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Archbishop Carroll Is a Parochial Success Story

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Archbishop Carroll Is a Parochial Success Story

Historically, the strength of Catholic schools lies in their sheer numbers. In the 1960s, our elementary and secondary schools were bursting at the seams. The decline through the ’70s and ’80s was disappointing and eye-opening. As Michael Bradley points out in his August 2015 cover story, just 10 years ago, many of these once-great schools were on life support, and many closed. 

When “school choice” was introduced a decade ago, Catholic high schools were given a second chance. As the population diversified geographically, the schools could compete for a pool of students that was more spread out than ever, yet still yearning for its Catholic identity to be validated. The secondary-school hierarchy was sorely lacking in business acumen and needed more than a prayer to rescue it.

Archbishop Carroll is a perfect example of how an energetic visionary like Frank Fox was able to look at the big picture and put a plan into action to draw these students in. I think parents can identify with his mission because many of them attended Carroll or another Catholic school. Branding it “the place to be” sets it apart from other Main Line schools, and I believe that it will get alumni to wake up to the fact that support is needed to maintain the momentum. 

I’m anxious to see how Fox will promote the school’s 50th anniversary. It should be “the place to be” in 2018.

Elizabeth Speers, Havertown
Archbishop Carroll High School, ’76

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