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50th Anniversary lacks historical education

50th Anniversary lacks historical education

President Richard O'Hara speaks during the 50th Anniversary Mass. The Mass was the beginning of the 50th Anniversary celebrations.


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We are about to finish celebrating the 50th Anniversary of JC. Looking back, I’m slightly disappointed at how the year has progressed.

The school opened on Sept. 9, 1964, yet the 50th Anniversary celebrations started in 2013. It observes the 50th year of the school, as opposed to honoring 50 years of JC. It’s a slight technicality that’s frustrating to understand and to explain. Still, having Opening Mass on Sept. 9, 2014 to kick off the festivities would’ve made more sense to me.

I’m also annoyed that nothing came of the “50 Fridays” campaign. I looked forward to a little healthy competition among my friends and among the classes, and was disappointed to see that the initiative fizzled out so quickly.

Arguably the most important part of commemorating a milestone anniversary for a school is recognizing the massive amount of history that the school has lived through. The school has gone through a half-century of changes. From separate boys and girls floors, to the construction of the fine arts wing, to the changes in uniforms, so much has happened to this school.

The education of the current student body on the origins of JC severely lacked in this year’s commemoration of the past 50 years.

Even though the observance of the 50th Anniversary will conclude at September’s Opening Mass, there is still time to educate the student body on JC. From scavenger hunts to extra credit opportunities, to committing to the 50 Fridays, the options are endless.

For example, there could be a scavenger hunt of history facts. Students can go around the school looking for facts that are hung up on the walls or they can talk to various teachers for the information about the school and how it has changed. The student who finds all the posted facts first can get a special food prize from the cafeteria.

Additionally, there could be a presentation or movie with exciting graphics and a pictures of important events, educating the students about JC’s history. This could be viewed on a “History Night,” where history teachers give extra credit to students that attend.

A third option could be simply hanging “Did you know?” signs around the school, containing small blurbs and facts about the school.

If the education of the current student body were better incorporated into future anniversary celebrations, JC will succeed in its implementation of the coming anniversary celebrations into the school year.

Regardless of how this milestone year was celebrated, it feels great to be a part of it. It’s incredible to see how advanced JC has grown these past 50 years, and I can’t wait for the next 50.

Angela DeCarlo is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and


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One Response to “50th Anniversary lacks historical education”

  1. Chris Deaver on May 25th, 2014 7:53 pm

    Did you know that St. Stephen Catholic Church in Bradshaw had a regional high school on the property until 1967? St. Stephen High School opened in 1932 as a parish high school with 25 students. Within a couple years, the enrollment reached 75 students, and it stayed in that same range for the next two decades.

    In 1953, the parish built a new building to house the grade school, and former grade school classrooms were given over to expanding the high school. The enrollment then climbed from 80 students in 1954 to over 400 in 1960, with a graduating class of 92. During that same period, the faculty increased from 3, all of whom were Sisters of St. Francis, to 10, including two lay teachers. Students came from all around Harford and Baltimore County to attend this school.

    However, the opening of The John Carroll School in 1964 signaled the end of St. Stephen High School. Recognizing that a parish-based school would not be able to complete with an archdiocesan school, the decision was made to no longer accept incoming students. The students who had begun their studies before the opening of The John Carroll School were permitted to complete their studies at St. Stephen High School, and so a transitional 3-year period ensued where the school shrank in size as the existing classes graduated. Finally, in 1967, the school was closed completely as the last class graduated.


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50th Anniversary lacks historical education