From the Office of the President
The Legacy of Lasallian Education Continues on the Avenue
I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a happy new year and to update you regarding the school year. As I am sure you know, one of our core Lasallian values is belief in the presence of God. In that regard, every morning, at every assembly and gathering, and during every class period the words, “Live, Jesus, in our hearts, forever” are uttered. These words form a traditional De La Salle prayer that continues to serve as an important reminder that God’s presence has guided our institution for over 65 years.
Last week we began the second semester of the school year. The school’s enrollment has held steadily at 560 students. As I mentioned in my letter at the beginning of the school year, the unprecedented increase in enrollment over the last few years is a tribute to our students, their families, and our faculty and staff. As we approach the end of the first phase of our admissions for the 2016-2017 school year, I am pleased to announce that we are expecting another increase in enrollment next year. I am anticipating that we will begin next year with 600 students.
As President, I have the privilege and honor to represent De La Salle this year at numerous events and activities throughout the metropolitan area. It is extremely encouraging that everywhere I go I hear positive comments about De La Salle. There is a genuine excitement about De La Salle both inside and outside of our school. The excitement is justified and relates directly to the school’s commitment to excellence, innovation, and results. De La Salle students love their school, our parents are extremely supportive, and our faculty and alumni base are proud of the school’s accomplishments in academics, athletics, and extracurriculars.
This year we have already received several encouraging results related to our academic program. For example, to date, members of the Class of 2016 have already garnered over $1.1 million in scholarships. In addition, the senior class had 11 students who scored a 30 or above on the English and/or Reading section of the ACT. One of our students scored the highest score possible on the Math Level 2 SAT test and a near highest score on the ACT Math section. Another one of our students took the dual enrollment math class at UNO, and he was ranked 1st in a class of 43.
Positive academic results like the ones cited above are directly related to quality faculty and staff who work to continually improve. This February, De La Salle will host a site visit for school reaccreditation by the Southern Association for Secondary Schools (SACS). This reaccreditation visit will be the culmination of a two-year self-study that has focused on examining the current state of the school’s academic program and formulating suggestions for future improvement. We look forward to the validation that will result from this site visit as well as the recommendations that will direct future planning.
It is important that enhancements to our facility match the pace of our continual improvement efforts. We began the school year by adding the Computer Learning Studio, a new flexible learning space with movable tables and chairs, a 65-inch interactive monitor, and 31 Dell Chromebooks, to introduce our eighth-grade students to basic software applications. We also began the school year with an upgraded Heating and Ventilation Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system in the main building with new environmental controls. Also, as part of this project, new ceiling tiles and energy-efficient lighting were installed in the hallways on the first and second floors, and, through the generosity of the Parents’ Club, the lobby area was refurbished to complete the renovation of the main building. A new outdoor tailgating area was completed in September of 2015. This new feature has been used for gatherings of students, parents, and alumni at various functions, and it has been a significant addition to our events.
The fall sports have set the stage for the beginning of another very successful athletic year. Both the volleyball team and the football team advanced to the second round of playoffs. The football team set a school record by winning their first nine games, and the team was ranked second in the state in class 3A for the majority of the season. Players from both teams earned district and metro honors, and Coach Ryan Manale was elected by one publication as “3A Football Coach of the Year.” Winter sports are now in season, and spring sports have begun their initial practices.
Our extracurricular organizations continue to flourish. Over 40 clubs and organizations exist to provide a multitude of areas of interest for our students. One of our newest additions has been the establishment of a string orchestra. In just its second year, the string orchestra which started with eight members has already grown to 18. This orchestra is a great addition to our outstanding Fine Arts Department which already includes art, band, debate, LaTroupe (drama program), and speech.
We recognize that we exist to transform lives where we continue to blend the traditional with the innovative. We have become a school for our entire city, drawing from every zip code, every neighborhood, and every one of our diverse people and cultures.
As a graduate of De La Salle, I am particularly pleased and proud to say that the future of our school has never been brighter! With God’s help De La Salle will continue to be a force of change that is now and will continue to be indicative of the transformative power of our Lasallian values.
Cavaliers, lead on!
Myles M. Seghers, Ph.D., Class ‘65
President, De La Salle