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Bishop McNamara


Student Life

Daily Life at Bishop McNamara

A values-based environment that values each child

Bishop McNamara is a safe place to be. We have a physically safe environment as well as an emotionally safe environment where our friendly, welcoming community engages our students and their families on many levels. Our Catholic, Christian values inspire compassion and call each child to be present for others.

The connection each teacher and staff member makes with each student helps ensure a community where everyone knows everyone.

We aim to find God in all things – in our diversity, in our strength of character, in our academic excellence, in our athletic perseverance and more. Our commitment to honoring the talents bestowed upon each of us is evident in our expectation for each student (and her/his family) to become an active and engaged member of the school community.

Our Philosophy

Many schools pride themselves on building independent young adults. While we achieve this same mission at Bishop McNamara, we are able to take our investment a step further. Through our connections with each student, we instill in them an understanding of their moral obligation to serve God and others. Thus, we strive to build a sense of interdependence through active involvement.

As a student at Bishop McNamara Catholic School, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue your passions through a wide variety of activities and clubs, ranging from yearbook to band to scholastic bowl. Bishop McNamara's extracurricular activities are designed to foster intellectual and spiritual growth as you prepare for the next level.

Our Student Life curriculum is focused on helping each student build strong personal mastery skills in order to serve as an independent and interdependent member of society. The abundant and diverse student life offerings teach about leadership, and help each student develop skills and habits that lend themselves to effectively inspiring others. Because our activities help build necessary life skills, we refer to them as 'co-curricular' activities. From athletic teams to academic clubs, the Bishop McNamara student offerings help develop stronger, more well-rounded young men and women.

Meaningful Activities

The Bishop McNamara experience weaves together principles of character, scholarship, and faith. Whether in the classroom, on the playing field, or in the community, students’ days are filled with activities that are designed to structure their time; making the most of their school experience. In addition to an education, Bishop McNamara offers athletics, co-curricular activities, and community service opportunities that play an important role in each student’s day-to-day life at the School.

At Bishop McNamara we pride ourselves on our diverse range of student interests. Our clubs include award-winning Scholastic Bowl and music programs, a unique and innovative House program, an unparalleled Student Leadership & Governance program and countless others clubs that invite students to develop their interests, abilities and leadership skills while having fun. As a small school we often start new clubs, often leading to excellent leadership development of the student-driven initiative.

We are a community of students, faculty, staff, and families who are connected by a shared value system, and focused on the preparation of young men and women for the responsibilities and opportunities of adulthood.

Co-Curricular Learning

Philosophy of “Co-Curricular” versus “Extra Curricular”

In seeking to uphold Bishop McNamara’s commitment to developing passionate, unique, well-rounded leaders, the Student Life team centers its efforts on promoting leadership, teamwork, and community through a comprehensive co-curricular program that works hand-in-hand with the classroom. Building critical thinkers is not limited to just the classroom. Our diverse community and many offerings help students of different backgrounds and interest come together to build a stronger school, a stronger local community through Christian service, and a stronger discourse about our world around us. This is Bishop McNamara’s mission to educate to the “whole person,” and we are providing the leadership and followership opportunities necessary to achieve this ambitious goal.

The Prefects: Unparalleled Leadership Program (Grades 9-12)

Bishop McNamara's Student Leadership Program follows a developmentally appropriate sequence, with students being offered opportunities to become involved immediately upon their arrival in high school. Each student is invited to join (even create when possible) one of our many clubs and organizations. All students are appointed to join in the school-wide House Program. There are numerous opportunities for involvement, through which each student is able to learn more about her or his potential as a leader and follower.

The leadership roles become available as students grow and assert themselves in their co-curricular activities. The overall leadership curriculum has a pyramid design with the base serving as the focus of 9th- and 10th-graders, moving up the series of skills until their junior and senior year.

The leadership program emphasizes eight core elements which each student is exposed to in direct ways: personal mastery, moral foundation, communication skills, goal setting, organization, problem-solving, self-awareness, and inspiring & mobilizing others.

Aside from the inherent value in studying these skills, the Bishop McNamara Prefect Program has served as an excellent vehicle for integrating the academic program with the other programs of the school.

The Bishop McNamara Prefect Program challenges 10 student leaders each year to serve their school through significant contributions in all areas of the school community: student life, admissions, community service, fine arts, athletics, spiritual life, marketing, and the overall quality of the school experience. These leaders oversee councils comprised of additional selected students, establishing a full range of student ownership and involvement. All Prefects uphold the motto and vision of the school and what it stands for in word, action, and deed.

                • Head Prefect
                • Academic Prefect
                • Activities Prefect
                • Admissions Prefect
                • Athletic Prefect
                • Fine Arts Prefect
                • House Prefect
                • Marketing Prefect
                • Sacristan Prefect
                • Service Prefect

The Irish Cup: House Program (Grades 9-12)

Mission: The mission of the Houses is to further the mission of Bishop McNamara by building a stronger school community through enjoyable (fun!) experiences. The goal is to affirm the principle that each Bishop McNamara student has a place among her/her peers, enabling them to build strong personal, spiritual, and collegial relationships, reinforcing Bishop McNamara’s sense of community, and forming its conscientious leaders.

The House System interweaves all aspects of life at Bishop McNamara by setting the following goals:

Leadership & Followership – to build strong leaders who lead by example and to give a strong voice to each of the four classes within the five House communities, while building excellent follower skills for those whose desire to lead may not be.

Collegiality – to provide opportunities for students to work together towards a common goal, collaborating on projects, in competitions, and towards the greater mission of building a strong and vibrant student community.

Community Outreach – to build relationships with more people in the greater community so as to be able to extend even further our arms of service.

Pride in Place - to increase greater ownership of the school through leadership and followership opportunities that help each student appreciate the special community that is Bishop McNamara.

Spirit – to build House spirit and identity through engaging students in fun and unifying activities and in intramural sports. In other words: FUN!