Category Archives: Academics

Teaching and learning in the classroom

Yearbook Earns National Design Recognition

Caritas Vol. 43 cover featured in Jostens 2011 Gotcha Covered Look Book

Bishop McNamara’s yearbook, Caritas Vol. 43, has been recognized for national excellence and featured in the 2011 Gotcha Covered Look Book, Volume 9. The Caritas was one of only 400 yearbooks selected from over 3,000 submitted to a panel of judges that included nationally recognized scholastic journalism professionals and award-winning yearbook advisers.

The Caritas was created by editor-in-chief Simone Harris ’10 and a yearbook staff of 15, under the direction of Ms. Angela De Leonibus, yearbook adviser. The 43rd edition of the Caritas was titled “Exchange,” referencing the never-ending sharing of ideas, cultures, and personalities at BMHS.

“The yearbook program has improved dramatically over the past few years and this is the first time we have been featured in the Look Book. I’m incredibly proud of all of the hard work the staff put into the book and I can’t wait to see what we come up with next,” Ms. De Leonibus said.

Jostens’s Look Book, published annually, is a collection of spreads and photos from outstanding yearbooks and their creative themes, cool covers, dazzling designs, relevant coverage, storytelling copy and action-packed photography. The Gotcha Covered Look Book features the extraordinary work of yearbook staffs and advisers from around the world and is a popular resource for yearbook advisers and staffs seeking creative design and coverage ideas, trends and inspiration.

“The yearbooks selected for the Jostens 2011 Gotcha Covered Look Book reflect the sophistication and relevance of yearbook programs,” said Gary Lundgren, Jostens senior program manager/education.

Ms. De Leonibus and her staff received a copy of Jostens’s 2011 Gotcha Covered Look Book, as well as a certificate from Jostens to recognize their outstanding achievement.


McNamara Announces New Principal

After being announced as the next principal, Michael Hunt stands among students in the hall, with that morning's new issue of The Stampede. Before accepting the position, he read the online version of the student newspaper to learn about the school population. (Alex Vinci '11/THE STAMPEDE)

McNamara Announces Next Principal

By Alexis Jenkins ’11

Staff Writer

As the freshmen settled in to listen to the WMAC morning news this past Thursday, several students repeatedly “Sshhh-ed” each other and asked Mrs. Palmer to turn up the television. The day had begun like usual, same uniforms, same teachers, and same energy in the hallways. But it all changed when two men appeared on the monitor, one familiar and the other unknown: one was Mr. Marco Clark, current principal, and the other was the next principal of Bishop McNamara High School.

The name of Mr. Michael Hunt sounded in every classroom that morning, when he was introduced as our soon-to-be principal. From forty inquiries, to twenty-five applications, to Mr. Clark’s ten interviews and three finalists, it was now down to one.

Earlier that morning, Mr. Hunt was introduced to the faculty and staff during a short meeting in the Fine Arts Theater. “It is an absolute honor and pleasure to be working with you,” he said when he took the podium to address the faculty, after an introduction from Mr. Clark that made his qualifications seem endless.

Mr. Hunt currently works at Wheaton High School but has previously been a part of Loiederman Middle School, Paint Branch High School, and Suitland High School. Aside from his previous social studies teaching and administrative work, he boasts of being a native of Washington D.C. and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.

Although he admits teaching was not his first career track, he says it is by far his most fulfilling. To the faculty and staff he said “I love kids. My original plan was to be rich by twenty-one, didn’t work out. I started volunteering with kids, decided to go to the military wanted to be a hero, didn’t work. I started working with kids.” From there he decided to get his education degree.

In between the meeting with faculty and his introduction to students on WMAC, Mr. Hunt gave some time to reporters from The Stampede. Mr. Hunt said he first heard about the position as a rumor. He was told that the position came open and later received confirmation from the Archdiocese of Washington’s superintendent. After fifteen years of working in public schools he decided to pursue the application process. Having grown up with a Catholic school education himself, he felt one thing missing in public schools was the mission of the heart. “It was great working in public school education, but it was time to come back to Catholic school education,” Mr. Hunt said. He explained his feeling that public schools are focused on the diploma, but here you can also teach students to be a person of goodness.

