Spotlight on Schools, 4
This is the next in a series of profiles of schools started in the educational tradition of Edmund Rice and his Brothers. Burbank (population 28 000) is in northeastern Illinois, at the southwestern edge of the city of Chicago, USA’s third-most-populous city. St Laurence’s mission statement describes it as “an all boy Catholic college preparatory high school rooted in the educational traditions of the Blessed Edmund Rice Christian Brothers where academic excellence and leadership are developed within a diverse community”.
St Laurence High School in the city of Burbank, Illinois, is celebrating its golden jubilee this year. The school is named after St Laurence O’Toole (Lorcán Ua Tuathail), an Irish saint who was born at Castledermot, Kildare, Ireland in 1128, and who died at Eu, Normandy, France on 14 November 1180. He was canonized in 1225 by Pope Honorius III.
Founded in 1961, this Christian Brothers school has been serving young men living in the city of Chicago and its south and southwest suburbs for half a century. It sits in Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. St Laurence has graduated nearly 14,000 men, and has a current student population of around 600.
Instilling in its students a strong desire for learning, enabling its students to face life’s challenges, as well as fostering Christian principles of service and commitment, St Laurence can boast about its stature in the community, its current highly honored student body, its tremendously dedicated faculty and staff, and its much-acclaimed group of alumni. The Home of the Vikings has been a traditional powerhouse in the Chicago Catholic League, one of the most competitive athletic conferences in the nation, winning 66 conference championships and numerous other accolades over the years.
Emphasis on leadership
At St Laurence, leadership takes many forms. To begin their training in leadership, all freshmen and sophomores are given the opportunity to participate in team training activities at Irons Oaks Adventure Center in nearby Olympia Fields. They learn how to function in groups, to interact with their classmates outside their classroom setting, and about achieving their goals.
The annual Leadership Week highlights Laurence’s commitment to build leaders. The week begins with a nationally-known speaker addressing the school community. Different activities highlight various aspects of leadership, and the week concludes with an all-school gathering honoring leaders within the St Laurence school family.
Office of Institutional Advancement – St Laurence High School
published July 2011