Loyola, Regina welcome students to 2012-13
(Left to right) Regina Dominican High School director of student services Patricia Caine, prinicpal Meg Bigane, academic dean and assistant principal Pat McDonell, dean of students and director of student life Colleen Brewer and president Sister Mary Marg
WHAT: Loyola Academy and Regina Dominican High School
Updated: August 30, 2012 11:40AM
Wilmette — Just as hundreds of New Trier Township High School District students are getting their academic sea legs under them in the new 2012-13 school year, so are their counterparts at Wilmette’s Loyola Academy and Regina Dominican High School.
The two Roman Catholic High Schools in west Wilmette attract students from across the greater Chicago and suburban area, attracted by their mix of academic rigor and spiritual traditions.
Loyola’s year started Aug. 15, when its roughly 500 freshmen first walked through the doors at 1100 Laramie Ave. The rest of the school’s 2,000-strong populace started Aug. 16, Principal Kathryn M. Baal said last week.
“We’re at maximum capacity,” said Baal, who began her second year at the Jesuit college preparatory school’s helm. “We had our largest number of applicants ever last spring for freshman classes.”
This year the school is piloting the use of Apple iPad tablets as a teaching and learning tool, providing them to eight teachers and 300 students at all grade levels in an effort to see how the technology can be used in one-to-one education, Baal said. Planners hope that the pilot project teachers can serve as team leaders for their teaching colleagues as the project broadens next year.
Baal is also looking forward this year to efforts to increase and broaden literacy education at Loyola, one aspect of which is a newly opened writing center.
“People think literacy just means the ability to read, but it’s a lot more than that. It relates to the fluency of how kids read, how they write and how they think,” she said. “It’s the ability to read, write and think coherently and meaningfully.”
A few blocks east and south of Loyola, at 701 Locust Road, Regina Dominican’s 340-strong student body began the school’s 55th academic year Aug. 23. Joining them at the Adrian Dominican college preparatory school for young women was new principal Meg Bigane who joined the school in May.
Bigane came to Regina from Trinity High School in River Forest, where she served as assistant principal; before that she taught for eight years at Mother McAuley High School in Chicago, then served there for another five years as freshman dean.
She will be leading the school as it enters the second full school year of programs generated through its ambitious “Vision 2020” strategic plan. Regina won a 2012 Edison Award last spring for its efforts to position the school and its graduates to tackle real world challenges through brand marketing, academic initiatives and corporate partnerships.
“Everyone at Regina Dominican is looking forward to an exciting school year filled with spiritual experiences, rigorous studies, athletic competitions, fine arts performances and activities, and service to others,” School President Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki said.