Conwell-Egan survives

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Conwell-Egan survives

Conwell-Egan has recieved a second lease on life.

Anthony DiMattia, Centurion Staff

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Students, faculty members, parents and alumni gathered on Friday Feb. 24 at Conwell-Egan High School in Levittown, cautiously awaiting word of their school’s fate.

As word trickled down from the Philadelphia Archdiocese that Conwell-Egan had won their appeal, joy and adulation broke out inside the school’s gymnasium. “There was a sense of relief and shared joy when looking at students expressions,” exclaimed Conwell-Egan President Janet Dollard after revealing the schools fate to the student body.

Not only the students, but the parents, faculty, and alumni rejoiced in the decision handed down by the archdiocese. “Happiness was felt by all members of the Conwell-Egan family, all of us,” said Dollard.

The decision ends a tumultuous two month span that left members of Conwell-Egan believing that the school’s 55 year would be its last. Egan was one of many local Philadelphia area schools that came under recommendation from the Blue Ribbon Commission to close at the end of the school year.

Thanks to donations from alumni, community leaders, and people from local neighborhoods, Egan was able to raise enough funds to offset their deficit. According to a report last Friday by the Bucks County Courier Times that amount totaled over $3 million.

“This was a collaborated effort of many people donating time and talents and of course the donations that were generous on all levels,” said Dollard. She elaborated that Egan was especially grateful to all the heartfelt donations from individuals, equally thankful for donations small and large.

“People needed Conwell-Egan to stay here and that message came loud and clear,” Dollard pronounced about Lower Bucks County’s only Catholic high school. She emphasized the importance of sustaining accessible Catholic education for the 570 current and the thousands of future students at Egan.

Egan was among six Philadelphia area high schools to win their appeals Friday, including Saint Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School, and West Philadelphia Catholic High School according to the archdiocese website. The archdiocese also announced Friday the creation of the Faith in the Future Foundation, an independent foundation which will partner with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its Office of Catholic Education.

According to the archdiocese the foundation will help “guide the system of 17 Archdiocesan high schools and eventually assist the parish elementary schools, regional schools and schools of special education across the five-county Philadelphia region.”

“The grassroots efforts to save these schools, coupled with the advocacy of legislators and the generosity of many who wish to make our schools healthy again brought us to this innovative new model for Catholic secondary education,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput in a statement over the archdiocese website.

Dollard credits Egan’s proven academic program as well as an aggressive, thriving athletic program as a contributing factor to the schools success. Highlighted by Dollard was Egan’s EAST Initiative (Environmental And Spatial Technologies), an educational non-profit program that teaches students professional technology and software.

Brenda Kipp, of Morrisville, whose ninth grade son is currently enrolled in the EAST program has been learning how to map out architectural designs in a 3D computer program. “He feels challenged with the honors classes he is enrolled in at Egan, my son loves the programs CEC has to offer,” said Kipp.

The program is unique to Bucks as Egan is the only school to offer the program east of the Mississippi according to Dollard and Kipp.

With a renewed focus, Dollard recently released a statement over the school’s website. “We are making immediate investments into our facilities. Over the next three months, we will announce bold and innovative initiatives. We will be the most competitive private school in the region,” said Dollard.

An open house for interested students will be held on Sun. March 11 from 1 to 3 p.m. Visitors will be given a tour of the school as well as a meet and greet with faculty, coaches, students, and alumni who will be available to answer questions regarding the school’s academic, activity, and athletic programs.

With the appeal behind them, the entire community at Egan can now look towards the future

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