|September 22, 2014 • VOL. 52, NO. 16 • Oakland, CA|
Catholic High Schools Information Guide
In their own words
High school leaders: What prospective students should know about their school
Student Body President
Carondelet High School, Concord
Saying that high school is a big change is an understatement. Changing from a close-knit group of friends to being surrounded by 799 strangers can be more than a little daunting. It is natural to be scared and very, very nervous, but high school isn't so bad; in fact, it is actually fun. Carondelet High School has a very active and warm community. Attending Carondelet ensures that we as students always have support, with teachers, faculty, counselors, and one another eager to help in any way. There are all sorts of clubs, sports, activities and councils so that every student can feel comfortable and find her place in our school.
Carondelet doesn't just have students. The four years we spend here creates a bond so strong that I call my classmates my sisters. High school is a big change, but the Carondelet community is focused on making sure we enjoy every minute of our experience. I have loved my experience so much that I can't believe I am already a senior!
Senior Class President
De La Salle High School, Concord
De La Salle High School is an all-boys Catholic school that was founded in 1965 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. It was founded on the principle of quality education — education that is academic, spiritual and social. We commit ourselves to becoming men of faith, integrity and scholarship, and our motto is "Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve." We also have a diverse student body, with people from various backgrounds who have a wide spectrum of interests. No matter what you are passionate about, you can pursue it here, with clubs and organizations ranging from National Honors Society to the Black Student Union to the Japanese Language Club to Speech and Debate. Our students come from all over the Bay Area, from towns as different as Antioch and Lafayette and Oakland. We have students like me from large public schools who knew no one when they came here, and we have students from small Catholic schools who came here with 10 of their close friends. Whichever category you fit into, you'll find yourself at home here before long. We call ourselves les hommes de foi, the Men of Faith, and you can feel that sense of brotherhood in every aspect of campus life.
Associated Student Body President
Holy Names High School, Oakland
First and foremost, any eighth-grader should know that Holy Names High School is a vibrant all-girls college preparatory school. The title "all-girls school" should not deter anyone from this wonderful environment. Holy Names prides itself in helping young ladies understand their worth and abilities in a male-dominated world. Personally, I have grown over the years, maturing in ways that would not have been possible in a co-educational school. While attending Holy Names I have participated in two musicals and one play. I've played three different sports and participated in Student Council Leadership and ASB in the years leading up to my presidency. I have also been blessed to be a part of the Belle Tones, a vocal performing group that has received many awards. Attending Holy Names has made it possible for many young ladies to fulfill their highest potentials and has given many the ability to become confident in their everyday lives, whether it is in public speaking or simply voicing their opinions and their beliefs. Holy Names is a great place to learn, grow and create lifelong bonds.
Associated Student Body President
Moreau Catholic High School, Hayward
A unique and diverse student body, an intense and indescribable spirit week, a brand new $5 million track and field and a family that lives by Holy Cross values — these are things that define Moreau Catholic High School. I came to Moreau as a reluctant freshman, an outsider coming from public school. The first few days, I was lost, I would even sometimes resort to eating lunch in the bathroom. Just about a few weeks into school, the Moreau community taught me that there is a place for everyone at this school. There were just so many opportunities that at Moreau for freshmen, it's almost impossible for a person not to be involved here. Moreau's statistics tell it all: 80 percent of the student body participate in our athletics program, and 70 percent are involved in the arts programs and clubs. At Moreau, all of your interests are accommodated for, from film and graphic design classes, to psychology and even yoga classes. It's a great time to be a Mariner right now. Moreau Catholic is not just a high school for me, it's a place where I am accepted, loved and at home.
Student Council President
St. Elizabeth High School, Oakland
The first thing that came to mind when I came into high school was, "Am I going to fit in?" At St. Elizabeth High School, we are a community that invites everyone in without judgment. High school is a huge transition from middle school. Although your teachers in eighth grade do their best to prepare you for high school, it is still slightly overwhelming at first. Within days at St. Elizabeth, you will be used to the schedule, teachers and upperclassmen. The great thing about our school is that because we are a small school, teachers and staff notice you. When people know you personally, you generally feel better about yourself, and are able to perform to your best ability in academics, as well as athletics. We also have some of the highest quality staff members. These top-notch teachers and administrators are extremely welcoming and they will make you feel at home. The teachers are very dedicated to making sure that you achieve your personal goals and exceed any expectations set for you. Just remember to take a deep breath and go in with a smile, because at St. Elizabeth's you will have support from the moment you walk in the school.
Student Body President
St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alameda
SJND is community-based. It's a place where you can be whoever you want to be and there are lots of opportunities that are great building blocks for college. Adults, whether administrators or teachers, are super supportive. Everyone here believes in each other and what we're doing. We have so much Pilot pride. We bleed orange and blue and are known as the small community with the biggest roar. Spirit rallies are crazy and fun. As a freshman, you pick your class colors and mascot and you're represented and welcomed at the first rally of the year. While a lot of freshmen might feel scared of upperclassmen, at SJND you're welcomed into everything—rallies, dances, sports, clubs and other activities. Even though we're like a great family, we're competitive and push each other academically so that we can all be our very best. When I was a sophomore, we, the students, really pushed for the addition of a musical theater class. Our administrators and teachers listened and we went on to do "In the Heights" and get ranked among the top six in the state for our performance. This year, we're doing "The Wedding Singer" and have a new performing arts studio for rehearsal.
Student Body President
Saint Mary's College High School, Berkeley
The first thing any soon-to-be high school student should know about Saint Mary's is that it is a unique community. Saint Mary's has numerous clubs, incredible sports teams, talented musicians and outstanding actors, but the thing that makes it stand out the most is its inclusive community. Teachers truly care about the students and the students care about each other. You can see this at sporting events, theater shows, band concerts or just walking into any classroom during school hours. It's a strong, caring community that makes us who we are. Another very important aspect about Saint Mary's is that all of its programs are built specifically for the students to ensure that they thrive academically and spiritually. The wellness of the students is of huge importance, which is one reason why we are on a trimester schedule. We also have programs, such as Enrichment Week, where students have a week to take a break from the class routine and take time to learn outside of the classroom along with our teachers. Catholic education has served me well. Coming from the School of the Madeleine and continuing at Saint Mary's, I have had so much support and now feel confident in my college admissions process.
Student Body President
Salesian College Preparatory, Richmond
The first year of high school can be scary, especially when you seemingly don't know anything or anybody. That is exactly how I felt on my first day of school at Salesian College Preparatory. However, I knew I had made the right choice in making this school my home for the next four years. I quickly noticed the things valued most at Salesian: Home, School, Playground and Church. Since the very first day of school, the teachers and staff welcomed me and made me feel comfortable, and for this reason Salesian College Preparatory has become my second home. At Salesian, help is never far away. Whether on a homework assignment, paper or just a life issue — one of my teachers is always available to help me. Never once have I felt like academic success was impossible. Exciting activities such as dances, rallies and our faith families have allowed my friends and I to become closer than I could have ever imagined. Not being Catholic was a concern of mine … would I fit in? But I've never felt apart from the special community that exists at Salesian. I am accepted for who I am and have grown into a better individual by being here. Many people look back at their high school years with regret, but as a senior I can honestly say that my Salesian experience is not one of regrets, but one that I will view as some of the best years of my life!
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