The National Catholic High School Honor Roll has announced its fifth selection of the best 50 Catholic secondary schools in the United States. Schools are chosen for the honor based on the criteria of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education.
The Honor Roll, meant to recognize and encourage excellence in Catholic secondary education, is an independent project of the Acton Institute. The roll was produced in consultation with a national advisory board comprised of Catholic college presidents and Catholic scholars.
This year’s roll includes ten new honorees and eight schools which have been recognized in each year of the Honor Roll’s existence. Repeat honorees include Bishop Machebeuf Catholic in Denver and Holy Spirit Preparatory in Atlanta.
Texas and Michigan each had six schools selected for the Honor Roll, while California had four. Nine different religious orders’ schools are represented among the honorees.
Very Rev. David M. O'Connell, President of Catholic University of America and a member of the Honor Roll project’s advisory board, commented on the selections, saying:
“Catholic schools must examine themselves on a regular basis using a well-rounded approach that assesses adherence to the Church's educational calling… The Honor Roll strengthens schools by encouraging high standards and vibrant Catholicism."
In its five years of existence, more than half of the United States’ nearly 1,300 Catholic high schools have participated in the roll at least once. Nearly 300 schools completed the Honor Roll’s three detailed surveys meant to measure a school’s adherence to the Church’s educational mission. Each school is also evaluated in comparison to other schools nationwide.
“The best schools demonstrate a balanced excellence, which includes an active Catholic culture, sound college preparation and integration of Church teaching in all departments. These schools also display sound moral, catechetical and civic formation that prepares students for vocations in the world as political, religious, scientific, and business leaders,” a press release from the National Catholic High School Honor Roll states.
A list of the Honor Roll’s top 50 schools and the ten honorable mentions awarded in each category may be viewed at www.chshonor.org