Cathedral High School (Indianapolis)

Cathedral High School (Indianapolis)

name=Cathedral High School|
president=Stephen J. Helmich
principal=David L. Worland
colors=Navy Blue and Old Gold
mascot=Fighting Irish
website= [] |

Cathedral High School is a private, Catholic Institution in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. It serves more than 1,200 students in grades 9 to 12. It once was located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and was run independently by the Brothers of Holy Cross. Now the school is separate from both, but the school is still run as a Catholic organization and Catholic teachings are part of the curriculum.

The school was founded as a boys high school by the Brothers of Holy Cross in 1918. In the 1970s, with the departure of the Brothers, a non-profit trust was developed by Robert V. Welch, other parents and a lay board in an effort to keep Cathedral alive. As part of that change, the school moved from its longtime home in downtown Indianapolis to its present location at 56th and Emerson streets, the site of the former all-girls Ladywood St. Agnes Academy. This change also facilitated the admission of girls to Cathedral High School.

In early 2007 Cathedral's use of a leprechaun in a fighting stance, which it had shared with the University of Notre Dame, was contested by Notre Dame, the owners of the trademarked logo. Cathedral agreed to stop using the logo in the future. [cite news | first=Linsey | last=Davis | url= | title=Cathedral to stop use of Notre Dame leprechaun | date=2007-04-10 |publisher=WTHR]


Cathedral offers many levels of academics, including both Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate. Cathedral was honored as a Blue Ribbon School in both 1988 [cite web | url = | title=Cathedral Awards and Distinctions | publisher = Cathedral High School] and 2004. [cite web | url = | format = PDF | title=2004 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools | publisher = U.S. Department of Education]

There are 11 academic departments providing more than 188 course offerings. Three instructional levels are offered-honors, academic and college preparatory-as well as honors-level independent study in nearly all disciplines. A special emphasis is placed on technology in the classroom. Honors and academic-level English students are required to take two years of foreign language (as listed below). College preparatory English students and students enrolled in the Language Support Program are not required to meet the foreign language requirement, except in unusual circumstances.

The Language Support Program is available to meet the special needs of the bright, dyslexic student preparing for college entrance. In this program, courses are taught at the academic level of instruction with appropriate accommodations.

Students in each class are required to obtain the following 49 credits (one credit equals the successful completion of one semester of course work):

* Biology 2
* Composition 1
* Economics 1
* English 8
* Fine Arts 2
* Foreign Language 4
* Geography 1
* Government 1
* Health Education 1
* Mathematics 6
* Modern Technology 1
* Other Electives 3
* Physical Education 1
* Religious Studies 8
* Science Electives 4
* Social Studies Electives 2
* Speech or Debate 1
* U.S. History 2

Each Academic year, approximately 98-99% of Cathedral students matriculate in colleges and universities. []

Extracurricular Activities



*As of the end of the 2007 IHSAA Football season, Cathedral has more wins than any other school in the history of the sport in the state of Indiana. The Fighting Irish football team has amassed a total of 623 wins in its 90 year existence. []

*Cathedral ranks third on the all time list for State Finals appearances in Indiana, reaching the title game a total of nine times. They have emerged victorious in six of those nine appearances (1986, 1992, 1996, 1998, 1999, & 2006). []

*Running Back Otis Shannon is currently the only player in CHS Football history to win the Indianapolis Star's Mr. Football Award for Indiana. He was a member of the class of 2001, and finished his career by setting a new state record for career rushing yards with 7,560. In 1999, which was his junior season, he set an Indiana state record for most rushing yards in a season with 3,252 (the mark has since been surpassed by Corey Jacquay, who rushed for 3,366 yards in 2001). []

*Currently, there are two alumni from Cathedral who are members of a National Football League Roster. Both Matthias Kiwanuka and Jeremy Trueblood were members of the class of 2001, and they now play for the Super Bowl XLI Champion New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively.

*Another prominent alumni of CHS' football program is famed Wide Receiver Mark Clayton, who played for the Miami Dolphins for 10 years catching passes from NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Marino between the years of 1983 and 1992. He also played one season with the Green Bay Packers in 1993. []

Women's Volleyball

*The Cathedral Lady Irish volleyball team is coached by former Ball State University All-American Jean Kesterson, who has amassed more than 800 wins and five State Championships(1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, & 2006) in her tenure at the school.

