Our Lady of Good Counsel High School (Montgomery County, Maryland)
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|Our Lady of Good Counsel High School|
17301 Old Vic Boulevard
|Motto||Faciat Maria Nos Videre|
(English: Mary, make us see.)
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|President||Dr. Paul Barker|
|Principal||Mr. Tom Campbell|
|Chaplain||Fr. Tom Lavin|
|Campus||69 acres (280,000 m2)|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
|Slogan||We inspire our students to excel, serve, and love.|
|Athletics conference||Washington Catholic Athletic Conference|
|Accreditation||Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Publication||The Counselor (literary magazine)|
|Admissions Director||Maria Nichols|
|Athletic Director||Pat Bates|
Our Lady of Good Counsel High School is a private, Catholic, college-preparatory, coeducational high school in Olney, Maryland, an unincorporated area of Montgomery County, Maryland. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.
Operated under the sponsorship of the Xaverian Brothers, Our Lady of Good Counsel offers students grades nine through twelve, a wide array of programs and activities that advance academic excellence, fosters spiritual growth, and encourages leadership and service to others. With a student body of just over 1,200, the school prides itself as being a community that promotes an inclusive environment, embodying the Xaverian values of simplicity, humility, compassion, zeal, and trust.
The school was founded in 1958 as an all-boys school in Wheaton, Maryland. In 1988, the school became coeducational, and during the 2006-2007 school year, the school relocated to a new, sprawling 69-acre, high-tech campus in beautiful Olney, Maryland, about 7 miles (11 km) north of its previous location in Wheaton, Maryland. It is the only Washington-area Catholic school built in the 21st century and is well-equipped for 21st-century learning.
The faculty consists of 200 teachers, counselors and administrators. 70 percent of the teachers hold advanced degrees. In September 1969 and 2002, Good Counsel High School was awarded the Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in Secondary Education by the United States Department of Education. The school is fully accredited by the Middle States Association.
On July 1, 2011, Paul Barker took the helm as president after former Xaverian brother, Art Raimo, moved on from his position after serving 15 years as the president and another 18 years as a teacher/staff member at Good Counsel. Alumnus Tom Campbell '93, became principal on July 1, 2013, following the retirement of Jack Graham.
Good Counsel High School offers both Advanced Placement courses, the STEM Program, and the International Baccalaureate Program (it was the first private school in its district that had the IB Program). The school offers classes in three tracks: Honors, College Prep, or Ryken. The Ryken Program is geared towards students with mild learning differences, and is named after Theodore Ryken, founder of the Xaverian Brothers.
Graduating classes in recent history have been awarded significant academic, merit-based scholarships, and each class consistently breaks scholarship records from the year prior. Over 99 percent of the graduating classes attend college, and a large number are offered admission to attend top tier schools. Additionally, many students receive the recognition of being either a National Merit Scholarship Commended Students or a Maryland Distinguished Scholar Honorable Mention recipient.
Furthermore, Good Counsel boasts over 30 cultural and academic clubs and activities—including its nationally recognized speech and debate team.
As a Xaverian Brothers sponsored school, Good Counsel has an active campus ministry. Students are required to take four years of religious studies classes, as well as participate in religious retreats. Although retreats are offered every year, the most notable for GC students is the Junior retreat experience. The Chaplain of the school is Fr. Tom Lavin, who offers a daily Mass every day in the beautiful chapel and during all-school Masses on major religious holidays. Students and faculty alike, take part as altar servers, readers, and Eucharistic ministers. The school's talented choir (as well as faculty and staff) provide music during the liturgies.
All students are required to complete a certain number of community service hours each year, for a total of 100 hours upon graduation. Each four-year graduating class contributes a collective 32,000 hours of service.
All Good Counsel students are required to fulfill at least one art credit before graduation. The school offers a variety of ways to meet the arts requirement including Theatre, Band, Chorus, Dance, and Visual Arts.
Good Counsel's visual arts program begins with the Art Fundamentals course and continues through a variety of other courses that focus on drawing, sculpting, and artwork in other mediums. This continues all the way through IB art.
The school has a myriad of musical ensembles including a wind ensemble, symphonic band, string ensemble, beginning and advanced percussion ensembles, jazz ensemble, and a marching band. The school is the only school in the WCAC conference that offers a marching band. The marching band participates annually in band competitions and has performed successfully—often being awarded top honors.
The school also has an outstanding theatre program. The program performs two mainstage productions a year. Good Counsel raised funds for and has built a new, state-of-the-art, 700 seat performing arts center, which opened in spring 2016. Every year, for the past several years, Good Counsel's Theatre productions have received a five-star rating from the DC Metro Theatre Arts Magazine, including their presentation of Les Misérables.
