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Jesuit High School

Principal's Blog

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

Believing in Miracle League

On Monday, May 22, the Jesuit baseball team heads to South Medford to open its defense of last year’s state title with a game against the dangerous Panthers. The boys are supremely stoked for this opening game of the playoffs.

Exactly one month ago, on April 22, Coach Griffin’s squad played a much different game, and one that was no less meaningful for our ballplayers.

On Saturday, April 22, the varsity and JV baseball players crossed the Columbia River to Camas, WA to serve as “buddies” with Miracle League players, helping them to learn to love the game of baseball as much as our boys do. The Miracle League’s mission is “to create positive life experiences for children and adults with special needs and for their families through baseball.”

Jesuit’s baseball parents also participated in the day by providing a concession stand complete with hot dogs, chips, Gatorade, candy, and Big League Chew for about 250 Miracle League players, coaches, and parents.

Rather than sleeping in on this very rainy Saturday, the JHS boys willingly gathered at school, determined that nothing would stop them from sharing this day with kids who can’t just take for granted the pure joy of hitting, running, and fielding. The day was made extra special because JHS varsity catcher Jacob Bates’ younger brother, Joey, was playing his first game with the Miracle League that day. 11-year-old Joey has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which affects 1 in 3500 boys. Joey hasn’t been able to play baseball since his t-ball days. Seeing him back on the field as a member of the Pirates team was a thrill for everyone present.

Says Coach Colin Griffin, ’00 of this miraculous day: “For me as a coach, and for our whole team, the whole Miracle League experience was incredible. Watching the Miracle League and Jesuit players with smiles on their faces, using baseball jargon, and taking a lot of free bases is a memory I will forever keep in my heart. I am so proud of our boys.

Player Mark Urreiztieta ’17 explains the impact of the day on himself and his teammates thus: “Miracle League not only proved to be a source of inspiration for us as volunteers and ballplayers, but it also gave the joyous participants an opportunity to play the game that we love, every day.”

As Jesuit dad and alum Tom Spitznagel, ’87 looked on, he observed, “It was so moving to see our Jesuit baseball team helping disabled kids and adults play baseball in the pouring rain. The weather being a bit crummy did not take anything away from all of us being there. The chance for our kids to become ‘buddies’ to the Miracle League players was awesome. This event was truly inspiring. It was neat to see how our guys who were apprehensive at first, soon become eager to meet their next buddy. I hope as a parent and alum that this becomes an annual event. The mission of Jesuit was clearly met on that Saturday. It was truly a proud day to part of the Crusader baseball family.”

Says Ted Ferguson (also ’87), “As a Jesuit baseball alum, parent of a current player, and the director of the Alumni baseball club, I could not be more proud of the Jesuit baseball program. To watch our players bring the pure joy of baseball to a group of kids who would never get to experience it on their own was truly amazing. Before that day, our players liked to play baseball. Now they understand the true importance—and gift—that is the game of baseball.”

Blogger’s note: Big thanks to Mrs. Julie Arndorfer for organizing this miraculous day, and for providing all the raw material for this blog.

See here for more information on the Miracle League:



Paul J. Hogan
Posted by Erika Tuenge on Monday May 22
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School Spirit: We're all on the same team

As principal of Jesuit, I have a confession: I am a big fan of Beaverton High. If you have ever been to BHS when the Dam is jammed and the ancient rafters are rockin’, you know what school spirit feels like. Beaverton principal Anne Erwin and her team have built an academic powerhouse that we admire greatly from two miles down the road.

You see, despite decades of battles on the playing fields, Jesuit and Beaverton, as well as the rest of our Metro League partners, are not just athletic rivals. We are also educational partners, working together for our kids. Mike Hughes meets with league ADs regularly, and works with them almost daily. I meet with the Metro principals once a month, and they have become friends and invaluable colleagues. So we were thrilled when the latest OSAA redistricting plan kept Jesuit and the Beaverton schools together in the Metro League for a fifth decade.

Just as many Jesuit students have close friends in the Beaverton schools, our staffs also share deep connections. Anne Erwin’s son Bobby ’05 is a Jesuit alum. Todd Corsetti, former principal of Southridge and now preparing to open Mountainside High in the fall, is the uncle of Solomon Bandy, JHS ‘20. Sunset principal John Huelskamp’s wife Avi is a former member of Jesuit’s Christian Service Department—and both are former volunteers with the US branch of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (ie, they spent a year working in solidarity with folks on society’s margins). Ken Yarnell of Aloha is an old friend and coaching colleague of our own Potter brothers, Ken and Gene.

It is not just the Beaverton schools who are our teammates, however. I am also a huge fan of Central Catholic, for its intellectual rigor, serious commitment to social justice, and ground-breaking Ram Program for students with developmental disabilities. I dig Central’s urban vibe, respect its tradition, and deeply admire its Catholic mission. I am honored to call CC Principal John Garrow my good friend.

Jesuit’s faculty is thrilled to be in multi-year collaborations with Central, St Mary’s, LaSalle, Valley Catholic, and DeLaSalle North Catholic on projects ranging from preventing sexual assault in our schools to serving students with learning differences to raising funds for the Children’s Cancer Association.

Recently, John and I got to hang out with Margaret Calvert and Carol Campbell, the principals of Jefferson and Grant, respectively. While we commiserated and traded snowday stories, I was reminded of the phenomenal work that Margaret and Carol, their teachers, counselors, and support staff do on behalf of kids, every day.

Jefferson and Grant educate the next generation of engaged, educated citizens, often in the face of mind-bending challenges. Jeff has gone from the brink of closure to a remarkable resurgence. Margaret was recently named Oregon’s Principal of the Year, on the strength of soaring graduation rates, Jefferson’s innovative “Middle College” program, and a unique partnership with Oregon’s public universities.

Grant offers best-in-the-nation “We the People” teams, a brilliant student magazine, academic rigor, and a commitment to improving our city, one citizen at a time.

Though they may not say so, our public schools also do the work of the Gospel (Matthew 25:35, to be specific) just as surely as Tim Joy and his crew at DeLaSalle North. When Carol and Margaret talked about the snowdays, they grew wistful recalling their concern for kids who went hungry without the two meals a day they get at school. Every public school in our region literally feeds the hungry. These are Oregon’s children they are serving; they are ALL “our kids.”

That our public schools manage to do such heroic work in the face of gaping budget gaps is miraculous. Running a high school in the age of public scrutiny and social media is challenging enough. Trying to hire teachers and fund programs without knowing your budget must feel like driving a speeding locomotive while wearing a blindfold.

So, today, we send our thanks to educational colleagues and friends across the region. I want to give a special shout-out to Kelli Clark, one of the finest people I know, as she enters her final month as principal of St. Mary’s Academy. Because when it comes to Portland’s schools, and especially to “our kids,” we are all on the same team.

Paul J. Hogan
Posted by Erika Tuenge on Friday May 12
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