Cardinal Newman bursting out of its boundaries

COLUMBIA — The following information about Cardinal Newman School was provided by Jacqualine Kasprowski, principal, who noted they are the Midlands only high school.

History: Cardinal Newman School dates back to 1834 when the Ursuline Sisters arrived from their native Ireland. Through the efforts of Bishop John England and the sisters, Ursuline High School for young women opened in 1858, where it remained until Columbia was burned in 1865 during the Civil War. After that, the school operated under different names and locations until 1961, when it arrived at 4701 Forest Drive and its name was changed to Cardinal Newman High School. In 1971, a new gymnasium was built and in 1989, a middle school was added. As the school continues to grow, it is once again in search of a new campus.

Principal: Jacqualine Kasprowski.

Number of students: 455,  which is capacity for our current facility.

Faculty: The school has 36 full-time and five part-time teachers.

School motto: Veritas – Integritas – Fidelitas.

Grades: Seventh through 12th.  
Hours: 8 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.

School meals: We do not have an in-house food service yet, but have contracted with School House Fare for the 2008-09 school year. They will provide nutritious meals for our students.

School colors: Cardinal red.

Mascot: Cardinal.

Sports: Baseball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, cheerleading, cross-country, football, boys’ and girls’ soccer, softball, strength and conditioning, swimming, golf, girls’ and boys’ tennis, volleyball and wrestling.
Let us brag: We are the only school in the diocese that offers a Kairos  retreat for our students.

Foreign language: Latin is offered to all grades, Spanish and French to grades eight through 12, and ancient Greek to grades 11 and 12.

Advanced classes: We offer college-preparatory and honors classes at all grade levels in English, math, science, social studies, theology and foreign language. We also have advanced placement courses and classes that count for college credits at the University of South Carolina.

Facilities: Cardinal Newman plans to build a new school at a new location. We have secured the property and are working on architectural plans for the facility.

Biggest change over the years: Our biggest challenges all have to do with the constraints of the current facilities.   
What sets us apart: Everyone who has had experience with our school praises our family atmosphere. The climate promotes the development of each student’s gifts and talents, and the faculty works with each student in the quest for success.

Community projects: We are constantly involved in community service. Through the school’s Christian Service Program, students volunteer at hospitals, retirement homes and nursing homes. They work with the Home Works organization, the Red Cross, homeless programs and more. Last year, we provided gifts and food for 15 local families through our annual “Adopt-a-Family” Christmas project. The students also collected over 43,000 items for the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.

Our parish: Students come from more than 10 different parishes in the Columbia, Camden and Lexington areas, the largest of which are St. John Neumann, St. Joseph, St. Martin de Porres and St. Peter, plus public and private schools.

Wishes for our school: Our greatest wish is to provide Catholic education of quality to more students whose families cannot afford the cost.

How we demonstrate the Catholic faith: Cardinal Newman teaches a full religious education program to every grade. We have a Campus Ministry team that works with the students to increase their faith experience by planning Masses and participating in a retreat program at each grade.

Music/art programs: We have  vocal and instrumental music and offer visual arts classes and drama, with opportunities for two productions each year. Our band students and choir often serve us at our Masses.

Teacher awards: Our faculty includes several SCISA Teachers of the Year in English, foreign language and the sciences.

Do you have programs for students with disabilities? We work with students whose learning differences can be accommodated in our regular classes. We believe that inclusion in the daily program is the best way to accomplish this rather than removing those students and placing them in classes by themselves.  

What percentage of students are Catholic?  Approximately 75 percent.