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Heritage Week inspires Class of 2026 through history of service leadership

Heritage Week inspires Class of 2026 through history of service leadership

The Theology Department held their annual Heritage Week, a mini course for the freshman class highlighting the history, legacy, culture and vision of McNicholas High School. Students learned about our founders the Sisters of Saint Joseph, our namesake Archbishop John T. McNicholas, and the values and mission we continue to strive toward today.  

The Sisters of St. Joseph are a group of strong, humble women with a long history of service, social justice, and a deep abiding faith in Jesus. They founded McNicholas High School to instill these values in the next generation.  

“Heritage Week was created to teach the freshmen about the path laid out by the Sisters and inspire them to carry on their mission of service leadership. It is important that students understand that, by attending McNicholas High School, they are taking part in something bigger than themselves,” Theology Teacher Mrs. Mary Beth Sandman said.  

As part of Heritage Week, the members of the Class of 2026 were given opportunities to put their faith into action by practicing service and generosity. They wrote nearly 150 letters of gratitude and encouragement to the current Sisters of St. Joseph. They delivered goody bags with thank you notes to some of the behind-the-scenes staff at McNicholas. Many also participated in random acts of kindness, inspired by the organization Brad’s Blessings.   

“We want students to understand these values are all encompassing and hope they learn to extend them beyond theology class into math and science, into sports and extracurriculars, and into their communities and families,” Theology Teacher Ms. Teresa Davis said.  

Faculty and staff new to the school were also invited to attend Heritage Week.  Ms. Lauren Tibbs, the newly-hired Assistant to the Director of Communications and Marketing, said, “I, and hopefully the Class of 2026, walked away from Heritage Week understanding that being a Rocket is more than cheering from the Launch Pad, Mardi Gras, and good cookies in the lunchroom. Being a Rocket is meaningful, empowering, and important. It requires us to take up the mission handed down through history and choose to follow in the faithful footsteps of those who came before us. Being a Rocket means actively living out our faith and striving toward Full Stature in Christ. It means finding our unique, God-given brilliance and using it to serve and share God’s love with others at McNicholas and beyond.” 


Heritage Week Fields Before Picture

The land McNicholas High School sits on today was originally bought by the Sisters of St. Joseph as a place of retreat out of the city. They farmed many of the surrounding fields for their food. Click to the next picture to see what those fields look like today!

Heritage Week Paradise Football Field

What used to be farm land we are now blessed to call “Paradise” today! We are so thankful for all the resources our students have access to at McNicholas for academics and extracurriculars. 

Morgan the basset hound at McNicholas High School

Heritage Week also included some fun history of student life through the years at McNicholas. Meet Morgan the basset hound, a favorite face on campus in the late 1960s. Most days this sweet pup could be found wondering the halls, sleeping in classes, and of course enjoying lunch in the cafeteria. 

McNicholas High School's first classrooms being built

As the school grew, they began building the McNicholas High School we know today a little at a time. Here the first classrooms are being built! This was known as Alter Hall and is now the SAIL hallway and area outside the cafeteria.  

Students cheering outside front door of McNicholas

What started out as a humble convent and 4 classrooms has now grown into a place many brilliant Rockets have called home over the last 70 years. We can't wait to see who will add their story to our history next!