The 2017-18 Bishop Stang School Year Off to a Great Start!
Well, it is with a bittersweet heart I say that the school year has begun. Summer fun (and hopefully summer heat) is gone and now it’s back to tight schedules, waking up at six o’clock, and homework. And although I love summer as much as anyone, I must say that I am happy for the regularity that comes with school. And Sophomore year at Bishop Stang High School also seems very promising, academically and beyond.
Every year at Stang is both challenging and engaging, and this year, so far, is no exception. I personally have had two tests, with more coming every week! However, these tests were not only taken confidently, thanks to the diligent review that my teachers’ provided, but also, the topics were all subjects I’ve enjoyed learning about. For example, in English, we just started reading the Great Gatsby and have dived into 1920’s life. In History, we are learning about the culture of the first British colonies in America. And in Latin, we just finished learning about the life and death of Julius Caesar, and are starting to translate his writings. As you can see, these are some very compelling topics, and our teachers seamlessly integrate technology into the learning process.
This is consistent for the rest of the students, I’m sure, as Stang now offers thirteen AP (Advanced Placement) courses, including AP Art new this year. Over 92% of Stang AP students have earned college mastery scores or higher on their exams the past three years! This means that students earn a lot of college credit while enrolled at Stang.
There are also numerous ways for students to participate in the performing arts, like the Fall Play and Spring Musical, A Cappella, Instrumental Ensemble, and Open Mic Night. Keeping ourselves focused in the classroom while participating in a large variety of co-curricular activities is the goal of every Stang student I know. We have big shoes to fill when we look at most graduates: the Class of 2017 earned over $23 million in college scholarships and grants to an impressive list of schools. The college application process is well underway for seniors. My older brother, Zan, for example, an accomplished musician from the Class of 2018, is applying for a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. My personal goal is to study journalism and political science at Brown University in Providence.
Stang is also developing an education program for students with learning differences. Further helping to create a better learning environment, is the renovation of the Biology & Chemistry labs, which will allow students to enjoy the beautiful new spaces for years to come!
In addition, the athletics at Stang seem to be off to an auspicious start, especially with new athletic director and Varsity football coach, Dennis Golden. Stang has over twenty-six varsity programs that spread over three seasons. Later this school year the school will launch a fundraising effort to renovate the school’s athletic fields and locker rooms. Stang’s Athletics Hall of Fame inauguration takes place on October 21 at White’s of Westport, honoring teams, coaches, and individual athletes, including the 1964 football team, the 1983 field hockey team, and the beloved coaches, the late John O’Brien and Theresa Dougall.
Finally, Stang’s theme for this year is “Care for God’s Creation”, inspired by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si, an encyclical calling the Church and the rest of the world to acknowledge the seriousness of our commitment to respect for the environment. Bishop Stang is “participating in activities and projects to demonstrate our responsibility for one another and the all of God’s creation”, says President/Principal Peter Shaughnessy. There have been several advances in the building to further this theme, such as upgraded heating systems that use less energy and make the school more comfortable for students and faculty, as well as LED lighting throughout all of Stang. Teachers are also making a difference in class by using less paper. Every day, teachers remind me and my classmates to recycle and turn in assignments electronically versus on paper. It’s truly impressive to see the whole school helping take care of the Earth wherever they can.
So, of course no one likes to wake up early when you feel like you could actually sleep for days on end. But it certainly helps when you know that your day is going to be full of challenging classes, competitive sports, and Earth-saving Catholics at Bishop Stang!