A Bright Future
Schools That are Lighting the Way for the Leaders of Tomorrow
Dirk Q. Allen, Director of Admissions and Media Relations | Stephen T. Badin High School
“We cast a wide net. There are students here from 35 different school districts, from 26 zip codes – we’re a comprehensive high school. Anybody who wants to come here is welcome to come here,” says Dirk Q. Allen, director of admissions and media relations for Stephen T. Badin High School. “We are a college prep school, and our goal is to prepare and motivate students to go to college. More than 96 percent of our students go on to college, and they do well.”
“The word I always use is ‘opportunity.’ Students here have the opportunity to do a lot of different things. We have a very strong technology program; all of our students have iPads. We have four years of engineering through project Lead the Way, robotics classes, game theory and design – so we have a very strong technology and outstanding science program here, along with very vibrant fine arts,” says Allen. “We feel like, whatever students are looking for, they can find it at Badin High School.”
Michael Beauchat, School and Community Relations | Butler Tech
“We offer several pathways within the continuum of education. We have a portion where we offer career training to adult learners, but then we also have middle school through high school. Traditionally, our prime focus has been our campus programs, which are two-year programs that offer a blend of academics and career training,” says Michael Beauchat, director of school and community relations. Butler Tech focuses on offering a college-like experience for their high school students, partnering with businesses to provide their students with real-world experience.
“On the high school side, we look for students who are passionate about growing in a certain subject area. We offer a very broad range of career pathways for students to explore. We want students who are going to come here and get really engaged and excited and take in a college-like experience while they are still in high school,” says Beauchat. “We have a total of five campuses. Two of them are focused on adult learning, and three of them are focused on high school learning. I think what really sets us apart is our students’ ability to not only get the academic side of education, but also get the real-world experience with our business partners.”
Michelle Dellecave, Director of Admissions | Saint Ursula Academy
“Saint Ursula Academy hopes to attract girls who are excited about learning in a diverse atmosphere with students from all over the greater Cincinnati area. The admissions committee seeks applicants who show readiness for the challenging college preparatory atmosphere at Saint Ursula Academy,” says Michelle Dellecave, director of admissions.
When asked what sets Ursula apart from other schools, Dellecave points to the Academy Alum Program and Ursula’s superior curriculum.
“The Academy Alum Program is a four-year, one-of-a-kind program that is exclusive to Saint Ursula Academy. It was developed to help each student develop the qualities she will carry with her for the rest of her life as a thinker, leader, nurturer and prophet. Completion of the program in partnership with the challenging academics results in a student who is confident and ready for college and poised to succeed in all aspects of her life. The academic curriculum at SUA is second to none. Students benefit from the four-bell schedule with extended time in classes to complete coursework to help prepare for college. One hundred percent of students graduate, and 100 percent attend colleges and universities across the United States.”
Andy Farfsing, Principal | Purcell Marian High School
“Purcell Marian is now an approved candidate school for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Throughout the course of this year, we are building our curriculum for International Baccalaureate, and pursuing authorization to launch that program for the 2019-2020 school year,” says Andy Farfsing, principal. This honor, however, is not the only big change on the horizon.
“Purcell Marian is also developing a career program. Students will participate in various electives focusing on in-demand careers that they can pursue both after high school graduation and after college graduation,” says Farfsing. “They focus on four key quadrants: building and engineering; nursing and healthcare; information technology; and environment, horticulture and forestry. Our big audacious goal, the ‘Three-E Guarantee,’ is that all students from Purcell Marian, when they graduate, will either be enrolled in college, employed in a meaningful career, or enlisted into the United States Military.”
Frank Forsthoefel, Superintendent | Sycamore High School
“As a public school, we accept all students in our community with open arms. One of the great things that we celebrate at Sycamore is our diversity of student body. We have students from over 50 birth countries, and our student body speaks over 40 different languages. That is something we absolutely celebrate,” says Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent of Sycamore High School.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on is providing a rigorous academic offering for every one of the students in our district, regardless of where they are at on the learning continuum. We try and offer programs that meet the needs of every student in every one of our classrooms. Moving forward, we are increasing our opportunities for students to be involved in more personalized learning approaches where they can really dig into those ideas that are of interest to them with a more personalized approach,” says Forsthoefel.
“We are also increasing our opportunities for kids to be involved in S.T.E.A.M. activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). We actually took a bus and retrofitted it to create a mobile S.T.E.A.M. classroom that is fully wirelessly accessible. We call it the Aviation Station that travels between our five buildings that house our K-6 students for a week at a time.”
Amanda Grimm, Director of Admissions | Mercy Montessori Center
“At Mercy Montessori, we look for students who are intrinsically motivated to love learning while possessing a self-disciplined approach to education,” says Amanda Grimm, director of admissions. Mercy Montessori’s individualized approach and small class sizes help to foster this love of learning.
