Seton Keough High School

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Seton Keough High School
Address
1201 Caton Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21227
United States
Coordinates 39°16′9″N 76°39′58″W / 39.26917°N 76.66611°W / 39.26917; -76.66611Coordinates: 39°16′9″N 76°39′58″W / 39.26917°N 76.66611°W / 39.26917; -76.66611
Information
Type Private, all-girls
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Established 1967
Closed 2017 (scheduled)
President Donna Bridickas
Grades 912
Student to teacher ratio 12:1
Color(s) Forest Green & Grey         
Slogan Think Respect, Sending Forth Women of Honor
Athletics 12 varsity sports, 6 JV
Mascot Gators
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Dean of Academics Ms. Lauren Urban
Website

Seton Keough High School is an all-girls college preparatory private, Roman Catholic high school in Baltimore, Maryland. It is located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, at 1201 Caton Avenue. It was founded in 1988 after the joining of the two schools, Archbishop Keough and Seton High School. It is scheduled for closure in June 2017.[2]

History[edit]

Emblem of the former Archbishop Keough High School

Seton Keough is named in honor of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and Francis Patrick Keough, who was the Archbishop of Baltimore from 1947 to 1961.[3]

Seton Keough builds on a tradition of Catholic education for young women in Baltimore. In 1865, the Daughters of Charity opened St. Joseph School of Industry at Carey and Lexington streets. This first school trained needy girls between the ages of 12 and 21; they learned such trades as dressmaking, sewing, tailoring, stenography, and typing. In addition, they studied religion, composition, history, mathematics, and reading.

Saint Joseph School of Industry moved to a new location, at 28th and Charles streets, in 1907. When it became apparent the diocese needed a central high school, Archbishop Curley asked the Daughters of Charity to expand the school. In 1926, the name of the school was changed to Seton High School, and the curriculum changed to emphasize a strong academic and business program. The school flourished.

As enrollment at all Catholic high schools increased, by the mid-1960s it became evident a new school was needed on the southwest side of the city. The School Sisters of Notre Dame responded to this need, and in 1965, Sr. Mary Virginia Connolly became the founding principal of Archbishop Keough High School. The school was built on 30 acres (12 ha) of land on Caton Avenue, and was structured as an archdiocesan high school. Archbishop Keough High added one grade a year; the first commencement took place in June 1969. The school flourished; in 1987, it was named an exemplary school by the U.S. Department of Education.

Although both Seton and Archbishop Keough had enrollments exceeding 1,100 in the mid-sixties, by the mid-eighties enrollment patterns had changed. In the summer of 1987, the boards of Archbishop Keough and Seton began to meet to explore the possibility of a merger. The need for a strong new school which combined the best of both schools—facilities, faculties, students, and equipment—to assure the future of Catholic secondary education for women in the Archdiocese of Baltimore became apparent. On June 15, 1988, after a year of joint planning, Seton High School moved out of its location on North Charles Street and into the Caton Avenue building with Archbishop Keough High School. The names of both schools changed to form the Seton Keough High School. The colors of both schools changed to green and gray: gray for the shared color, and green as a sign of hope for the future. The curriculum included a dynamic college-preparatory curriculum in all academic subjects as well as the fine and performing arts, on levels including Advanced Placement, and Honors, and the Marillac Program for students with special needs.

On October 26, 2016, the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced that the school would close in June 2017.[2] The decision was reached as a result of an 18-month study of 22 Catholic schools in and around Baltimore. Conducted by consulting firms Ayers Saint Gross, DataStory and Fielding Nair International, the study examined school facilities, enrollment, and projected demographic data and potential areas of growth. The study identified three schools for closure due to under-enrollment and/or facility condition, including Seton Keough.[2]

Notable alumna[edit]

Traditions[edit]

Big Sister/Little Sister[edit]

Upon entry into the school, underclasswomen are paired with upperclasswomen. These pairs participate in activities that welcome new students to the Seton Keough community and provide a foundation of friendship for all four years.

Year Day[edit]

There is a class-wide contest at Seton Keough called "Year Day". A theme for the event is chosen (such as Disney movies, board games, decades, etc.) and each class must decorate a hallway, write a song, create a T-shirt, perform a dance, skit and a cheer in respect with the theme. A board of teachers judges them and ranks them from 1st to 4th place in each event. The class with the overall high score wins bragging rights until a new Year Day Champ is named. There are also other games during the course of the day, such as pie eating contests, tug-o-war, floor hockey, basketball, and slip-n-slide.[citation needed]

Halloween contest[edit]

An annual Halloween costume contest is held each year, with the categories of (per grade level) best single costume, best double costume, best group costume, cutest costume, funniest costume, and scariest costume. The senior class traditionally dresses in a grade-wide themed costume. The class of 2008 dressed as convicts, the class of 2009 dressed in a jungle theme, the class of 2010 dressed as the living dead, the class of 2011 dressed as super heroes, the class of 2012 dressed as soldiers, the class of 2013 dressed as cops and robbers, the class of 2014 dressed as senior citizens, the class of 2015 dressed as senior sisters (nuns), the class of 2016 dressed as seventies theme, and the class of 2017 dressed as secret service.[citation needed]

Walk for Hope[edit]

The Kathleen Bowen Walk for Hope is an annual fundraiser to raise money for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In 2015, the walk also raised funds to establish an SKHS fund to assist students whose parents/guardians are battling cancer.[4] The event begins and ends with a prayer service in the auditorium. Throughout the day, students walk around the loop in front of the school and take part in activities from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in different classrooms.[5] Activities include making items and cards to send to St. Jude patients,[6] the opportunity for girls to donate hair to make wigs for cancer patients,[5] and the sale of food and baked goods to raise money for the cause, among other things.

