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Catholic High School is a college-preparatory high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, founded in 1930 that strives to challenge boys academically while also teaching the truths of manhood – faith, integrity, and, as Father Tribou often stressed, duty.

Why Catholic High?

 

Taken from the 75th Anniversary article by Mike Adcock

“Man, you just had to be there.” What makes Catholic High School for boys tick? So many attempts have been made to pinpoint this quality that a whole set of phrases have been used. In 1970, it was called “esprit de corps.” The 1980s saw the expression “the Catholic High experience” and in the 1990s students heard the term “brotherhood.” In the 2000s “richness of character” was catching on. For so many people to try to define an intangible element, there must be something unusual and very interesting going on at Catholic High School.

Spirituality
A statue of Jesus greets each boy as they enter the school. The school day, as well as every single class period, begins with a prayer. All students attend religion class during the first period of the day. The topics of these classes are varied and include courses on scripture, morality, social justice and Christian marriage. While these classes are obviously taught from the perspective of Catholic theology, boys from all faith traditions attend Catholic High. Their questions and comments are respected and provide for a healthy, open and lively discussion of faith. Teachers respect the students’ questions and comments which provides for a healthy, open, and lively discussion of faith.

The faculty members of Catholic High believe that their job is not to turn boys into top scholars or successful businessmen, although that happens regularly. The teachers are charged with helping to form those boys into young men who will be good husbands and fathers. The teachers don’t feel they can do this effectively unless Christ is at the center of the school. In a world that often questions the values taught to our young people, Catholic High boldly offers the model of Jesus, ‘unseen and ever-present teacher.’

Environment
First, the environment is unique. It’s an all-boys school. There is a certain freedom in not having to impress members of the opposite sex. There is a certain candor and sense of honesty that finds a home at Catholic High. There is a certain brand of humor that grows here. It permeates everything from the morning announcements to intramural sports. Laughter punctuates classroom lectures – in a good way. Students laugh with the teachers and not at them.

The love of the slightly absurd occurs even in a discipline philosophy inspired by by more than eight decades of experience with the world of boys. If a boy forgets to wear a belt he will wear a used sport coat for a day to improve his appreciation of proper attire. Heaven forbid that he launch a spitwad in English class! He will be making enough spitwads after school to fill a hefty trash can. Maybe you just need to be there day after day to understand.

Belonging
But there is more to this “richness of character” than just a few laughs or a clever disciplinary system. It has to do with belonging. The school is just the right size for everyone to get to know and appreciate almost everyone else. Even the boy who is rather eccentric can find a place, a niche into which he fits no matter how different that boy insists that he is.

Possibilities
There are clubs galore for those who have such varied interests as chess, math, politics, electronics or even ham radio operation. There is a Quiz Bowl team, newspaper staff, broadcast journalism class, a jazz band, debate club, the Marine JROTC, the yearbook staff, and the cast and crew of the annual school play.

And that is just the beginning. Catholic High belongs to the 7A sports program that includes football, basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, track and cross country, golf, tennis and even bowling. For those that want to keep in shape, there is a physical fitness program that sends a team to San Diego each year for a national competition. CHS has won this National Championship event 6 times; in 1990, 1991, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.

Future
The Catholic High experience, the brotherhood and the richness of character is something that more than 7,000 men have experienced in the more than 85 years of the school’s history. Our graduates have shown time and again that they are loyal sons of their Alma Mater. They have made contributions in time, effort and money as signs of their devotion. It is fair to say that without these committed men Catholic High would be far behind where it is today.