“We are an Independent Catholic Montessori school that provides swimming instruction at age three, and a farm-to-table and microeconomics program. We have a sliding scale for tuition enabling socio-economic diversity within our community, and we pull from over 60 zip codes, including Northern Kentucky,” says Grimm. “We maintain a teacher/student ratio of 15:1, ensuring that we know every child by name and we can tailor an educational experience uniquely suited to each student. We want to foster the love of learning and ultimately help each child become a contributing member of society.”
Donna Groene, Director of Admissions | Mount Notre Dame High School
“Families who are a good fit for Mount Notre Dame (MND) are often looking for a school that meets their daughters’ academic, spiritual and, what we would call student development, needs. They are looking for a school that develops the whole student, or the whole person, which I feel MND does well,” says Donna Groene, director of admissions. “Families that are very happy with MND are families that are looking for that MND experience of challenging academics, grounded faith and opportunities for growth.” When asked what sets them apart from other schools, Groene points to MND’s various levels of academics and wide variety of extracurricular opportunities.
“Strong academic offerings set us apart – we have academic levels: college prep, college prep extra, honors and college credit plus to AP classes, with 20 AP courses. We also have a strong campus ministry, and we see that in our religious education courses and our service opportunities. We offer a very grounded spiritual experience,” says Groene. “We have numerous and diverse opportunities for student involvement, whether it’s the dance team, athletics, theater, youth philanthropy council – we have such a wide range of opportunities for students beyond the traditional school day.”
Ashley Enyeart Higgins, Director of Admissions | Ursuline Academy
“We have a wide variety of students who come to Ursuline, and we draw from over 50 different zip codes all over the Cincinnati area,” says Ashley Enyeart Higgins, director of admissions. “At Ursuline, we want young women who want to learn, who are self-motivated, who are creative, curious and open-minded. We have selective admissions, so we do definitely look for students who are academically prepared for Ursuline – those who want to be challenged.”
In addition to Ursuline’s strong academic reputation, Higgins points toward Ursuline’s Merici Model of Education as one of the biggest factors that differentiates them from other schools.
“We have the Merici Model of Education, which is composed of our schedule, our campus and our culture. Our schedule is unique; it’s a modular schedule, and we are the only school in Cincinnati with this type of schedule that allows students to have a personalized experience based on their interests.
“During the free time that they have built into their schedules throughout the day, students are allowed to move about the school as they wish,” Higgins explains. “The freedom that we allow students here within the safe and supportive environment of Ursuline instills in them time management skills that are so valuable not just in college, but throughout life. Our campus also supports that; it is very open, and really like a second home to students – it’s comfortable. Young women feel at home here at Ursuline.”
Lisa Hord, Director of Admissions | Southern State Community College
“Southern State Community College offers associate degree programs, certificate programs, bachelor’s degree completion through on-site partnership agreements, adult basic literacy courses and workforce training programs,” says Lisa Hord, director of admissions.
“With four campus locations (soon to be five), Southern State provides close-to-home convenience and a supportive community experience. Delivering on its mission to provide an affordable, accessible, high-quality education, Southern State offers flexible scheduling with day, evening, online and hybrid courses, and a tuition rate that is among the lowest in the state of Ohio. To learn more, please visit us online at www.sscc.edu.”
Aaron Kellenberger, Director of Enrollment Management | Cincinnati Country Day
“We are always looking for students that are a good fit for us academically, but most importantly, we want to make sure that we are a good fit for what our mission is. So we look at a lot of the personal characteristics of the student as well,” says Aaron Kellenberger, director of enrollment management for Cincinnati Country Day (CCD). “As part of our application process, especially for the older students, we ask them to give us examples of how they are living or upholding what we call our five ‘Character Virtues’ in their daily lives. These are respect, responsibility, integrity, courage and compassion.” In addition to these character virtues, Kellenberger points out CCD’s four “C’s.”
“We have what we call ‘the 4 C’s,’ which is our campus, our curriculum, our character development program and our community. We have a very challenging academic curriculum here, but it’s a very hands-on, innovative teaching and learning curriculum where we spend as much time working with the individual as we do with the whole class. We try to get kids outside the classroom as much as possible.”
Sarah Cranley Lykins, Director of Institutional Advancement | Seton High School
“At Seton, our top priority is to offer a well-rounded education in an optimal learning environment focused on excellent academics, empowering leaders and providing service opportunities while building their faith,” says Sarah Cranley Lykins, director of institutional advancement for Seton High School. “I’d say those are our top four priorities that we’re looking for, but also that intangible piece of what we call ‘the Seton Sisterhood’ – someone who wants to be a part of something greater than themselves and brings that spirit with them.”
Lykins highlights Seton’s excellent academic program and partnership with TriHealth as two of the school’s outstanding strengths.
“The time is now to come to Seton High School,” she says. “As a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, we are proud to have a Catholic foundation at the base of all that we do. The Seton Sisterhood is felt from the second you walk through our welcoming, spirited environment and its contagious feeling. At the top of our game is our academic program. We want to stretch that learning outside of the classroom, and one of the ways we do that is through our exclusive TriHealth Seton Student Employment Summer Program. This is where the girls actually get hands-on work experience with the TriHealth facilities throughout Cincinnati. We also offer 58 dual college credit courses and ACT prep courses for all four years as part of the regular school day.”
