Eighth grade applicants pay a visit to the Hill

Admissions organizes socially distant interview process


Megaphone file photo

The admissions office has coordinated Covid-safe interviews for current eighth graders who have applied for early admission.

Emma Kress, Reporter

As seniors apply to college this fall, eighth grade students are also applying to high school. Associate director of admissions Mrs. Elizabeth Wissler said approximately 200 prospective students have applied for early admission.

In this application process, these students participate in an interview on the Hill. Wissler said, “All 200 (applicants) will need to be interviewed. We have interviewed about 100 of them so far. The remaining students will be interviewed after school over the next couple of weeks.”

The interviews are taking place over several weekends this fall. “Interviews took place Oct. 18 and Oct. 25. We are also conducting interviews after school both (the week of  Oct. 26 and Nov. 2)” said Wissler.

The interview process for prospective students is an important part of introducing students to the Cathedral family. Wissler said, “Cathedral is unique in that we interview every student that applies. This is our way of getting to know the prospective student more deeply than just through an application. It also allows one of our faculty members to forge a bond with a student before they have even enrolled.”

Faculty members conduct the interviews. “The entire faculty of Cathedral is given the option to help with these interviews. The admissions department assigns certain faculty members to certain students based on interest level. For instance, (band director) Mrs. (Kathy) McCullough interviews most students that have expressed an interest in pursuing band when they come to high school,” said Wissler. 

Wissler said that the interviews are something that teachers are excited to take part in. She said, “Our teachers really enjoy doing the interviews. I overheard Mr. (Michael) Moffatt saying these interviews energize them. Mr. (Ken) Barlow also commented on what a great group of applicants we had this year. I have to agree with both of them.”

Not only do faculty members assist in the interviews, but some students do, as well. Wissler said, “This year the admissions department also utilized National Honor Society students. NHS students received a (community service) point for helping. These students helped direct visiting families to the interview. They also answered questions from the prospective families. The goal is to show our applicants what a ‘typical Cathedral student’ becomes.”

Covid-19 restrictions have affected the interview process. Wissler said, “In years past, the admissions department had a presentation portion to the Sunday interview day. A current senior gave his or her perspective of what a Cathedral education has done for them. Unfortunately, we could not do that this year. Our goal was to get families in and out of our school while maintaining as much social distancing as possible.”

Wissler said the interviews allow for a deeper connection to be formed with applicants. She said, “The interview process is one of my favorite parts of admissions. It allows for a personal one-to-one conversation.”