Editorial: Diversity makes our school stronger


Cathedran file photo

Students participate in the multicultural assembly in the Welch Activity Center.

Megaphone Staff

While Cathedral High School is successful for many reasons, its specialized efforts to promote diversity and inclusion have set it apart from other high schools and helps to provide students with a safe and welcoming learning environment.

In recent years, Cathedral has had an abundance of applicants, and class sizes have grown. Student accomplishments such as winning State in basketball and football, sending six students to speech and debate Nationals and winning Grand Champion in show choir, just to name a few of the many accomplishments, have boosted school pride.

One of the primary factors in these successes is diversity. Over the years, Cathedral has focused on incorporating diversity into its curriculum, both in and out of the classroom. This year, that’s even more evident.

On Feb. 17, students attended a Black History assembly hosted by the Black Student Union in honor of Black History Month. This year, the theme was “Poetic Justice.” Alumni Michaela Ivory ‘17 and Gabriel Ratcliffe ‘18 read a couple of their original pieces. Seniors Kiersten Fisher, Victory Sampson and James Legg performed at the assembly as well.

The school honored Black History Month in additional ways, such as providing trivia on significant Black figures and inviting Black guest speakers to educate students about their history and culture.

 The multicultural assembly, which took place during first semester, recognized and celebrated multiple diverse cultures as a way to acknowledge the diverse backgrounds of students.

 To kick off the event, students carried in flags representative of their heritage. The assembly included cultural dances from all around the world and engaged students through the universal language of music.

 But diversity doesn’t just include ethnicity. Gender, sexuality, economic backgrounds, language and religion are all components of diversity.

Every year, Cathedral offers financial support to students in order to provide them the opportunity of a good education and bright future. Without this support, college could never be a reality for some students.

Additionally, Cathedral offers an abundance of clubs that promote inclusion in the student body. These include the Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, Asian Student Union, EMBRACE club, Girl Up Club and the Alliance.

Vice President for community relations and diversity Mr. Ken Barlow ‘82 said, “(Diverse clubs) are important because they help a select group of students learn and grow. (They’re) another reflection of our efforts to make sure that all students and families feel welcomed and valued here.”

Diversity and inclusion are not restricted only to after-school activities and assemblies. Cathedral promotes inclusivity through its extensive language program that includes Spanish, French, German, Latin and American Sign Language. By participating and engaging in these classes, students not only learn the language, but also the culture of those who speak it.

Heritage Spanish is offered to students who communicate in Spanish at home or have lived in a Spanish-speaking country for an extended time. This is a more advanced class that further develops Spanish skills while placing a heavy emphasis on heritage and cultural identity.

World history and world religions are additional courses that educate students about different cultures and beliefs that they may not have been previously exposed to. Two world history credits are required to graduate, while world religions is an optional elective that students can take to fulfill one of their mandatory religion credits.

Cathedral is a well-rounded school determined to create the best environment for its students. Barlow said, “(We want) to make all our communities here feel that we’re celebrating them, that we’re including them, that they feel welcome.” If this year is any indication, the future members of our Irish family are in for an inclusive and accepting high school experience, celebratory of their heritage and who they are today.