Oldenburg Academy has often been referred to as a hidden, multi-faceted gem in Southeastern Indiana as she is the only private, Catholic high school in the area. As principal of the Academy, I know she is a hidden wonder full of faith, spirit, and hope…truly a gem with many facets.
The 2012-2013 school year has greeted Oldenburg Academy students and school community with positive change. This year marks the Academy’s 160th birthday while marking 114 years for the alumni association. In celebration of this accomplishment, OA will host the Reverse Raffle fundraiser on school grounds decorated as a blast from the past, the “in the moment” present, and the possibilities of the future.
Additionally, new leadership has emerged in several departments. Mr. Ryan Brammer
is our new athletic director with over a decade of experience in the educational realm. Mr. Miguel Rodriguez
is OA’s new Spanish teacher after having taught at the university level. Mr. Eric Neuhaus
is welcomed to the math department coming with over a decade of experience and holding six state championship titles through development and refinement of his boys’ cross country teams. Mr. Wes Gillman
will lead Project Lead the Way
and teach Biology. Ms. Deanna Cahill
is our new Campus Minister and will be teaching Religion 9 and 12, and Mrs. Pam Gast
has joined the OA Fine Arts Department and will be leading all charges on the choral front.
After analyzing survey results from students over several years, OA has segued from a seven to an eight period day allowing more flexibility in scheduling resulting in more options for students… a win-win situation for everyone involved! OA has also paired with Ivy Tech to offer students dual credit in two courses of PLTW, Biology II, AP Biology, Advanced Fine Arts, Anatomy and Physiology, Advanced Science, Chemistry II, and AP Chemistry effective for current OA students and with the 2012-13 school year and beyond. OA serves students matriculating from 16 different schools in 9 districts, so families make quite a sacrifice to get students to school at OA. A small, but necessary, change is the addition of SRTs which are essentially study halls for students to finish school work.
The Academy is proud to have partnered with the Indiana Department of Education to implement the Choice Scholarship Program. This incentive will open the doors to so many families who, at one time, only dreamed of a private, Catholic education for their child. Last year, as reported by the Indiana Non-Public Education Association, there were 3919 applications submitted to the Indiana Department of Education while this year, and before school began, there were 7314 already approved before the application deadline. The Choice Scholarship has and will continue to make a difference for so many families throughout the state.
Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception is also a 2009-2010, 2010-2011 Indiana 4 Star School and a recipient of full accreditation by NCA (North Central Association) until 2016….two gems we are especially proud to keep shined for all to see.
Focusing on the facet of curriculum, teachers are charged and ready to move forward with a ‘dashboard’ to ‘drive’ curriculum. The following highlight ‘gauges’ on OA’s new dashboard that will take the school community through 2016:
- mastery of Common Core Standards through assessments,
- development of a plan for collecting baseline reading levels for all students using the Maze Reading Inventory,
- implementation of the 6+1 Traits of Good Writing which is a program utilized across the nation to improve writing technique,
- development of a teacher evaluation plan modeled from the RISE document used by the Indiana Department of Education in collaboration with teachers,
- refinement of a tracking system for service activities that reflect Franciscan values,
- monitor percent of students involved in co-curricular activities, and
- implementing/analyzing annual student satisfaction surveys with the help of the OA Student Council leaders.
OA is proud to report that nearly every class is equipped with Smart Boards, and available daily during lunch, is a media center stocked with current books in specific content areas as well as the Eliot Rosewater books from the year 2008 to present.
Along with all the sparkling facets above, the Academy also fully implemented the use of the iPad 2
for all content areas
with the endearing and generous help of long time OA advocates Mr. and Mrs. Gus Hillenbrand.
The iPads have opened the doors of technology so essential for the 21st
Ironically, it is becoming just as common to see the words ‘Ap Available’, every time one turns around as it is to shop for the cheapest gasoline prices in town!