Holy Cross Graduation Essays 2023


Unique opportunities at the Cross

Kayli Hartlage

On the outside, Holy Cross might seem like an ordinary Catholic school located in Louisville, Kentucky. But when you take a deeper look and step through the doors, you can see just how unique the school really is. Holy Cross is known for being the only coed Catholic high school in Louisville. This allows students to interact with the opposite gender and helps prepare them for the future and working outside of their own demographic. There are also many opportunities due to the small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratio. Every student is treated as a name, rather than just a number. Holy Cross helps students to grow in their relationship with Christ and pursue their academic goals while also participating in unique opportunities like Internship, Service, and Involvement.

Holy Cross requires students to participate in a Corporate Internship Program in which students engage in a variety of real-world authentic experiences, develop skills needed for today’s economy, and experience potential future career paths. Corporate Internship Program director Shelly Pence organizes corporate partnerships within the community and assigns students locations according to their preferences. Juniors report to their locations on Tuesdays and seniors attend on Thursdays. The program is treated as a class. Therefore, students are given a grade and must complete an evaluation at the end of each semester.

Because Holy Cross is a Catholic school, faith is obviously an important aspect. Each year, Theology classes are required for all students. Individual class Mass and all-school Masses also take place throughout the year and allow students to grow together in their faith. Furthermore, the school believes that service is an expression of the Christian faith. Individuals are able to spread the love of God through serving others. Students are required to have a certain amount of service hours each year in order to graduate. Furthermore, seniors must complete a Senior Service Project and raise money or items for a nonprofit organization. 

Many high school students strive to be involved in order to live out the full high school experience. When you think about being involved in high school, you probably imagine staying after for sports and clubs every day. At Holy Cross, this is a reality. Because the school is so small, students are well-known and are pushed to be involved. Athletic Director Kent Foushee and Assistant Principal Jody Thornsberry encourage every student to participate in at least one club or sport. At least 90% of students play at least one sport and 54% of students participate in more than one. This allows students to participate in school activities outside of a standardized academic context, foster new interests, learn more about themselves, and build bonds within the community.

So, while Holy Cross might seem like your typical ordinary Catholic school, there are so many unique opportunities that make the school stand out. Students are able to better prepare for the future, participate in activities they enjoy, and serve others in the community alongside a family. There truly is no place like the Cross.


Holy Cross gets it right

Ethan Scobee

Holy Cross High School goes above and beyond in all aspects of high school. All teachers have the goal of inspiring and educating students, and they each do more than just that. Whether it be by encouraging students to participate in extracurriculars, creating school spirit, or simply asking students how their day is going, the faculty and staff create a strong feeling of family at Holy Cross. There is something here for everyone and since everybody knows everybody, it creates a family that each student and teacher is a part of and loves. Our small class sizes and GAB system also help build on the feeling of family.

GAB (Guild Activity Block), is a part of the day when students have the opportunity to chat with people from each grade level and also do schoolwork. GAB is a wonderful part of each day because there is the chance to talk with people you may not see too often and also help fellow classmates with homework.

Holy Cross excels at preparing students for their futures and college. Classes like Freshman Academy and Sophomore Stream allow students to build skills and explore areas that they may not have the chance to in other classes. Holy Cross offers AP and Dual Credit programs that are taught by teachers who are more than qualified for the class and prepare students for their college courses. Clubs and sports also allow students to explore their individual interests and pursue hobbies or passions that will benefit them in the future.

Holy Cross offers a unique immersive internship program for juniors and seniors. It gives students the opportunity to become active members in their own communities and build communication, professionalism, and experience careers they are interested in. Almost every field has an opportunity for students to intern — from accounting firms, to auto shops, to hospitals, each with supervisors who love working with the students. The program is one of the greatest parts about Holy Cross, leaving students more than ready to enter the real world.

You could never talk about Holy Cross without mentioning service. Every student here has a heart of service and serving is one of the cornerstones of Holy Cross education. Students serve Holy Cross throughout the year with events like campus cleanups and being tour guides for shadows. Students also give back to their communities through service with events they themselves lead such as food drives or collections. The importance of service is something all students carry with them no matter their grade level.

The theological education at Holy Cross is also top-tier. The teachers, through living their faith, masterfully show Church history, morality, and how we can be our best selves in today’s world. They construct impactful lessons that bring awareness to students by inviting students of a Muslim school to talk with the class, inviting workers from Catholic Relief Services to share their stories and how we can help, and hosting class discussions on topics that are important in our lives such as mental health. Holy Cross does an amazing job in providing theology classes that help students grow in their faith.

Holy Cross gets it right in all aspects. With small class sizes and GAB, classes that prepare students for the future, extracurriculars for everyone, internship, an emphasis on service, and outstanding theological education, Holy Cross creates an unbreakable sense of family between all members that makes people proud to say that they are part of Holy Cross.


Holy Cross is a family

Megan Konshak

Holy Cross High School is a place filled with students who build close relationships with their peers, teachers, and staff. Relationships are a key characteristic of Holy Cross and it’s what makes this school special. With a low teacher-to-student ratio, students are sure to get a meaningful education while also connecting with their teachers. Students are placed into Guilds where they can get to know peers from their class and also get to know students from other grades. They can also join clubs and play sports to create strong bonds with their teammates. Holy Cross High School is a family and a place many call home.

Holy Cross appears small because of the number of students and the small classes, but Holy Cross is a large and loving community. Students are divided into eight guilds and then into even smaller groups, GABs (Guild Activity Block), but these groups create a larger sense of community. Being a part of a Guild makes you feel like you belong to something bigger and being in a GAB helps you learn how to form relationships, even with people you might have never talked to otherwise. Guilds create friendly competition within the school, but all of them still come together to create a whole unit. Together, Guilds perform acts of service on the Great Day of Service and donate to the can drive, blanket drive, and charity jeans days. Together, they create lasting memories on Field Day and in Guild competitions each month. Together, they inspire the students to love and care for each other.

The small teacher-to-student ratio helps students learn better by creating better focus on the curriculum, assistance for each individual student, and fewer distractions that allow time for questions and educational conversations. Furthermore, beyond class time, teachers have office hours to help students with additional questions and help. Teachers at Holy Cross are important in a student’s experience at this school. Teachers and staff serve as advisors in GAB, some teachers are coaches or club advisors, and several teachers help lead retreat groups and talk at retreats. What happens at retreats stays at retreats, but they really do bring students closer together with each other and their teachers. A Holy Cross student will learn to see their teachers as real people and form life-long connections with them.

Clubs and sports are a huge drive toward community and teamwork at Holy Cross. There are several clubs and sports to choose from, big and small, that help students connect with others. Sports create strong teamwork, drive, and commitment. Clubs require effort, new ideas and perspectives, and they also need drive. Clubs and sports are recognized at Holy Cross, so whether you’re on a small or big team, you are still part of a greater system. Extracurriculars show students how to help and support each other and how to also lean on each other.

The family at Holy Cross is a really strong one. Holy Cross really cares about its alumni and because of this, many of the teachers and staff are alumni. There are also many students who come back to work, help with retreats, or just visit. This school is welcoming and loving of everyone who walks its hallways. Many alumni give back to the school to help the current and future students of Holy Cross. Holy Cross High School is a place proudly called home.

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