Location: Brooklyn, NY
Students: 740 young men and women
Faculty: Over 70 full and part-time
Mascot: The Lions
Originally a parish school opened in 1851, Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School was chartered by New York State with a Board of Trustees as St. James Academy. In 1897 it became St. James Dicoesan High School. In 1933, the high school moved to its current site at 357 Clermont Avenue and received its current name after the first Bishop of Brooklyn, John Loughlin. BLMHS occupies the site intended to be used for building the cathedral for the diocese, but Archbishop Molloy decided the dioceses would be better served with a school, rather than another church.
With over 70 faculty members serving an ethnically diverse, co-ed student population, Bishop Loughlin addresses the needs of its students in many different ways. Partnered with BOYS HOPE GIRLS HOPE of NEW YORK, a nonprofit organization, BLMHS operates an urban boarding school. This boarding program was established to offer underserved youth a powerful alternative to the overwhelming obstacles that jeopardize academic success. Currently, 32 young men are enrolled in this unique program, the only one of its kind in New York City.
In the fall of 2009, Bishop Loughlin became the first and only Catholic school in NYC with a House System of Student Governance. Finding your place in a large school can be difficult for some students. The House System helps students find a place right away by automatically enrolling them as a member of one of 8 houses and of one of five families that make up the house. Families (20 to 25 students from all grade levels and a teacher) meet weekly. This structure ensures that all students are part of the community. As part of the house system, competition is encouraged, and motivates students throughout the year to promote school spirit. There is also the competition to become House of the Year. Students are awarded points for academic achievement, exemplary character, and participation in school events. The House with the most points at the end of the year wins the House Cup.
Under the House System there are also more opportunities for leadership than the common form of student government. With the House System there are 40 student government representatives — 5 representatives per house: 2 Seniors, 1 Junior, 1 Sophomore, and 1 Freshman. In addition, a senior class president and vice president are elected to run the student government meetings. Strong leadership opportunities are also created when students implement their own ideas for competitions. Modeled after some of the top-tier schools throughout the world, students are members of the same house for all four years of their career at BLMHS, with each House having its own motto, mascot, colors, banner and student-designed T-shirt.
In April of 2011, the Cozzi-Murray Performing Arts Center and Lancer Music Studio were opened to support the Bishop Loughlin student community’s love of the arts. With over 300 students participating in the bands, chorus, various dance troupes, script writing, and debate, the center was a significant addition to the school. Built to be sound proof and acoustic friendly, the performing arts center also boasts smaller individual practice rooms, and a recording studio with top-of the-line soundboard and computer equipment; a stunningly visual and functional addition to the school.
Generous to its students, awarding over $1.2 million dollars in academic aid, the Bishop Loughlin student community is just as generous. Twinned with St. Mary’s School in Neyri, Kenya, BLMHS raised over $13,000 in 2010-2011 for its twin, ranking as one of the highest in donating schools in the District of Eastern North America. Students have donated through a wide range of activities like dress down days, bake sales, Valentine’s Day fundraisers, and House competitions. Some BLMHS faculty members through their generosity, provide tuition support for St. Mary’s students.