School’s marketing efforts getting back to normal

Covid decrease allows for return to more traditional methods

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Cathedral High School website screen capture

The school’s marketing includes frequent website updates on Covid-19 policies and procedures.

Caroline Schilling, Chief Reporter

As events and group functions have all faced challenges, so has marketing here on the Hill. Events such as ShamrAuction and others have been affected by Covid-19 guidelines, both last school year and this year. 

Director of marketing Mrs. Grace Trahan-Rodecap said she looks forward to the return to normalcy, and the opportunities that come with it. Rodecap said, “In administration, we very much have a team approach; we all work together. We work with admissions, advancement, and (president) Dr. (Robert) Bridges, (Principal) Mrs. Barthel and (Vice Principal for Academics) Mr. (Mark) Matthews. Everything is from a team approach. We discuss what is best for advancing the mission.”

 Events such as ShamrAuction, Open House, Evening of Excellence and more have been altered. Masks have been mandated with limited capacities and social distancing present. There has been a team approach in effect during these difficult times and constant changes. Rodecap along with multimedia specialist Mr. Tyler McClure, and others work together to plan such events.

She said, “(We) handle it as a group to advance the mission of Cathedral.” Similar to events changing, Rodecap’s role has also been altered. She said she misses seeing the joy on people’s faces during events. 

One event for the student body that has faced challenges has included assemblies. These are a time for the student body to come together as a whole, and joy is brought to faces, but masks cover them — or at least are supposed to cover them.

She said, “Wearing masks and having to limit what we can do all together (especially without masks), it is so gratifying for me to capture these beautiful images of kids in the gym during assemblies, laughing, hugging and singing. All that joy, and with masks, you cannot see that.”

Our teachers continued to knock it out of the park; our students continued to thrive.”

— Director of marketing Mrs. Grace Trahan-Rodecap

Covid-19 has caused many challenges. Teachers can feel this stress and difficulty. Rodecap and others notice their perseverance and strength during the uncertainty. She said, “Our teachers continued to knock it out of the park; our students continued to thrive.” 

People look forward to going back to normal or at least how things were before Covid-19. However, Rodecap does not think everything will ever return to how it was before. She said, “(It) can make us more adaptable and better.” 

While Covid-19 has had negative effects, there are also positive ones. She noted that it brought new opportunities, for which she is grateful.                                                                                                                    

One main event, Open House, faced challenges. The 2020 Open House was moved to virtual. Open House is a notable event for incoming students. Rodecap said that the importance of physically being on campus for Open House is beneficial to incoming students and families. 

Slowly, marketing is recovering, and there has been an increase in enrollment. She said, “Last year we were about 1,045 (students), this year we are over 1,080 (students). It definitely didn’t hurt enrollment. We were in person last year, four days out of the week, a lot of schools were not.” 

On the school website, there is a section about our Covid-19 protocols, and the constant changes. The marketing director said, “For example, we added an entire new section to the website that is just dedicated to our Covid protocols. It was really challenging last year, because it was so fluid and always changing, and it was important to make sure that part of the website was also up to date. 

Trahan-Rodecap mentioned the importance of word of mouth through Cathedral families, staff and students. The school continues to carry out Her mission when people share their experiences, which overall benefits marketing. She said, “We can market through the website, we can market through ads and we can market through social media, but at the end of the day, what sells a school is word of mouth. That is still the Number-1 way people hear about Cathedral.”