Dear Members of the Class of 2023,
Welcome to Chaminade!
All of you come from different backgrounds, but when you enter through the doors of 340 Jackson Ave. in late August for the 3-C orientation program, you’ll enter a community of fellow Flyers that will grow to become your second family. Many people attend Chaminade solely for the purpose of completing the rigorous schoolwork and gaining admission to great colleges, but each and every Chaminade Man leaves the school with more than just a solid education and the memories of a few unforgettable events.
During the aforementioned 3-C orientation program in August, you’ll meet the friends and teachers with whom you’ll be “taking off.” Needless to say, the transition into high school certainly will be challenging, but this program is designed specifically to ease this. You’ll learn about various aspects of the Chaminade experience, such as the clubs offered and how to set up your iPad. These days will introduce you to the classmates with whom you will eventually form lifelong bonds, so you will be ready to hit the ground running on the first day of classes in September. On the surface, this orientation program may seem intimidating to many, but the sooner you learn what is expected of you, surely, the better off you’ll be over the next four years.
Freshman year provides a spectacular opportunity to discover the clubs and teams that pique your interest. It is through these clubs and teams that you will begin to develop new friendships. Participating in after-school activities is essential to meeting new kids and broadening your horizons. During freshman year, you’ll have special events – such as the freshman dance, intramurals, homeroom night, and retreats – which will provide a strong foundation for your next three years. After completing comprehensive exams in June, you’ll proudly walk away with one year under your belt.
When you begin your sophomore year, you’ll be reminded to exercise one of the most important of our three C’s – commitment. This involves a dedication to both your school and community. Again, the best way to stay committed is through clubs and sports. Chaminade offers a wide array of activities that distinguish it from other private schools. Although it sounds cliché, there really is something for everyone here. From the Computer Technology Club to Science Olympiad or the soccer team (winners of four straight state championships!), your interest in nearly anything can be explored by participating in our school’s various clubs or trying out for one of our athletic teams. To further strengthen the bonds you began developing during freshman year, sophomores enjoy a fun-filled day of games on Sophomore Spirit Day before coming together for Encounter.
You’ve now reached junior year! This will likely be your most academically rigorous time at Chaminade, but it is nothing to worry about. Juggling college prospects, study time for the SAT and/or ACT, schoolwork, and after-school activities will teach you to manage your time wisely and further develop the great work ethic you’ve been honing in your first two years at Chaminade. Time will be provided to rest and reflect, however. That is not to say that you won’t have any fun during junior year. The annual trip to Six Flags is one of the most anticipated events at Chaminade, in fact.
The demands of junior year will continue – to some degree – as you begin the first semester of your senior year. You’ll give these few months everything you have until you finally submit your senior term paper and college applications. Then, it’ll be a little bit of waiting game for you and your classmates as you anticipate college decisions while enjoying the last few months of high school with your friends. The second semester of senior year will allow you to take a step back and enjoy the fruits of your labor, with a number of events planned to help you never forget this time in your life. Beyond the Senior Celebration Cruise and student-faculty basketball game, perhaps the most unforgettable adventure in your Senior Spring will be the trip to Disney World.
For us Chaminade students and for countless Chaminade alumni, though, our school is more than where you will be taking classes over the next four years.
When some students think of Chaminade, they envision a strict, competitive academic environment. The truth, however, is that Chaminade is not a competitive place; it is, rather, a collaborative, character-building one. Although it is true that Chaminade will put you to the test academically, it will also teach you a strong work ethic, provide you with a viable path to advance to a great college, and take you to some amazing places along the way.
However, the most valuable thing that Chaminade Men take with them when they graduate is strength – an unflinching moral prerogative supported by countless formative experiences and backed by the unbreakable brotherhood that comes with membership in the Chaminade family. Our motto is our mission – fortes in unitate – strength in unity.
Owen Barthel ’19 and Jack Viscuso ’21