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 President Therber can be contacted by email at jtherber@scecina.org or by  telephone at 317.352.3282

  • High Expectations, High Support

    Recently I received the fantastic news that Crusader baseball coach and 1968 alum, Dave Gandolph, was named Regional Coach of The Year. The award is impressive and well-deserved. How it was earned is impressive as well.

    The Crusader baseball program excelled this year, in large part, because Coach Gandolph created a team culture of high expectations and high support. “Expect to Win” was the team’s motto. They did just that—and often! Yes, it’s amazing what setting expectations can do. But at Scecina Memorial, high expectations are not reserved just for our athletic programs.college visit

    One of our Strategic Growth Plan goals is to create a culture of high expectations and high support at Scecina Memorial High School across all areas. Therefore, last school year, a group of faculty, parents, and volunteers, chaired by Principal John Hegarty, evaluated the strengths and limitations in our school day schedule.

    The committee reviewed factors such as the start and end times of the school day;the length and number of class periods;tutoring opportunities;and students' availability for college planning, academic advising, and other counseling topics. Following this assessment, the group recommended potential adjustments that would foster high expectations and high support for our students.

    The results of this process have produced a new Daily Schedule that will greatly benefit our students in many ways. We have added a Resource Period to our school day that will allow students to:

    • Meet individually with an academic advisor on a quarterly basis (without conflicting with in-class time) to develop and review a personalized Student Success Plan.
    • Attend tutoring sessions with a faculty member for extra instruction, practice, and/or test preparation.
    • Meet with college representatives when they visit our campus.
    • Discuss college admission and scholarship opportunities with our College Counselor.
    • Complete homework during the school day.

    This enhanced Daily Schedule will foster high expectations and support for our students; and, just as it was with our baseball program, success and recognition are sure to follow. Thank you to our staff members and volunteers who generously shared their time and viewpoints to help make this enhancement a homerun! (I couldn’t resist.)

    In Catholic Education,

    Joe Therber



     

  • Growing According to Plan

    When it comes to thinking about the future, I have always liked this quotation from Lewis Carroll: “If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

    Fortunately, at SMHS we have a plan to guide our future. The plan was developed over several months through a process that involved over 250 individuals from the school and greater Scecina Memorial community. Our Board of Directors and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis administration approved it in November 2013. We call it the Strategic Growth Plan.
     

    Workers install "Cat6a" cable for faster data transmission.

    Today, I would like to highlight one Strategic Growth Plan area, in particular, in which we have made significant progress: Technology. For example, right now, we are wrapping Scecina in 33,000 linear feet of category 6a cable for data transmission. This improvement is analogous to transforming a bumpy country road into a modern freeway--the new US 31 freeway that bypasses Kokomo comes to mind. Traffic moves faster and smoother. Similarly, at SMHS data is going to move much faster and smoother.

    When our students return to SMHS for the first day of classes on Monday, August 11, we will have accomplished the following in Technology:

    • Completed significant technology infrastructure upgrades throughout the school building,
    • Purchased and deployed 70 new computers for faculty and staff in anticipation of a 1:1 student computing environment,
    • Purchased and installed flat screen panel displays in several classrooms with more planned,
    • Updated our management information system for reporting and supporting technology requests, and
    • Begun professional development for staff on the use of new devices and software.

    Many people have been instrumental in ushering in this new era of integrating technology into teaching, learning, and other school processes.I would like to thank everyone, and in particular our Technology Committee, for supporting these technology improvements. I am confident that their work will advance our effectiveness in service to our students and community.

    During the first year of implementation, Scecina Memorial staff and volunteer Implementation Teams have succeeded in meeting a number of objectives across all Strategic Growth Plan areas. I invite you to learn of these achievements over the coming months by reading my blog. Each month, I will highlight two implementation areas of the Strategic Growth Plan, including updates on our Facility Master Plan.

    Thank you for your continued commitment to Scecina Memorial High School. Through your generosity and support, our school will continue to grow and flourish as a ministry of the Catholic Church on the east side of Indianapolis.

    Sincerely,

    Joe Therber
    President

  • Looking Forward | Improvements and Expansions

    We understand that one of the unique features of a Scecina Memorial education is a personalized, Catholic Christian school environment. This environment fosters acceptance, compassion, and respect for the diversity that is among us. Personalizing attention, appreciating our students’ unique God-given gifts, teaching to foster academic success, and providing opportunities for students to grow in God’s plan for them are what we do best.