Good Counsel's has many of the area's top-ranked athletic teams and is recognized as a regional and national powerhouse for both boys' and girls' sports. GC has collected over 60 championship titles in the past decade. Many of their talented student-athletes have continued on at the collegiate level and have received athletic scholarships at notable colleges and universities.
Good Counsel has most recently won, or has been a finalist for, the WCAC championship title in the following sports:
- Girls' Lacrosse
- Boys' Cross Country
- Girls' Soccer
- Girls' Field Hockey
- Boys' Track
- Girls' Basketball
- Girls' Volleyball
- Boys' Baseball
Both the men and women's swim teams are traditionally, among the best in the Washington area. The women's team won 13 straight Metro titles from 1997-2009.
The varsity ice hockey team won the MAPHL (Mid-Atlantic Prep Hockey League) Varsity A championship game in 2013 and 2015. The team also boasts a championship in 2002-2003 in the MSHL (Maryland State Hockey League). New in 2014, is the Good Counsel Equestrian Team, which successfully competes throughout the year.
Good Counsel's most notable boys' rival is DeMatha, an all-boys school, with whom they compete fiercely in several sports, including football, ice hockey, baseball, and wrestling.
The girls' primary rival is Holy Cross, which is an all-girls school. They compete closely with them in basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, volleyball and softball.
- Rev. Robert B. Lawton, S.J., Ph.D. 1965 – President, Loyola Marymount University.
- Al Checchi 1966 – former Chairman of Northwest Airlines and California gubernatorial candidate.
- Marty Hurney 1974 – General Manager, NFL's Carolina Panthers 2002-2012 and interim GM 2017.
- John Berry 1977 – United States Ambassador to Australia.
- Kevin Blackistone 1977 – columnist, Dallas Morning News; panelist, ESPN Around The Horn.
- Joseph Curl 1978 – Columnist, White House correspondent, The Washington Times. Editor, The Drudge Report.
- Mark Povinelli 1989 – actor, Water for Elephants (2011 film), Modern Family, Cold Case, graduate of Miami University.
- Rick Yune 1989 – actor, The Fast and the Furious and Die Another Day (James Bond villain), graduate of Wharton School (Penn), cousin of NBA star Jeremy Lin.
- Zach Hilton 1998 – former NFL player with New Orleans Saints 2003–2005 and New York Jets 2006; graduated from University of North Carolina.
- Chas Gessner 1999 – professional football player, member of 2003 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
- Roger Mason Jr. 1999 – NBA player for 7 different teams; graduated from University of Virginia; Executive Vice President of NBA Players Association.
- James Gist 2004 – 2008 second-round draft pick for NBA's San Antonio Spurs; player for Greek professional basketball powerhouse Panathinaikos; graduated from University of Maryland.
- Jelani Jenkins 2009 – 2013 fourth-round draft pick for NFL's Miami Dolphins, linebacker for Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, and Houston Texans; graduate of University of Florida
- Lou Young 2010 – undrafted free agent signed in 2014 by NFL's Denver Broncos; defensive back for Georgia Tech, Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Washington Redskins, and Arizona Cardinals.
- Blake Countess 2011 – 2016 sixth-round pick by NFL's Philadelphia Eagles; defensive back for Los Angeles Rams, University of Michigan and Auburn University.
- Stefon Diggs 2012 – 2015 fifth-round pick by NFL's Minnesota Vikings; WR and KR for University of Maryland; ACC Rookie-of-the-Year runner-up.
- Jack Conger 2013 – Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics 4 × 200 meter freestyle relay gold medalist; national high school record holder for 500-yard freestyle.
- Kendall Fuller 2013 – 2016 third-round pick by NFL's Washington Redskins; defensive back for Kansas City Chiefs and Virginia Tech; ACC Defensive Rookie-of-the-Year.
- Dorian O'Daniel 2013 – 2018 third round pick by NFL's Kansas City Chiefs; linebacker for Clemson University; winner of 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship.
- Margaret Purce 2013 – member of senior United States women's national soccer team, Portland Thorns and Boston Breakers of the NWSL.
- Kyle Snyder 2014 – wrestler, 2016, 2017 and 2018 NCAA heavyweight champion, 2015, 2017 world champion; Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics 97 kg freestyle gold medalist.
Marine Sgt. James R. McIlvaine, 26, Olney, Maryland; died April 30, 2009 while supporting combat operations in Anbar province; assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Twentynine Palms, California.
Notes and references
- "Code Search". The College Board. 2010. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
- MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on September 17, 2009. Retrieved July 31, 2009.
- Georgia, Jennifer (March 18, 2013). "Les Misérables at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School". Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- Arlington National Cemetery (October 20, 2009). "James R. McIlvaine". Retrieved February 23, 2019.