Men's Volleyball

*Cathedral is one of a currently small group of Indianapolis high schools which fields a team and competes in the IBVCA - Indiana Boys Volleyball Coaches Association. Since Men's Volleyball is not yet a sanctioned IHSAA sport, the IBVCA Stands as the sport's sanctioning body.

*Cathedral reached the State Finals in the sport's inaugural year, 1994, and after a two year absence began an unprecedented run of 12 consecutive State Finals appearances (from 1997 to present). In that time, they have finished runner-up four times (1997, 1998, 2003, 2006) and won the championship seven times (1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008).

*After winning its second consecutive state title in 2008, the Boys' Volleyball team is in the midst of an 81 match winning-streak dating back to May of 2006, which is a state record.

*Following the conclusion of each season, various members of both the Varsity and Junior Varsity squads will form one or more "club" teams. These clubs travel to the USA Volleyball Boys' Junior Championships and compete against hundreds of other boys' volleyball clubs from around the United States of America. In 2007, the Irish Juniors finished a school record 5th in the national tournament.

Other sports

*Men's and Women's Soccer
*Men's and Women's Swimming & Diving
*Men's and Women's Basketball
*Men's and Women's Lacrosse
*Men's and Women's Golf
*Men's Hockey (Named Cathedral-Chatard Hockey, as it's a conjunction of the Cathedral High School and Bishop Chatard High School hockey players)
*Men's and Women's Cross Country
*Men's and Women's Track & Field
*Men's and Women's Tennis
*Men's Rugby

Athletics trivia

*As of Spring 2007, Cathedral stands as the private school with the most IHSAA state titles. [cite web | url= | title=All-Time Ihsaa State Championships | date=2007]

* Cathedral was the first school with white students to play Crispus Attucks High School, at the time an all-black school, in athletics.

* Before 1942, Cathedral was not a part of the IHSAA so any titles they won prior to this were not accepted by the IHSAA (and still aren't).

Performing Arts

The Performing Arts department at Cathedral is a student driven program, led by Terry F. Fox, Michael Moffat, and Susie Watson. Beginning in the 2008-2009 school year the theatre program at Cathedral will have three theatrical productions and one musical per year. During the Fall Semester, students will partake in the Fall Play and the Children's Show. During the Spring Semester, there will be the traditional musical and the new Rookie Showcase (a series of short one act plays). The Children's Show and the Rookie Showcase are student directed, while the Spring Musical and the Fall Show are directed by Terry F. Fox and assistant directed by a student. Cathedral has been technical powerhouse in light and stage design for many years, and continues this tradition with the newly renovated Scene Shop, Costume Department, Green Room, and Dressing Rooms. Perhaps the most exceptional thing about the program is the fact that all productions are created by the students. Sets are built, costumes are sewn, lighting is designed, and props are acquired through hours of work by the dedicated Cathedral theatre students.

The Pride of the Irish Marching Band

Cathedral High School's marching band - the Pride of the Irish - additionally is renown for its excellence. The band marched in the Dublin St. Patrick's Day parade in both 2000 and 2008, was featured on national TV in the Hollywood Thanksgiving Day parade in 2005, marched in the King Kamehameha Parade in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2002; performed on board the Music on the Seas Royal Caribbean cruise in 2004, and performed in Toronto, Canada in 1998.


"TP-ing" the Hill

One of the major traditions involving the student-body of CHS is the annual "TP-ing," or "Toilet Papering" of the hill which leads traffic from the 56th street entrance all the way up to the school's campus. The senior class of each incoming academic year will gather together with thousands of rolls of toilet paper and decorate the trees which hang over a four-lane road that is Cathedral's entryway. Also, near the end of each school year, the outgoing Junior class (who are going into their senior years) will gather and decorate the hill in an identical fashion.

Initially, when this tradition began, it was not viewed favorably by administrators. Before the campus' reconfiguration, the event was organized as a "cloack and dagger" style bonding opportunity by the senior students themselves. However, since the decorations were viewed by some as vandalism (and following an incident where certain portions of campus property were damaged), it was subsequently banned in an attempt to cease the practice.

