Dear Alumni and Friends,
In my Modern American History class, we examine significant events that have altered the United States forever. Future academic study of the year 2020 will show the momentous global impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In education, COVID-19 has challenged educators everywhere to think outside the box and has resulted in a marked advancement of our technological capabilities to meet the needs of our students. The paperless classroom is now standard, and remote collaboration has become easier with the widespread use of video-conferencing platforms.
Mount Saint Joseph, like all institutions facing these unprecedented circumstances, has seen many changes over the past several months. As I am sure you’ve noticed, even our format for The Mount magazine looks different this September. We are excited to offer a digital issue this summer and will be returning to a print format for our Fall 2020 issue. But while much has changed, the most important aspects of our school community have remained the same. Our core values and commitment to high-quality, Xaverian education are unwavering.
Our faculty, staff, students, and parents all adapted to our distance learning model last spring, and our students’ Advanced Placement scores remained excellent with 83% of students who took an AP exam scoring a 3 or higher. Our distance learning model was so successful that it attracted more than double the amount of transfer students we typically welcome each year.
As our class structure underwent changes, our physical campus changed as well. A new telephone and campus-wide intercom system was installed, along with a new HVAC system and windows in Xavier Hall. When our students are able to return to sports, they will be playing on new turf on Plevyak Field with the latest in padding and heat reduction technology.
We have started this school year implementing our distance learning model, but our goal is to bring our students back on campus as quickly as possible. Our administration worked tirelessly all summer to evaluate all of our options and be ready for any scenario as the situation surrounding COVID-19 changed daily.
Our administrative team also grew over the summer. Mr. Sam Bianco ’01 is our new director of Student activities (although many of the activities will be remote until we can get our students back on campus). In this role, he will bolster the development of enduring personal relationships as it relates to our Xaverian mission. Mr. Ryan Luckman, from the Science Department, has become our new dean of students. Most significant has been the hiring of our new principal, Mr. Frank Espinosa, who most recently served as president and principal at St. Xavier High School in Louisville and was a member of our Board of Directors for the past 6 years. In this issue of The Mount, you will read about Frank’s vision for project-based learning and implementation of STEAM curriculum at The Mount.
Despite the challenges and changes COVID-19 has faced us with, we remain firm in our mission to help our students become the men God intends them to be. Thanks to the generosity of so many alumni and friends, we remain poised for a bright future. We ask you to continue to pray for The Mount, for our country, our world, and for an end to this pandemic.
George E. Andrews Jr.