Seton Catholic credits Blue Ribbon for enrollment increase - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Seton Catholic credits Blue Ribbon for enrollment increase

July 20th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Seton Catholic credits Blue Ribbon for enrollment increase

BY joyce valdez

Guest Writer

Seton Catholic Prep, the East Valley’s only Catholic high school, will welcome back students Aug. 8 for the 2018-19 school year.

Seton will begin the academic year with about 605 students, a slight increase over last year that school officials attribute in part to “the Blue Ribbon effect.”

Last year, Seton Catholic was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School in the “Exemplary High Performing” category by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.

“Being named a National Blue Ribbon School affirmed our commitment to academic excellence, which prompted more East Valley parents to consider Seton,” said Principal Victor Serna. “We’re no longer the East Valley’s ‘best-kept secret,’ which is a good thing for families looking for a high-quality education for their children.”

The 2018 graduating class underscored Seton’s commitment to academic excellence. Of 127 graduates in the class, 68 percent received scholarships – totaling $8.9 million over four years—to colleges and universities throughout Arizona and the U.S.

Speaking of scholarships, two incoming Seton freshmen are the first recipients of the Pat & Mary Ellen Hennessy Scholarship. Fr. Joseph Hennessy, a founder of St. Andrew the Apostle Church, established the scholarship fund in memory of his late parents. Each scholarship covers half of Seton’s annual tuition.

This past year, Seton increased its presence in the community by stepping up its involvement in business and civic organizations. In June, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce recognized Seton Catholic as the 2018 Medium Business of the Year, and Seton hosted the East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s July meeting.

Seton’s outreach is not limited to Arizona’s borders. This school year, it will continue its partnership with New York-based UTP High Schools to attract more international students to its campus at 1150 N. Dobson Road, Chandler.

“If I had to describe Seton in a word, it would be ‘wonderful,’” said international student Hailey Tran, who graduated in May after being placed at Seton through UTP.

Serna has been busy this summer working with school administrators to fill faculty, staff, and coaching positions. The vacancies include six teacher openings resulting from attrition, the head football coach, and the director of Advancement.

Jim Pogge, formerly vice president of advancement at Mercy High School in Omaha, Neb., has been named to head Seton’s Office of Advancement.

In that role, Pogge will work with Mission Advancement Officer Brian Rosario to develop and implement strategic plans to help raise funds for Seton. Before joining Mercy, Pogge was director of philanthropy at Creighton University, also located in Omaha.

Former Arizona Cardinals Assistant Coach Michael Chiurco has been named the Sentinels’ interim head football coach for the 2018 season. Chiurco, whose wife works at one of Seton’s Catholic feeder schools, has more than 29 years of coaching experience at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels.

Seton is a diocesan, coeducational high school open to students of all faiths and dedicated to academic excellence, leadership and loving service to others.

For more than 60 years, Seton Catholic has served young men and women from parochial, private, charter, public and home schooling backgrounds.

Seton Catholic is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, and the Western Catholic Education Association.

Information: or call 480-963-1900.

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