The students were not so easily deterred. They continued to engage in this tradition, leading to an effort by the school to bring this annual occurrence under the control of the school itself. Today, it is an evening-long event which includes police escorts, chaperones, and a cook-out. These practices have breeded success in allowing students to continue the tradition while keeping its spirit alive from class to class.

The Painting of the Bridge

Cathedral's campus is located behind a wall of forestry which hides it from view on East 56th street in Indianapolis, and in order to reach the school grounds, visitors, students, and faculty must travel up a winding road through the trees which leads them to the main parking areas. Back before the campus was reconfigured in the early 2000's, each incoming senior class at Cathedral would gather together prior to the new academic year and paint the school's entryway bridge with artistic renderings of the class' personality and year of graduation. This road was a small, two-lane strip of asphalt which traveled over a small creek bordering the campus grounds. The bridge was located about halfway between the 56th street traffic light and the school itself.

The Irish 500

In keeping with the tradition of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race which is run annually in Speedway, Indiana (a neighboring suburb of Indianapolis), the student activities committee holds a yearly tricycle race, known as the "Irish 500," in the institution's Welch Activity Center gymnasium.

The race and it consists of four "qualifying races" and one "main event." Each grade level fields four teams of four tricycle racers each. Teams of the same class compete against each other in one of the four "qualifying races," and a "class winner" is determined. Once those qualifiers are completed, a representative team from the freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes all race one another to decide that year's champion of the "Irish 500."

This event is intended to be a stress free day where students can celebrate the conclusion of their academic year. Teams often dress up in flamboyant and comedic costumes for competition. A race track is constructed in the gym using trash barrels and strings of checkered flags and is configured to mirror the oval course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Scaffolding is erected for the start/finish line's flag stand, and students are selected to waive the Green, White, and Checkered flags to signify the various stages of the race itself.

Spirit Week and the Spirit Stick

Each year during homecoming week, a series of contests between each of the grade levels makes up the Spirit Week event, culminating in the awarding of the "Spirit Stick." The Spirit Stick is given to the class of that year which is deemed to have the most school spirit via a series of competitions which award points for excellence an ingenuity of each contest.

The subject and content of each corrivalry may vary from year to year, but typically they will include a costume competition (each of the five days of Spirit Week are given a theme, and the students are absolved of their dress-code responsibilities so that they may create the best possible costume on each day) and a hall decorating contest (each grade level is assigned one segment of a hallway in the school, and they are to decorate that hallway one evening before each is judged the following day).

At the end of the week, a special all-school assembly is held and the Spirit Stick is awarded. Typically, each year's senior class takes home the stick, as they have been a part of the institution the longest and best understand the significance of Spirit Week's zealous competitions. However, there have been a few years where the junior class managed to outperform its higher-ranking senior class to take home the stick.

Senior retreat

In keeping with the institution's standing as a Catholic school, the students participate in various levels of spiritual education and exploration throughout their time at Cathedral. During the freshman and sophomore years, pupils participate in the "Freshman Day of Recollection" and the "Sophomore Day of Recollection," respectively. These events are all-day seminars, ran by upper-classmen, and involve various exercises designed to enrich the spirituality and camaradery between students.

During their junior year, students have the option of continuing their spiritual development by attending the Junior Boys Overnight or Junior Girls Overnight, depending on gender. The overnight includes similar, but more advanced activities in which the students participate during the afternoon, evening, and following morning of the event.

The culmination of the previous three events is the Senior Retreat, a three day withdrawal from their daily academic duties in order to further study and enrich their spirituality. Students spend each day together, both in a smaller, more personal group, as well as with the overall congregation of roughly 40 to 50 people. The retreat is run by faculty members, alumni, parents, and other mentors who share a bond with the Cathedral family. It is during this time that the students are encouraged to open up to one another and share themselves, thereby aiding in the completion of the maturation process as a member of the Catholic faith.

Notable alumni

* National Football League player Mathias Kiwanuka
* Jeremy Trueblood, football player
* ESPN commentator Mark Clayton,
* Gregory A. Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis
* Western Kentucky Hilltoppers football head coach David Elson
* Phil Martin Described by many as a "great big darsh"
*Thomas Hunter-Major League Baseball pitcher


External links

# [ Cathedral School Snapshot]

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