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Curriculum

Bring out your academic best through an adaptable curriculum that redefines excellence.


No matter what your academic ability, McNicholas can help you achieve excellence. Our personalized registration and class selection allow you and your parents to select course levels appropriate to your ability in each subject area. With a 12-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio, you will receive individualized attention in each of your classes and our customized pathways help you to discover and develop your unique brilliance.
 

Have questions about our our curriculum?

Emily Materna

Emily Materna

Director of Curriculum

Academics News

Student shares Science Fair project

The Science Department hosted its annual Science Fair on Thursday, Jan. 26. 35 students were invited to present their projects to a panel of judges comprised of faculty, friends of McNicholas, and Science National Honor Society members. Science teacher Ms. Mary Dennemann said, “Students have been preparing science fair projects for the 18 last weeks. We are proud of their hard work." 

Engineering students work on project

McNicholas engineering students stepped up to the plate, helping Little League baseball players who use walkers and wheelchairs to field ground balls. The grabbers they designed, tested, and manufactured were delivered to the Mason Challenger Baseball team in December.

McNicholas CyberPatriot Team State Competition

Congratulations to the members of the McNicholas CyberPatriot Team who earned 2nd Place in the gold tier at the state level of The National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. Coach Mrs. Jolene Esz attributes their success to their enthusiasm and their hard work in the UC Early IT Program. “All of the students on the team are in the McNicholas cohort of the UC IT Early College Program so they have taken college level classes in Networking and Systems Administration. Their success is a testament to their hard work and the outstanding program we have here,” Mrs. Esz said.

Culinary chemistry offers a tasty new take on science

Rockets made delicious discoveries when they combined fundamentals of science and cooking in the inaugural semester of the Culinary Chemistry class. The goal of the class is to give students a different perspective on science and an appreciation for chemistry in our everyday lives. Trading beakers for mixing bowls and Bunsen burners for convection ovens, students participated in hands-on cooking labs where they used principles of chemistry to assist them in creating a variety of tasty treats.

McNicholas student tutors student at Sands Montessori.

More than 40 McNicholas students are skipping study hall for a good reason: They’re tutoring kids at Sands Montessori, Mt. Washington Elementary, and St. Joseph Catholic School. Through a program launched in the 2021-22 school year, our students provide reading enrichment at Sands, math and language arts support at Mt. Washington, and homework assistance at St. Joe’s.

McNicholas inducts 31 National Honor Society members

McNicholas High School celebrated students achieving their academic best by inducting 31 new members into the Altiora Chapter of National Honor Society on Thursday, Dec. 1. The National Honor Society recognizes the achievements of junior and senior students who excel academically and fill leadership roles in the school and community.

McNicholas students collect recycling

Students in the Environmental Science classes are caring for God’s creation and learning about sustainability by taking responsibility for the school recycling program. Science teacher Mr. Eric Hickman jump started the program as part of his Environmental Science curriculum. “My goal for this class is to make students aware of environmental issues and empower them to be a part of the solutions,” Mr. Hickman said.

Early IT contest winner holds up prize

Congratulations to freshman Louis Smith and sophomores Eli Holland and Jonathan Byrum who earned top awards in University of Cincinnati’s Early IT Fall Competition. Louis won first place in the Programming category for his Java script program that helps builders to calculate construction costs. Eli and Jonathan, who took second place as a team in the Web Development category, were challenged to create an original website that highlights the UC Early IT Program at McNicholas. 

Rockets enjoy Pumpkin STEM lab and creative fall fun

McNicholas students celebrated fall and Halloween with pumpkins galore inside and outside the classroom! Mr. Steve Dalton's class participated in the yearly pumpkin catapult STEM lab, the English Department hosted a literary pumpkin decorating contest, and CREWs carved out some time for fun with their own contest.  

McNicholas freshmen laughing together

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.

McNicholas HAC Youth Justice Award honorees

McNicholas student organization Hands Across Campus (HAC) was honored for their compassionate leadership by the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC).  At their annual gathering, IJPC awarded the first Youth Justice Award to HAC for their work to promote justice, diversity, and inclusion at McNicholas and in the community.  

Group photo of students from Barcelona

McNicholas welcomed 5 students from Collegi Casp, a sister school in Barcelona, Spain, for a 3-week study abroad program. During their stay, Ariadna, Ana, Andrea, Biel, and Abel lived with McNicholas host families, explored Cincinnati, and experienced life as a Rocket. They participated in clubs, cheered from the Launch Pad, attended a full class schedule, and even helped in our Spanish classes.  

McNicholas President and Principal recording their conversation

President Dr. Denver Stanfield and Principal David Mueller touch base in this second episode of Conversation with the President & the Principal. Tune in to hear Dr. Stanfield discuss progress on the HVAC project and enrollment and to hear Mr. Mueller’s updates on our innovative programs such culinary chemistry and Leadership McNick.  Mr. Mueller also shares ways in which McNicholas is continuing to support students in all areas, including mental health.

McNicholas student shares during Leadership McNick seminar.