Sophomore pin and Junior ring[edit]

Students in their sophomore year receive a school pin, with the school's crest attached to their graduation year by a gold chain, to signify their progression of becoming upperclassmen.[7]

Girls in their junior year receive a school ring, to signify their progression of becoming the seniors and leaders of the school. Ring style options are reminiscent of those worn by both Archbishop Keough and Seton High School students.[7]

Class colors[edit]

Students in each class have a class color which is rotated every four years. In the 2015-16 year, the senior class was red, the junior class was blue, the sophomore class was green and the freshmen class was yellow. When a senior class graduates, the incoming freshman class takes their color as their own. In addition, each class picks a popular character to represent their class in the appropriate class color that will stay with them through their years there, such as Tweety for yellow.

Incidents[edit]

On September 18, 2001, Meghan Puls was riding in a friend's Corvette when the car left the road when the driver lost control due to resurfacing and she was killed. Meghan was a three-sport junior who excelled at basketball. Her basketball jersey hangs in the gym and her number is on the scoreboard.[citation needed]

Sexual abuse[edit]

In 2016 the Archdiocese of Baltimore confirmed that settlements had been paid to past students of the school who had alleged sexual abuse by Father A. Joseph Maskell, a priest at the school in the 1960s and '70s.[8][9] In November 1969, a popular English and drama teacher at Archbishop Keough, Sister Cathy Cesnik, was found murdered in the outskirts of the city of Baltimore. Her murder was never solved and is the topic of a true crime documentary The Keepers that was released on Netflix on May 19, 2017.[10] The abuses by the Catholic Church were also featured in the documentary in relation to the potential cover-up of the murder of Cesnik, who shortly before her death had been told by female students of the abuse. The documentary cited that over a hundred former students came forward to provide testimony on rape, sexual misconduct, and molestation.

Athletics[edit]

In 2012, SK sports teams won five championships. Seton Keough was home to twelve athletic teams. Three of these were in the IAAM Conference "A", and the remaining nine were in the IAAM Conference "B".

  • IAAM Conference "A" Sports
    • Volleyball - JV and Varsity (2012 Champions)
    • Basketball - JV and Varsity
    • Softball - JV and Varsity (2012 Champions)
  • IAAM Conference "B" Sports
    • Field Hockey - JV and Varsity (2012 Champions)
    • Cross Country - Varsity
    • Soccer - JV and Varsity
    • Indoor Track and Field - Varsity
    • Swimming - Varsity (2012 Champions)
    • Cheerleading - Varsity
    • Golf - Varsity (2012 Champions)
    • Track and Field - Varsity
    • Lacrosse - JV and Varsity

Arts[edit]

Theatre[edit]

The theatre department was revived in 2002. Now with a parenting organization behind it, the theatre department puts on three productions a year: a musical in the fall, a play in the spring, and a variety show in the winter. As of 2012, the play was in the fall and the musical was in the spring; in 2012 both productions were musicals. The auditorium has upgraded sound and light equipment over the past few years. Musicals are typically performed with live music from a pit band compiled of Seton Keough students and neighboring Catholic school students, including Mount de Sales and Mount Saint Joseph.

  • 2002 Fall- Anything Goes
  • 2003 Spring- Steel Magnolias
  • 2003 Fall- Guys and Dolls
  • 2004 Spring- A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • 2004 Fall- Cinderella
  • 2005 Spring- Peter Pan
  • 2005 Fall- Wizard of Oz
  • 2006 Spring- Little Women
  • 2006 Fall- Annie
  • 2007 Spring- The Odd Couple
  • 2007 Fall- Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
  • 2008 Spring- Alice in Wonderland
  • 2008 Fall- Beauty and the Beast
  • 2009 Spring- Cheaper by the Dozen
  • 2009 Fall- The King and I
  • 2010 Spring- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • 2010 Fall- The Sound of Music
  • 2011 Spring- The Mouse That Roared
  • 2011 Fall- Seussical the Musical
  • 2012 Spring- Our Miss Brooks
  • 2012 Fall- School House Rock Live!
  • 2013 Spring- Godspell
  • 2013 Fall - Blithe Spirit
  • 2014 Spring - High School Musical
  • 2014 Fall - Almost, Maine
  • 2015 Spring - West Side Story
  • 2015 Fall - Into the Woods

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]