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Principal's Blog

In this blog, Principal Paul Hogan will regularly share with us his insights and observations during the school year. We hope you enjoy Paul's posts!

Sabbatical for a mensch

Mensch (מענטש): a Yiddish word that means "a person of integrity." A mensch is responsible, has a sense of right and wrong, and is the sort of person others look up to (judaism.about.com). John Gladstone is a mensch.

After 47 years as a teacher and administrator in Jesuit schools, our President is now on sabbatical. John, the erstwhile Latin teacher, could tell us that “sabbatical, ” like mensch, has Hebrew roots, via the Latin sabbaticus, deriving from shabbat, i.e., Sabbath, literally a "ceasing." A sabbatical is a rest from work, or a break, based on God’s own break on the seventh day, after the long work of Creation.

John definitely deserves an extended Sabbath after almost five decades as an Ignatian educator. While he’s away, let’s celebrate this mensch (since he would never let me do that while he was here!):

As a 20-year-old college senior at Xavier University in Cincinnati, John started teaching Latin at Xavier Prep. He soon returned to Cleveland to teach at his alma mater, St. Ignatius in Cleveland. My brother-in-law Arnie had John as his Latin I teacher in 1970, and he still loves Latin, mostly because of the dynamic Mr. Gladstone. In addition to learning his declensions and pronouns (tui, tibi, te, te), Arnie remembers his magister cavorting about in a toga, inspiring the lads to love Roman culture as much as Mr. Gladstone.

Among his jobs over the past 47 years, John has served as Principal of Walsh Jesuit High in Toledo, Director of Development at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, and Vice President for Enrollment and Financial Aid at John Carroll, a Jesuit university in Cleveland. On his sabbatical, John will travel, visit his children all over the country, watch baseball (especially his beloved Indians), and, we hope, rest from his decades of creative work.

As any JHS freshman could tell you, Mr. Gladstone is the coolest guy on campus. He can be seen at countless plays, ballgames, and other student events. Students see him most often in the hallways, slapping high fives, telling students to keep smiling, and especially encouraging them to “come to Mass on Friday!”

Yes, John is a “mensch.” He is also an Ignatian educator non pareil; a loving, laughing companion who has a heart for the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy alike—and especially for the students and teachers of Jesuit High School, which he calls “the best place I have ever worked.” How fortunate for us that he came to love this place, and that John Gladstone, mensch and magister, will return to us refreshed and ready for one more great crusade…

Paul Hogan

Posted by etuenge on Friday June 20 at 02:27PM
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Can you dig it?

The isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices  

(Caliban in The Tempest, 3.2.148-152)

Musical notes are ringing in my ears. On four recent evenings, the magical isle of Jesuit was brimming with music: Coffeehouse, Prom, the final Band concert, and last Wednesday night’s Choir Showcase. All four are special nights during which students get to sing, dance, and relish the joy of being a high schooler in full bloom.

The first event was Coffeehouse, on Friday, May 9 in the Gedrose Student Center. Coffeehouse is an eclectic, freewheeling forum for student creative expression—an open mic night that embraces the quaking freshman poet and the cocky senior chanteuse with equal fervor (and at which, alas, it just ain’t cool to be a parent in attendance—this is the kids’ gig). The crowd at Coffeehouse is the friendliest and most supportive a performer could hope for. From the freshman boy-band Sixth Sense to the seniors from Shrek to our “Regents Over the Rainbow” (Ryan Rallanka, SJ and Rob Van Alstyne, SJ), the performances were stellar and the 300+ students in attendance raucous in their applause and approbation.

The next night, Prom lived up to all expectations, and then some. The juniors and senior were gorgeous, as the Portland Art Museum glittered and glowed with teen spirit and good vibrations. The students came early, many stayed late, and it was clear that the 80’s-era music was a huge hit. Those of us who actually came of age in the 80’s could have told them they would love it—but it does not become real until you actually get down at your prom to the Cure and Soft Cell’s version of “Tainted Love”…

On May 15, the JHS Band had its final concert (not including Commencement). As Band Director Al Kato told the Band members after their performance, “You have really improved over the past year. This concert was my favorite of the year, as we got to hear all the work of the past nine months come to harmonious fruition.”

Senior Jon Parsons laid down the backbeat on the drums and was the only player to perform in every song, from the Freshman Band to Jazz Band to Concert. Jon and fellow senior Brandon Delplanche dazzled the audience with their leadership and musicianship. Stalwarts Drew Cannon, Ryan Feng, Grace Galantine, Chris Gettel-GIlmartin, PJ HUmmelt, Collin Phan, and Quinn Schmidt helped provide texture and depth to the toe-tapping performance.

Fast forward to May 21, when this year’s outrageously talented senior class blew away the Moyer Theatre at the Senior Choir Showcase. From Cassie Little’s guitar thang to the soaring hymns of stars like Casey Collins, Erika Beale, Malia Endres’ original composition, Adam Ortiz and his Brazilian mandolin, Katherine Enger and her piano, Emily Johnson (“and my father, Mr. Johnson, on guitar”), the seniors had feet tapping and jaws dropping at their amazing musical gifts. Add a dash of Beatles (Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da), Sting, Fleetwood Mac, and the Lion King, and you had a musical evening that will live in our memories and our eardrums for a long, long time.

Senior Claire Pahlmeyer directed a combined Mixed Choir/Chamber Choir Requiem, served as an accompanist, and sang a beautiful solo later in the program, dedicated to her mother Jane. 

Our Choir Director Carol Young has a sign in her room that says, “God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing.” Jesuit students have been tripping the light fantastic over the past fortnight, and God has been loving it—and them.

Paul Hogan
Posted by etuenge on Friday May 23
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