    Listening to the members of our school community and addressing their needs is an important part of this personalized approach to education. Therefore, I am pleased to announce the following improvements and expansions that you can expect for the 2014-2015 school year:

    • Scecina Memorial will begin a new era of technology in education. We will invest $300,000 during the next 14 months by hiring a Vice President of Technology, engaging in professional development for staff, upgrading technology infrastructure and wiring, installing classroom projectors, and providing teachers and staff with new computing devices, thereby setting the stage for providing students with computing devices. We will continue to urge our students to use technology responsibly and ethically while developing interpersonal relationship skills.
    • We plan to expand our Guidance Department by hiring a full-time counselor to specialize in Career Counseling services for students.
    • We will expand our Biomedical Science Program by adding a new course titled “Human Body Systems,” the second course in the nationally recognized Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science curriculum. The foundational course, “Principles of the Biomedical Sciences,” will continue.
    • In partnership with several colleges and universities, we are adding eight dual credit courses in English, Accounting, Teacher Education, and Marketing.
    • We are creating a Master Teacher position. The purpose of this enhancement is to integrate and sustain daily professional development of our faculty. Duties will include observing classrooms, providing prompt feedback to teachers, facilitating scheduled strategy discussions among faculty groups, and appraising teachers’ performance in concert with our Principal, Mr. Hegarty.
    • In Campus Ministry, we will build upon the successful experience we had this year by continuing and enhancing underclass retreats next year. Our partnership with the University of Notre Dame will continue. This partnership has brought us additional staff resources to coordinate and plan programs that foster a strong Catholic culture here at Scecina.
    • Starting with an expanded all-staff retreat for the 2014 – 2015 year, we will develop faith formation opportunities for our staff throughout the year and on an ongoing basis.
    • We will improve our building and classrooms by replacing lintels above gymnasium windows, tuck pointing sections of masonry, painting classrooms and stairways, and installing additional security cameras and new classroom lights.
    • We are preparing for the future through our Strategic Growth Plan. A top priority is to develop a Facility Master Plan that reflects our mission and helps us all to live it. Please look for more information on this exciting development as the year progresses.

    These improvements and ongoing programs are funded through a combination of alumni and friends’ support, parish and archdiocesan support, and tuition. They will add to our existing programs, which include:

    Looking ahead, the 2014-2015 school year will surely be a memorable one. Our current programs and these planned improvements will enhance the student experience and continue advancing the mission of Scecina Memorial High School.

    Thank you for your commitment and generous support of our school. I look forward to your continued involvement.

  • The Class of 2014

    Earlier this week, I shared with you my remarks from our annual Scholar Athlete Awards program. It was one of several May events where we honored our students for their outstanding achievement during the 2013-2014 school year. Today, I invite you to read my remarks from the 2014 Commencement Ceremony.

    58th Commencement Ceremony

    "Good evening. In the midst of all these wonderful accomplishments, I would like to thank our guests.

    Bishop Coyne: For your ministry and for representing Archbishop Tobin’s support and the people of the
     
    Bishop Coyne addresses the audience at Scecina Memorial's  58th Commencement Ceremony.
    Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

    Sister Lavonne Long: For representing the Sisters of Saint Francis and the school staff on which you served for our first graduating class in 1957.

    East Deanery pastors, principals, and members of the Scecina Board of Directors: For envisioning a bright future for our students and knowing that our school is an anchor for the people of the Eastside and our city.

    Our graduates’ family members, friends, and teachers: For encouraging, guiding, and believing in the Class of 2014.

    Parents: For being our graduates’ first and primary teachers. Last night at the Baccalaureate Mass, Father Noah opened the Mass by suggesting that you should be invited to receive diplomas with your seniors, which is a really good idea. We will not ask you to do tonight what you are not prepared to do, but please know that we appreciate ALL the sacrifices you have made from before your children’s birth until now.

    I would suggest that one of the greatest assets in our community is the commitment, unity, and continuity among Scecina families. More than 1/3 of the Class of 2014 have parents or grandparents who are Scecina alumni, or are at least the fourth family child to graduate from Scecina Memorial."

    Class of 2014

    "To the Class of 2014, you have attained great heightsand measurable results in academics, athletics, service, and the arts. Your grades, prayers, scholarships, awards, championships, acts of kindness, worship, service, conduct, and attendance throughout high school—these are now facts in the history book of Scecina Memorial High School. At the same time, so much of a Catholic education is not measurable, but is real and transformational--like the friendship, courage, commitment, discipline, and prayer that each of you has in your life. All of these successes are God’s and yours forever.

    I have heard it said that we all have a “dash” in our lives—that time between the year of our birth and the year at the other end. And so we ask, “How will you live the rest of your dash?”

