As the Admissions Director of Central Catholic High School for the past 18 years, I have evaluated thousands of applications from prospective eighth grade students. Central Catholic is a unique community, not only because it is the only all-boys private school in the region and the first Catholic High School opened in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, but because we have evolved over the years into a school that encompasses all of western Pennsylvania. We draw students from over 50 different public-school districts. Our student-body is comprised of boys from multiple neighborhoods in the City of Pittsburgh, boys from nearly every municipality in Allegheny County, and communities in Butler, Washington, Westmoreland, Armstrong and even Lawrence County. Students come to us from Catholic elementary schools, public schools, charter schools and independent private schools. While every applicant is evaluated on an individual basis, it has been my experience that students applying from Catholic schools are differently prepared for success at the high school level.
Catholic school students have a clear understanding that more is expected of them in terms of academic achievement, service to others, and being an active participant in the school community. They understand that academics matter. Rigorous homework is not a new concept to Catholic school students. Students who decide to continue their education at a Catholic high schools benefit from having been held to a higher standard during their time at schools like Blessed Trinity Academy, where a strong moral foundation has been established. This is not to say that students from other schools will not be successful, however the transition is greater and the gap in expectations is larger.
One of the most concerning aspects of this global pandemic that we are in the midst of, from my perspective, is the loss of real educational progress that so many public elementary and middle school students are experiencing over the past 10 months. Will future applicants be able to succeed at Central Catholic like the students that have preceded them?
Fortunately, this is not a question I have to ask when an application from a Catholic school student crosses my desk because I know first-hand that Catholic school students have been moving forward. They have had the opportunity to be in-school whenever possible and that the remote instruction that has been offered parallels that which is happening in the classroom, ensuring success for all. I know this to be true, not only because of my position at Central Catholic, but because my own children attend Blessed trinity Academy. I am confident that they are receiving the best possible preparation for high school and beyond.
Mr. Brian Miller
Admissions Director of Central Catholic High School