Geibel Catholic named one of top 50 Catholic high schools in the nation
CONNELLSVILLE — As it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School has earned another golden honor. Today (Sept. 20) it was named one of the nation’s top 50 Catholic high schools in the Catholic High School Honor Roll competition.
The top 50 schools are recognized for excellence in Catholic identity, academics and civic education. The list of honorees was released this morning by the Cardinal Newman Society, which administers the program, and Geibel Catholic celebrated its honor at a pep rally later in the morning.
See www.cardinalnewmansociety.org or www.catholichonorroll.org for the organization’s Sept. 20 announcement and additional information. Read the national news release.
The top 50 schools are recognized for overall excellence in all three Honor Roll categories, and other schools receive special recognition in particular categories. This year, seven schools were recognized for excellence in Catholic identity, six schools for academics, five schools for civic education and five additional schools for two of the three categories.
“As principal of Geibel Catholic, I am elated to have our school recognized for excellence on the national level as our teachers prepare our students for the challenges of life in the 21st century,” said Don Favero, principal of Geibel Catholic.
Favero was named principal of the school in 2011 and at the time said he believed Geibel Catholic could achieve this honor.
“Our classroom dynamics and educational philosophy are tied to the latest university methodologies, while our approaches are rooted in the Gospel values of our Lord, Jesus Christ,” Favero said. “This educational synergy is what makes Geibel Catholic one of the best high schools in the United States.”
Favero said Geibel Catholic shares the honor with all the schools in the Diocese of Greensburg and expressed his “deep appreciation for the wisdom, care and vision of Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt and the leadership of Trent Bocan, the superintendent of Catholic schools.”
Bishop Brandt said, “This honor validates what we have known for many years. Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School provides an excellent education in a Catholic environment that focuses on all facets of the development of a young person — mind, body and spirit — with a strong emphasis on faith formation, academic excellence and service to others.”
Bocan said, “Geibel Catholic is a top-notch, Catholic institution that offers unmatched academic programming, including collegiate-level courses on campus, a fine extracurricular program in the arts and athletics, and service learning that promotes giving back to the surrounding communities.
“A family in the Fayette County region could not ask for anything more in an educational institution. I congratulate the inspired, energetic, professional and caring leadership of Don Favero and his administrative team, our teachers and support staff, and the pastoral leadership of our chaplain, Father Bob Lubic.”
Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, said “the Honor Roll has been a helpful tool for administrators, families and benefactors in recognizing the quality of a Catholic high school” since competition began in 2004.
“The Honor Roll schools are a reminder that Catholic education is getting better every day — not only academically, but in the renewal of Catholic identity — and we are delighted to see the increased level of competition among the schools that participated in the program this year,” Reilly added.
The society noted that the top 50 Honor Roll schools are diverse: large and small, new and long-established, highly selective and open enrollment admissions policies, and high and low tuition rates. The common trait is an institutional commitment to providing a truly integrated and faithful Catholic education across all disciplines and in all areas of student activities, according to the society’s media release.
The top 50 schools are located in 21 states (Pennsylvania has the most with seven), and the sizes range from nearly 1,500 students (Archbishop Edward McCarthy High School in Florida) to 48 students (St. Ignatius College Preparatory School and Faustina Academy, both in Texas).
Geibel Catholic has 114 students in grades 9-12 and 36 students in grades 7-8.
Geibel Catholic is named for the late Father Henry Geibel, longtime pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Connellsville. Construction of the school on East Crawford Avenue began in 1963, and the school opened its doors to students in January 1964.
Geibel Catholic will celebrate its 50th commencement this spring. Golden anniversary plans for 2013 and 2014 are being developed.
By Jerry Zufelt, Editor, The Catholic Accent