By Owen Barthel ’19
Chaminade held its annual open house for accepted students on Saturday, January 21, and at least one experienced observer thought it ranked among the best the school has hosted.
“I believe each open house is better than the last,” said Mr. Denis Flood ’89, who has worked at Chaminade for two decades. “The school is constantly improving.”
The open house is a two-way street of sorts: Chaminade gets a chance to showcase itself to the excellent students who have earned admission to the school, and the students receive an opportunity to tour the school and determine whether it is the right place for them.
The event was broken into two sessions—morning and afternoon—with Bro. Thomas Cleary, S.M. ’81, and other school administrators giving presentations on academics, activities, transportation, athletics, and the new Science, Technology, and Research building. After the presentations, faculty members and students in the National Honor Society gave tours to the accepted students and their parents.
The tours, in particular, are the main highlight of the open house, because they give students a chance to experience the school firsthand. Knowing that they have already been accepted, the students can ask more specific questions to understand how they will fit in with the Chaminade family.
Andrew Corsello, an accepted student who lives in East Williston, said the tour “made me excited to go to Chaminade.” He noted that the speeches were highly informative, and that the students were exceptionally friendly and helpful.
One current Chaminade student, Eric Latham ’19, attended the open house to represent the Glee Club. He approached the event with a sense of duty, saying, “I went because I feel like it’s my job to commit to the club and be a real dedicated member. I wanted to give future students an understanding of what it’s like.”
In October, Chaminade held a more general open house for students who had not yet taken the Catholic High School Entrance Exam (C.H.S.E.E.). This is an informative event, but the open house for accepted students is a more personal and intimate affair.
“Some students may not be sure whether Chaminade is the right place for them,’” said Mr. Flood. “By participating in tours of the school led by teachers and students, the accepted students certainly gain more of a sense of what it means to be a part of the Chaminade family.”
Noting that the majority of Chaminade’s teachers attend the open house, Mr. Flood said their presence demonstrates their commitment to the school and its Catholic mission.
“We want to show [the accepted students] that we are here to support them,” said Mr. Flood. “For many families making the decision to come to Chaminade is more important than the college they will choose.”