 2 Honors or even Spanish 3 Honors). Financial aid is also given to those in need in the form of grants. Holy Cross also has an installment program so that parents can pay tuition in increments over the academic year.


Classes available[edit]

Mathematics Department

  • Algebra 1 Honors
  • Algebra 1 CP-A
  • Algebra 1 CP-B (lowest level in all departments)
  • Geometry Honors (available to select freshmen)
  • Geometry CP-A
  • Geometry CP-B
  • Algebra 2 Honors
  • Advance Algebra 2
  • Algebra 2 CP-A
  • Algebra 2 CP-B
  • Pre-Calculus Honors
  • Pre-Calculus CP
  • AP Statistics
  • Statistics CP
  • Triginometry
  • AP Calculus AB (limited to seniors who took Geometry as freshmen)

English Department

  • English 9 Honors
  • English 9 CP-A
  • English 9 CP-B
  • English Skills Program (enrichment course for students in English 9 CP-B)
  • English 10 Honors
  • English 10 CP-A
  • English 10 CP-B
  • English 11 Honors
  • English 11 CP-A
  • English 11 CP-B
  • AP Language and Composition
  • AP English Literature
  • English 12 Honors: British and Western Literature
  • English CP Honors: British and Western Literature
  • Effective Writing 1: Writing Rudiments
  • Effective Writing 2: Essay Composition
  • Journalism
  • Creative Writing
  • Introduction to Film

Social Studies Department

  • Western Civilization Honors
  • Western Civilization CP-A
  • Western Civilization CP-B
  • World Regional Studies Honors
  • World Regional Studies CP-A
  • World Regional Studies CP-B
  • AP US History
  • US History Honors
  • US History CP-A
  • US History CP-B
  • AP European History
  • Political Science
  • Practical Law
  • AP Psychology
  • Psychology Honors
  • Psychology CP
  • American Government
  • Contemporary Issues
  • AP World History

Science Department

  • Biology Honors (These students skip Environmental Science and take Chemistry the following year instead of having it as juniors)
  • Biology CP-A
  • Biology CP-B
  • Environmental Science CP (not taken by students who took Honors Biology as freshmen)
  • Chemistry Honors
  • Chemistry CP-A
  • Chemistry CP-B
  • Physics Honors
  • Physics CP
  • Neuroscience Honors
  • Neuroscience 1 (Fall)
  • Neuroscience 2 (Spring)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology Honors
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology CP
  • Advanced Explorations in Science
  • AP Biology (taken by seniors who took Biology Honors as freshmen and skipped to Chemistry, thus putting them ahead by a year)

Language Department

  • French 1 CP
  • French 2 Honors
  • French 3 Honors
  • Advanced French
  • ECE (Early College Experience) French
  • Spanish 1 CP
  • Conversational Spanish 1 (The conversational level is for students who were in English Skills with CP-B English 9 as freshmen, as, with the extra English class, they don't take a language until sophomore year)
  • Spanish 2 Honors
  • Spanish 2 CP
  • Conversational Spanish 2
  • Spanish 3 Honors
  • Spanish 3 CP
  • Conversational Spanish 3
  • Advanced Spanish
  • Spanish 4 CP
  • AP Spanish
  • Italian 1 CP
  • Italian 2 CP
  • Italian 3 CP
  • Italian 4 CP

Theology Department

  • Introduction to Scripture (freshmen only)
  • Christian Morality (sophomores only)
  • Catholic Social Teaching (juniors only)
  • Seniors have a pick of: Peer Ministry, World Religions, Development of Faith Through the Arts, and Lives of the Saints (half year course)

Physical Education Department

  • Health and Safety 1 / Physical Education 1 (each a half year course but must be taken together in the same year)
  • Health and Safety 2 / Physical Education 2
  • Build a Better Body
  • Sports Fitness
  • Ultimate Fitness
  • Health Trends
  • Yoga
  • Fitness Walking

Art Department

  • Studio Art
  • Drawing and Design
  • Painting
  • Painting 2
  • Sculpture
  • Sculpture 2
  • Advanced Drawing
  • AP Studio Art
  • Introduction to the Arts

Music Department

  • Concert Band
  • Piano/Keyboard
  • Guitar and Bass Ensemble
  • Concert Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Musical Theatre History
  • Music Theory CP
  • AP Music Theory

Integrated Arts and Technology Department

  • Personal Finance CP-A
  • Personal Finance CP-B
  • Advanced Personal Finance
  • Accounting 1 CP
  • Advanced Accounting CP
  • Business Law
  • Comprehensive Computer Applications
  • Web Design
  • Excel Software
  • Introduction to Digital Art

Faculty and accreditation[edit]

The Brothers of Holy Cross, Eastern Province, continue Basil Moreau's vision through sponsorship and staffing of the school, in association with the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame and many dedicated lay men and women. The administration and faculty comprise one Brother, two Sisters, and lay men and women, most of whom hold advanced degrees and/or certificates of advanced study.

Holy Cross High School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and meets Connecticut certification standards. The school belongs to the National Catholic Education Association and the Connecticut Association of Schools.

Block scheduling[edit]

To allow classes to delve more deeply into subject matter and increase activity-based and group-oriented learning, the school began block scheduling in 1997, increasing classroom periods to 80 minutes. The schedule is on an A, B, A, B scheduling.