McNicholas is excited to unveil Leadership McNick, its newest initiative in the development of compassionate leaders. Leadership McNick is a four-year, intentional growth experience that combines high-quality leadership training with small-group relationship building, retreat programming, vocation and career exploration, and formal and informal mentoring.

McNicholas students pack hygiene kits to send to Manna from Heaven Outreach.

Partnering with Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, members of the RLC collected and packed hygiene kits to send to Manna from Heaven Outreach, a group working to support the people of Eastern Kentucky who were devastated by the recent flooding. With a focus on Community, Curiosity, and Creativity, the RLC provides students with the opportunity to learn through community engagement.

Portrait of McNicholas President, Dr. Denny Stanfield

McNicholas is pleased to welcome the school’s new President, Dr. Denver Stanfield, who began his tenure at McNicholas on July 1. Meet Dr. Stanfield and listen in on our first episode of Conversation with the President & the Principal.

Celtic cross at the front entrance to McNicholas High School

At McNicholas, we pride ourselves on helping students discover and develop their God-given talents, but students are not the only ones growing and challenging themselves. Teachers and staff members are also developing their gifts and finding new ways to use them to serve the McNicholas community.

As the 2022-23 school year begins, four faculty and staff members are taking on new roles and responsibilities: Mr. Bill Losekamp, Mrs. Emily Materna, Mr. Mike Orlando, and Mr. Dan Rosenbaum

McNicholas Class of 2022 Valedictorian shakes principal's hand

Congratulations to our newest graduates who received their diplomas at the PromoWest Pavilion at Ovation on Sunday, May 22. Student Body President Lauren Keith, Valedictorian Andrew Collette, and English Teacher Mr. Jeff Mulvey were nominated by the Class of 2022 to speak at the graduation ceremony.

McNicholas senior signs academic letter of intent.

At our annual Academic Signing celebration, we recognized the Class of 2022 Top 10. These 10 students have achieved the highest weighted cumulative grade point average up to and including the third quarter of their senior year: Jack Caccavari, Emma Clemons, Andrew Collette, Bobby Fechtel, Emily Fridley, Zach Geiser, Maria Klug, Ethan Koran, Arden Jakubovic, and Jason Munzel.

McNicholas students work cooperatively during leadership retreat.

The Class of 2025 grew in compassionate leadership this week as they bonded together during leadership formation. This day of formation laid the groundwork for the Leadership McNick program, a joint venture between McNicholas and the Xavier University Leadership Center (XLC), that will officially kick off next school year.

McNicholas student testing the strength of her bridge made of pasta.

At McNicholas, we build bridges...but sometimes we break them too! Ms. Gaskins’s Architectural Drafting students designed, constructed, and then tested the strength of their spaghetti bridges. Junior Caroline Mohahan’s brilliant design was the strongest, holding 14.1 pounds!

Candle lighting at the McNicholas NAHS induction ceremony

Twenty-six Rockets were inducted to the National Art Honor Society this April. NAHS inspires and recognizes students who have shown an outstanding ability and interest in art and supports members in their efforts to attain the highest standards in art scholarship, character, and service.

McNicholas students lead Angels through CANabiliites Program

As part of the Guardian Angels School’s CANabilities Program, McNicholas hosted the eighth grade class from GA, leading them through a morning of witness, reflection, and activities fostering kindness and compassion.

McNicholas students celebrate National Foreign Lanauge Week

The World Languages Department celebrated National Foreign Language Week with fun, food, and “Fallas.” Activities included "Ojos de Dios" crafts from Mexico, “Fallas" from Valencia, and a Greek temple building project.

McNicholas High School's three National Merit Semifinalists

All three seniors who were announced as National Merit Semifinalists in September have advanced to Finalist standing. Congratulations to our National Merit Finalists Ethan Koran, Erin McManus, and Jason Munzel!

McNicholas senior wins Poetry Out Loud competition.

Congratulations to senior Zach Geiser who placed first in our school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition for his recitation of “Dream Song 14” by John Berryman. Zach will move on to the regional semi-finals for an opportunity to compete at the state level.

Scholastic Gold Key Winners from McNicholas

Conner Dute ’22 and Conner Gibson ’22 were both awarded Gold Keys for their architecture work. Connor Dute was recognized for his pizza oven rendering, Rock-In Park, and Conner Gibson received his Gold Key for The Cozy Comb, a plan for sustainable living for displaced persons. Both Conners will move on the National Scholastic competition.

McNicholas welcome three new faculty and staff members.

Please join us in welcoming three new faculty and staff members to the McNicholas family. Mr. Pete Collopy joins the Athletic Department as a strength and conditioning coach, Mrs. Julie Miller has returned to McNicholas as full-time math tutor and co-teacher, and Mrs. Andrea Wheeler joins us as a full-time co-teacher in the English Department.

McNicholas High School's three National Merit Semifinalists

McNicholas High School is proud to announce that seniors Ethan Koran, Erin McManus, and Jason Munzel are semifinalists in the 2021 National Merit® Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) program. Semifinalists represent the top 1% of seniors nationwide based on the results of the PSAT/NMSQT test the students took as juniors.