Matthew J. Miller, Superintendent | Lakota Local Schools
“At Lakota Local Schools, we pride ourselves in providing a student-centered education that prepares every student for one of the ‘three E’s’ after graduation: Enrollment, Employment or Enlistment. From personalized learning to an incredible range of curricular and extracurricular programs, it’s about providing every student with every opportunity to explore their passions,” says Matthew J. Miller, superintendent.
“It’s why we’re introducing all-day kindergarten for every child; daily specials for our K-6 students, including S.T.E.A.M. and health and wellness classes; and a 1:1 technology model, beginning with a pilot in our junior schools for the 2018-19 school year. We’re also excited to focus on providing an even more dynamic high school experience in the coming year.
We continue to raise the bar to give our students the educational experience they deserve. We believe that strong partnerships with our parents and our community help make the difference between a good education and a great one.”
Jake Pucci, Director of Admissions | La Salle High School
“The kind of students I look for are students who have a good attitude and a good mindset, who put in a good effort to do well in school. Two things that we don’t sacrifice here are effort and attitude, so as long as they have those two key characteristics, they’re going to do really well here,” says Jake Pucci, director of admissions for La Salle High School. Pucci points to La Salle’s culture of service and the Lasallian Scholars Institute as highlighted areas for the school.
“One thing that sets us apart is our dedication to service and serving the community. We’re one of the only schools that mandates Christian service hours as a graduation requirement. That’s what La Salle education is all about – giving back to the community and working with different organizations and non-profits here in Cincinnati to answer that call to serve. It’s part of our senior religion curriculum; every one of our seniors is placed with a non-profit here in Cincinnati. So, a couple times a week they go and serve those agencies during their religion class,” says Pucci. “We also have the Lasallian Scholars Institute, which is our top academic honors program, and they do a lot of experiential based learning. We also have the Envision Program, which provides a lot of similarities with the Lasallian Honors Program, but with a more flexible schedule."
Jeffrey Pugh, Director of Enrollment | St. Xavier High School
“Young men from all over Cincinnati choose St. X each year because they want to be challenged – in all aspects of their lives,” says Jeffrey Pugh, director of enrollment. “Our hallways are filled with excited students who enjoy the rigor of a college preparatory education. However, St. Xavier challenges students to be their best selves in every area: in service, in being open to new experiences and in their faith. Becoming a ‘man for others’ is all about building one’s talents in an effort to serve the greater good and God.”
Sharon Snavely, Director of Advancement | Bethany School
“Bethany School, the only Episcopal school in the state of Ohio, is right here in Cincinnati. We are a K-8 co-ed day school and draw students and families from a diverse cross-section of Cincinnati and the surrounding area. We welcome people from various faith traditions or no faith traditions at all to be a part of a community that is academically challenging and spiritually nourishing on a beautiful campus nestled in the historic village of Glendale,” says Sharon Snavely, director of advancement.
“Students graduate and move on to a wide array of the highest quality high schools in the city. We offer a strong curriculum rooted in the traditional core subjects supplemented with a full selection of special area classes including PE, art, music, religion and computers. As a small school, we pride ourselves in getting to know our students and their families very deeply as they become part of the Bethany family.”
Betty Turvy, Director of Admissions | Bishop Fenwick
“Unlike schools who only target the higher-level academic students, we look for students of all abilities,” says Betty Turvy, director of admissions for Bishop Fenwick. “We provide three levels of academics, which allows us to welcome and accommodate most students that are interested in a quality, faith-filled Catholic education. We are looking for students that are driven for a collegiate type of high school, as over 96 percent of our students go on to post-secondary education.”
When asked what sets Bishop Fenwick aside, Turvy points to full block scheduling, co-education and the opportunities provided on their beautiful, 66-acre regional campus.
“Block scheduling is a great foundation for college readiness. We are co-ed, which is a natural learning environment and provides opportunities for both genders to interact in purposeful collaboration. Another aspect that sets us apart is our beautiful 66-acre campus. All the facilities we provide on our campus offer enhancements for our students both academically and in extracurriculars. We welcome visitors throughout the year!"
Jon Weidlich, Director of Community Relations | Great Oaks Career Campuses
“Our students typically know what they want out of their future; they have a good sense of what their career goals are, whether it’s college or a career or both,” says Jon Weidlich, director of community relations for Great Oaks Career Campuses. Great Oaks offers a variety of training programs designed to give students real-world experience and hands-on training.
“Because we offer career training and professional certification for students while they’re still in high school, we give them a chance to try out career fields that they think they are interested in before they commit to them in college,” says Weidlich. “We offer 31 different career fields from aviation maintenance to animal assisting and equine management. We also offer some more high-tech programs like engineering and robotics. Our students tell us all the time that they’re treated like adults here. They are working toward a career field, and we treat them like the young professionals that they are learning to be.”