Core program[edit]

The curriculum evolves to remain current with trends and educational standards. Core academic classes include English, social studies, mathematics, science, foreign languages, and theology. Enrichment courses and specialized programs include:

  • Advanced Placement - courses in English, mathematics, foreign languages, social studies, art, and science.
  • Honors Program - provides qualified students with extended requirements.
  • Elective Courses - offered in creative writing, journalism, concert band, choir, computer programming, technology, fine arts, art and film, neuroscience, and many others.
  • First Year Program - helps freshmen focus on study skills, daily planning, time management, self-esteem, peer pressure and relationships, test- taking strategies, and early career planning.


State Victory 2006
State Victory 2011

Holy Cross is a member of the Naugatuck Valley League and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Council. The Holy Cross athletic program is respected statewide for its competitiveness and the positive attitudes and good sportsmanship of its players and coaches. The Crusaders have a history of success as evidenced by the many awards, acknowledgments, and trophies displayed throughout the building. The Crusaders compete in twenty-two varsity sports for boys and girls. In 2011, the Crusaders began its lacrosse program at the JV level. Holy Cross High School's sports teams are as follows:

  • Boys' and Girls' Soccer
  • Boys' and Girls' Cross Country
  • Football
  • Girls' Volleyball
  • Girls' Swimming and Diving
  • Boys' and Girls' Indoor Track
  • Boys' and Girls' Basketball
  • Boys' Swimming and Diving
  • Boys' Wrestling
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Boys' and Girls' Track and Field
  • Boys and Girls Tennis
  • Golf
  • Boys' and Girls' Lacrosse

Along with these sports, Holy Cross also has intramural basketball, bowling, ultimate frisbee, bocce.


Holy Cross High School is well known in Connecticut for its football program. In 2006, the team won the first football state championship in the school's history, the Class SS State Championship, defeating Stratford 40-0. They were ranked third among all teams in the state, following Greenwich and Ansonia. In 2011 the Crusaders earned their second state championship with a 34-27 win over Cromwell in the Class S State Championship. The 12-2 Crusaders suffered only two defeats that season, both to Ansonia, the Class M State Champion. They finished ranked eighth in the state. {{{2}}}

Boys basketball[edit]

Holy Cross High School has a rich tradition in basketball. Since beginning varsity play in 1970-71, the Crusaders have captured fourteen NVL titles, made nine state final appearances and won three state championships (1987-88 Class LL, 1994-95 Class LL and 1999-2000 Class L).

Girls basketball[edit]

Lady Crusaders Before a Win

The girls have a strong tradition of their own. They have captured sixteen NVL championships, made four state final appearances, and have one state title to their name (2006-07 Class M).

Boys tennis[edit]

Holy Cross High School has a very respected tennis team in the Naugatuck Valley League. In the 70's, 80's, and 90's, they were awarded NVL Champions almost every single year. Their coach, Mr. Ryan Mulhern, is very dedicated to his players, and welcomes everyone, from beginner to experienced.

"Crusader Cru"[edit]

Starting in 2010, the statewide recognized "Crusader Crazies" changed their title to the Crusader Cru. The loyal fans of Holy Cross' basketball and football programs travel around the state to turn any game into a 'home' atmosphere for the teams.[3] The Crusader Cru is also infamous in the state for The Pit [1], which is the name given to the Holy Cross High School basketball court by reporters around the state. The Pit is routinely ranked among the loudest and most intimidating venues in the state to play in.

Student activities[edit]

Holy Cross student activities are open to all students. Student activities offer the opportunity to explore lessons presented in class, learn new skills and develop leadership ability. More than thirty co-curricular organizations exist in conjunction with a well-respected student government. The student government at Holy Cross includes an Executive Board made of four elected class officers from each class, a liaison from the Presidents' Council, a liaison from the Athletic Council, and seven members of the Senior Life Board appointed by the institution's administration. The Student Government also consists of the Presidents' Council, which is made up of the president from every club at Holy Cross and the Athletic Council, which contains various members of the school's many athletic teams. This large student government is headed by one Student Government President who is elected at the end of his or her junior year by that year's Executive Board to preside over the following year.

Community service is a major component of every club and committee’s activities. Some projects are school-wide while others are particular to the organization. Holy Cross has a history of strong student leadership and community service as evidenced by their recognition as a State of Connecticut Gold Council of Excellence recipient and as a National Gold Council of Excellence designee.

Clubs and organizations[edit]

  • Art Club
  • Athletic Council
  • Bocce Club
  • Book Club
  • Bowling
  • Chess Club
  • Crosstones
  • Crusade For a Cure (Relay for Life)
  • Debate Team
  • Freshmen Committee
  • Girls Choir
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Holy Cross T.V.
  • Italian Club
  • Jazz Band
  • Junior Committee
  • Mock Trial Team
  • National Honor Society
  • Photography Club
  • Presidents' Council
  • S.A.D.D.
  • S.A.F.E.
  • Spanish Club
  • Senior Committee
  • Senior Life Board
  • Sophomore Committee
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Student Council
  • Student Theater
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Visions (Literary Magazine)
  • Yearbook
  • Yoga Club[4]

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Along with activities such as preparing Christmas gifts for senior citizens, sponsoring safe trick-or-treating for local children, or even getting a pep rally started, the students maintain positive attitudes throughout any activity they come to.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]