Headmaster's Message 6/1/12
June 1, 2012
Dear Holy Cross Family,
When Father Moreau wrote to our founding brothers in 1850, encouraging them to sustain their work in New Orleans despite great challenges, he spoke from a place of abiding faith and deep wisdom. Even today, we remain inspired by the Holy Spirit, who gave us Father Moreau as a living witness of the unending source of strength and hope for our boys as they become men.
And indeed, this year has been one of “great blessing,” as we add another year to this remarkable educational legacy and increase the number of Holy Cross Men active in the world. A few highlights are noteworthy from this year:
The addition of Advanced Placement courses to our already rigorous college prep curriculum. These new courses place our graduates among the nation’s academic elite – guided by a gold standard of guided work, exemplary faculty and globally recognized accomplishment. We will be among the leaders in our community of connecting our students with current and emerging programs that can help them earn college credit while still a Holy Cross student.
The addition of three PhD’s to our faculty extends our commitment to excellence with renewed vigor – adding top scholars to our teaching staff and beginning to engage our students in research opportunities in the sciences and the humanities. We brought back the science fair with great distinction, winning regional and state recognition. Our Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives are expanding learning opportunities and real world experience for our students.
The achievement of our middle school students and their faculty in remarkable improvements in standardized test scores – emphasizing our commitment to excellence. Early in their high school years, our boys take standardized tests that predict their scores on college entrance testing. Our current seniors exceeded all predictions for their growth, indicating a winning combination of excellent teaching, parental support, and hard work. We now have quantitative measures that support what we’ve known all along – our boys are remarkable and our programs are world-class.
While academic growth is at the core of what we do, we also stand at the intersection of the mind and the heart – and we are charged to not sacrifice one for the other. I am especially proud of the community service projects our young men and their teachers have completed this year. To highlight a few:
Our Pennies for Patients program - Raised over $13,428.46 for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (that’s over $30,000 in the past three years in honor of former student, Carl Barre’).
Our faculty and students hosted a Summer Immersion Mission Trip for Holy Cross schools from around the nation. Another group used their spring break to travel to Washington DC for a spring immersion experience serving the poor in that area.
Our Saint Brother Andre Service Society helped with two food drives, a blanket and coat drive, and adopted a family at Christmas.
I watched with great pride as our boys competed in our athletic program this year. Stepping up to 4-AAAA in competition presented any number of challenges for our young men and their coaches. They made us proud every step of the way. Athletics remains one of the most
effective ways to build character and impart habits and lessons for a lifetime. I saw many of those lessons being learned first-hand this year.
I was particularly pleased to see attention focused on the arts at Holy Cross. Our middle and high school musicians continue to take statewide honors and provide us with outstanding performances. Drama is delightful and engaging – productions continue to entertain audiences. Speech and debate have returned and our boys are gaining city, state, and national recognition. Our visual artists enjoyed a showing at the Old Ursuline Convent that garnered critical praise. And our revitalized Arts Night in April saw the Tigers host the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for two concerts on campus – a historical milestone in our program. We educate the whole man at Holy Cross. This year, our engagement of the artistic side of our boys’ development was singular.
We have begun the final building of the first phase of our new campus. The back part of our 20 acre campus sparked new life this year – football practice in the fall, a new baseball stadium this spring and summer. Construction is underway for the cafeteria building. It will be complete the fall of 2012. The upcoming senior class of 2013 will be the last class of Holy Cross Men to have attended class on our original campus. It will mark an end of an era for our alumni.
Success in the classroom, on the field, and in our community – that’s what we expect of Holy Cross Men. This year, as so many others, marks real and lasting achievements for our boys. I remain proud of each and every one of them. I remain inspired by our faculty and staff, who sacrifice greatly to do God’s work here at Holy Cross. And I remain guided by Father Moreau and the miracle he has bestowed on us here in New Orleans. We are truly and greatly blessed!
Charles J. DiGange '64