    In the words of Pope Francis speaking to students just like you at World Youth Day, “Be revolutionaries. Swim against the tide; it is good for the heart and takes courage. Rebel against this culture that believes you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love. The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity, and the joy that is so characteristic of you. The measure of the greatness of a society is found in the way it treats those most in need. Go and bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away.”

    That’s an AWESOME challenge. But because you are CRUSADERS, I know that you are up to the challenge!

    You will walk outside very soon as alumni. You are privileged. I hope your dash through life will be longer than Father Scecina’s was. And when you meet success, may humility and gratitude be your first responses. When surprise greets you, may you be graceful and composed--just as your classmate, Abel, was upon hearing his name called to receive a prestigious student-athlete award at Awards Day this week! When you experience a setback, may hope and determination be your companions.

    I recall the story of Aimee Mullins, who was a college student in the 1990's. When having both of her legs amputated at about age 1, she had no input into that decision. Rather than see herself as disabled, Aimee decided that prosthetic legs would give her superpowers of which others could only dream. She proceeded to become an NCAA track and field record holder, fashion model, actress, and on the list of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People.

    You are fortunate to bear the “Scecina” name, the name of a devoted, even saintly, Christian and patriot. The destiny that God intends for you is just as noble as Father Tom’s. Remember that you are a CRUSADER.

    Last night at Baccalaureate, Father Noah reminded you that people whom you have never seen have helped you receive this education. One day, you can make the same difference by returning that favor and experiencing the same joy.

    On behalf of our entire community, thank you, congratulations, and may you live the greatness that God sees in you.

    Thank you all once again."

  • Scholar Athlete Awards | Guest Speaker, Jack Doyle

    The month of May is an exciting time for our Scecina Memorial High School families. There are a number of events that celebrate the successes of our students and that affirm the school community’s role in making these successes possible. This week, I would like to share my remarks from two such events, starting with the Scholar Athlete Awards that took place on May 18th.

    Welcome!

    "I would like to begin by welcoming and congratulating our 8th grade guests and their parents from the East Deanery Catholic schools.

    To the parents of our Scecina students, you are your children's first and primary educators. Thank you for supporting and encouraging your children in all that they do.

    To our students, congratulations on earning the Scholar Athlete award. It has come your way because you enjoy and are good at setting and achieving goals in spirit, mind, and body. What is equally impressive is that you are committing to academic and athletic success at a time when more is being asked of you in these areas than perhaps at any time in the history of education in this country.

    This program began in 1997, when many of you were born, so you could say that the Scholar Athlete Awards program is a classmate of yours.

    We have continued this tradition because it reflects our mission of standing for academic excellence while encouraging students to develop all the gifts that God gives us, just as Father Scecina did during his lifetime.


    Indianapolis Colt and East Deanery alumnus, Jack Doyle, speaks to student-athletes at the 2014 Scholar Athlete Awards.

    Today, it is my pleasure to introduce a successful and Christian person who grew up on the East side, Mr. Jack Doyle of the Indianapolis Colts.

    Jack is a great role model for us because he works hard, sees a temporary setback as a new avenue on the road to success, and sets a good example as a friendly, honorable person. Jack attended and graduated from one of our partner schools, Holy Spirit. He has played in the same gymnasium and football field and learned in the same classrooms as many of you have. Jack then went on to become a successful student-athlete at Cathedral High School.

    When I think of Jack, a particular saying comes to mind: "It's not where you start that counts; it's where you finish."

    One example of that saying, and I mean this as a compliment to Jack, is that he did not make the high school All-City football team, yet his work habits, optimism, determination, and commitment to academic success lead him to be a starter in the National Football League during the most recent season.

    Jack played college football at Western Kentucky University in the Sun Belt Conference. During his freshman year, he started 10 games, caught 37 passes, and was named to a national All-Freshmen team. As a sophomore, he suffered a season-ending injury during the year, but still started 7 games and caught 20 passes, again embodying the importance of "it's where you finish that counts."

    During his junior year, he started every game and was named second-team All-Sun Belt Conference. During his senior year, he started all 13 games--including a bowl game with a touchdown on national television--and caught 53 passes. That year, he was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference. During Jack's four-year college career, he was a three-time captain for Western Kentucky.

    After his college career, in 2013, Jack signed with the Tennessee Titans. Soon after, the Colts traded for him. Last season, Jack made a quick impact with the Colts, starting on special teams and on offense as a receiver and run blocker.

    Please join me in welcoming Jack Doyle.”

    View the Scholar Athlete Photo Gallery Here!

    58th Commencement Ceremony

    On Friday, I will share my remarks from our 58th Commencement Ceremony that took place on May 23.

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