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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!

A Wonderful, Wacky Weekend at JHS

The weekend of Oct 3-4-5 was one for the books. The past weekend was fantastic, frenetic, and exhausting, but what a stretch for Jesuit High! To review, let’s start at…

5 am Friday, October 3. By that time, the news crew from KOIN 6 news was already set up in the Knight Gym, getting ready to interview JHS President John Gladstone, Christian Service Director Scott Powers, and students Serena Oduro and Reid Bucy. The right way to kick off a morning of Game-of-the-Week coverage. By 6 am…

We had 500+ students in the gym, including members of the volleyball, cross country, soccer, and football teams. The JHS Band, Cheerleaders, and Fun Patrol helped the students blow the roof off the joint, as AD Mike Hughes explained the meaning of Age Quod Agis to KOIN 6 viewers. Our first crack-of-dawn pep rally. Two words: “Donuts. Delirium."

At 8:35 am, Fr. Mike Gilson, SJ celebrated Mass, delivering a stirring homily about "consequences," including the consequences that ensue when a student chooses to go to Mass on a Friday morning (even after getting up at 5 am to be at school for a 6 am pep rally!). "When you choose to get close to Jesus, that has real consequences for your life." Indeed.

10 am: Classes get back to business, with a number of tests and projects that mark the end of Term 1, our first-ever term with iPads.

7 pm: The game of the week kicks off with Westview driving down the field with stunning precision, as we get settled in for what will prove a classic: two titans trading touchdowns, while thousands of fans enjoy the pure joy of high school football played at the highest level. Former Crusaders and current Ducks Doug Brenner, Henry Mondeaux, and Keanon Lowe sign autographs for the dozens of CYO footballers in attendance, while Blazer Wesley Matthews takes endless selfies with the Blazer-maniacal students.

Just before Matthews strides off chased by 50 middle schoolers like the Pied Piper to do an interview with JCTV, I ask the Marquette U alum what drew him to our game. His answer: “I asked Hersey Hawkins if there was a good football game tonight, and he told me to head to Jesuit for the game against Westview.” Of course.

9:02 pm: Westview recovers an onside kick with 13 seconds left to give them one last gasp at victory, after the Crusaders had seemed to put the game away. Then Sam Brunson breaks into the backfield to unceremoniously dump Westview’s gallant Austin Brisbee on the turf. More delirium, and a good win for the home team.

Saturday, Oct 4, 9 am: Former JHS parent, NYC marathon winner, and director of Nike’s Oregon Project Alberto Salazar helps kick off our Coaching for Character conference. He and national champ Jordan Hasay of Oregon describe their healthy "coach-athlete" relationship, which is based on mutual trust. Under the direction of VP Carol Wyatt, 160 coaches and parents from across the region spend the day at JHS discussing how to make integrity, courage, and passion the real measuring sticks of our athletic programs. Inspiring.

Saturday, 6 pm: Powderpuff commences with fierceness, frivolity, and flag football. The warpaint and cheering underscore this unique celebration of female athleticism and pure fun. In a stunning upset, the juniors knock off two-time-defending Class of 2015. We thought referee Don Clarke would never blow the final whistle!

Sun, Oct 5, 7:15 am: As dozens of volunteers begin to show up at JHS to prepare for the day’s Open House, 75 students gather at Thomas Edison HS to get final instructions before heading out to walk the final 10K of the Portland Marathon, to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Association. The bright pink clad Crusaders are the hit of the marathon, as they sing, cheer, and cavort down from the UP Bluff along Interstate and thence to Naito Parkway, spreading joy and raising almost $15,000 for the CCA. Inspiring again, especially when dozens of the walkers head back to school to serve as ambassadors for…

Open House: Thousands of visitors arrive, and JHS shows its best self, thanks to countless parent volunteers who have come out to support Jesuit and Admissions Director Erin DeKlotz. Most impressive of all are the 300+ ambassadors who gladly share with our visitors what they love most about their school. Amazing.

Thank God students have a three-day weekend coming up!

Paul Hogan
Principal
phogan@jesuitportland.org
Posted by etuenge on Monday October 6
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Friendships Forged in a Crucible

Two recent events have driven home to me the importance of “coaching for character.” One was joyful, one painful, but both were powerful, especially for the parents in attendance.

The first event occurred when a few of us parents recently found ourselves at an impromptu gathering of some of our daughters who grew up playing rec soccer together. For nine years, from kindergarten to eighth grade, the Rapids were a raggedy crew of pigtailed athletes. A couple of weeks ago, we parents noticed that our little girls, now seniors in high school, have grown into strong, confident young women.

The Rapids, the early years.And as high school seniors...

How did that happen? In the early years, the snacks were all that mattered. As the girls moved toward middle school, they started keeping score. Eventually, the Rapids learned to pass and dribble and throw and hustle. They learned to win and lose with grace and humility. They nursed hurt limbs and hurt feelings, and they became a team. In short, they developed character—as human beings as well as athletes.

The Rapids players knew that they had created not an athletic juggernaut, but a complex and rugged web of friendship, toughness, and joy. The parents beamed with pride as we watched our daughters grow from giggling small fry to strong, fierce competitors who cared about the game, and one another. Still, we knew that our team was not unique. There are millions of boys and girls chasing a ball all across America, having fun, and learning what it means to be a person of character and courage.

The Rapids reminded me that the old verities are still true. Love and effort and joy and friendship are really all that matter. Sacrificing for a team, for something bigger than oneself, is still virtuous (even if it means playing goalie!). And the girls learned that sometimes even dads can get choked up, as I did when I told my team at the end of 8th grade that coaching them was one of the greatest privileges of my life.

The Rapids who gathered last week attend four different high schools, and will move on to half a dozen colleges. But the steel that they forged in the crucible of rec soccer will forever make them one team, and will bind them as friends.

An even more poignant example of the ways that sports can shape character also occurred in the past fortnight. A Jesuit dad who had battled cancer heroically finally succumbed a couple of weeks ago. His oldest son Connor, a member of the JHS class of 2012, was at home, but a number of his pals had already left for college.

At the funeral, I was proud to see a whole lot of JHS students and parents in attendance. But I was especially moved to witness the way that Connor’s former teammates from his grade school CYO basketball team rallied around him. Two of them drove from college in Montana to be there for the funeral, and the others didn’t think twice—they had to have Connor’s back, because they were teammates.

It did not seem to matter whether these young men had been in touch with Connor recently or not. It did not matter that they had graduated from Jesuit and Central Catholic and Lake Oswego. The bond they had, the lessons they had learned about loyalty and about what really matters (not wins and losses, but friendship and fidelity), led them instinctively to their friend’s side when he needed them most. That is what one might call character, and it can be shaped powerfully by the emotional cauldron that is competitive athletics.

As I hope you know, “Coaching for Character” is the topic of the conference we are co-hosting with Central Catholic and UP at Jesuit on Saturday, October 4. All parents are invited, whether you are or ever were the coach of a team. If you are a parent, you are a coach, guiding your child(ren) through the treacherous terrain of adolescence.

So, come learn from folks who do this for a living how to help your student grow into people of competence, conscience, and compassion. You can register at www.jesuitportland.org/manresa.

Paul Hogan
Principal
phogan@jesuitportland.org
Posted by etuenge on Thursday September 25
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