After a morning of exciting announcements, the entire school was abuzz with reaction, mostly positive. Student council officers talked in their library homeroom, like Eric Darnell simply stating upon Mr. Hunt’s arrival, “That’s awesome!” or sophomore Alex Perry’s proclamation, “He looks like my dad.”

In the cafeteria, instead of the freshmen “Sshh-ing” each other they now had plenty to say. Ms. Palmer in the Cafe exclaimed “He looks like a fine, outstanding leader. Already being educated in the Holy Cross [tradition], he knows what we’re looking for…He seems to be taking an honest interest in our school community.”

Down in the 100’s, Mr. Justin McClain ’00 in his homeroom said, “I’m very pleased. It seems he has lots of educational leadership. He seems to know a lot about technology and how to use it effectively in the schools and with the students.” When asked how he intends to get to know the students, Mr. Hunt replied “That’s easy. Being from New Orleans, I have a big family.” Next year he will be quite far from the South but will gain 900 plus relatives here in Forestville.

Click on photos for full-size and caption.

Marco Clark Chosen as New President

Principal Marco Clark, President Heather Gossart and Board Chair Daniel Curtin together after the announcement that Marco Clark will be the new president of Bishop McNamara High School. (Thomas Ingle / The Stampede)

By A.C. Brown ’10 and Brandi Bottalico ’10
News Editors

Principal Marco Clark ’85 was announced as the next president of Bishop McNamara High School, in a faculty meeting Monday morning called by the Board of Directors, and then later in an announcement made to students during homeroom.

According to board chair Daniel Curtin, of the final three candidates Mr. Clark was the only one from inside the McNamara community. He was chosen because of his thirteen-year experience as principal and his commitment to the Holy Cross tradition. The candidates were from a total of nine states, but as Mr. Curtin put it, “We found out we have him right here in our backyard.” Mr. Curtin believes Mr. Clark is the best for the job and will bring the school “from strong to stronger.”

President Heather Gossart said, “There is no one you could find that would love or serve the school better than Mr. Clark.” Mrs. Gossart admits that although it’s hard to walk away from something she loves, she is comforted by knowing the school is in good hands.

“You just don’t replace a Mrs. Heather Gossart,” said Mr. Clark, although he was happy to be selected. Mr. Clark said his love for the school pulled him towards applying for the presidency. Among his many hopes for his upcoming presidency, one is to make alumni more visible within the school community through the use of scholarships, reunions and an alumni association.

During his acceptance speech Mr. Clark called on teachers and staff to follow his example and said, “Let each one of us be an architect for the future.” His tenure as president will begin July 1, 2010. The first question that needs to be answered is who will become the new Principal of Bishop McNamara High School. As the new president Mr. Clark will begin searching for his replacement as principal immediately.

Another journey for McNamara’s future has begun, the search for a principal; yet the search for our new president has come to a close. Mrs. Gossart said it best, “The gift that I asked the committee for is that they would bring in someone that would love the school and students the way I do, and I believe today I got that gift.”

Ms. Hayes Wins Award

Megan Ardovini ’13

Staff Writer

After 500 entries and more than 221,000 votes, the results are in. Bishop McNamara’s very own LaSandra Hayes has rightfully received first place. Our esteemed freshman seminar teacher, Ms. LaSandra Hayes, has been awarded the Gazette’s “My Favorite Teacher” award. The students of Bishop McNamara and members of the surrounding communities mutually agreed that she was deserving of the Prince George’s county award for a high school teacher. To be eligible for this award, a student must have submitted a nomination form for the teacher they believed to be a truly amazing educator and always willing to take that extra step to help those students and members of the community who are lucky enough to cross their path. Rone Young ’13 is to thank for entering Ms. Hayes in the my favorite teacher contest and bringing the beautiful gift we have to the attention of the surrounding community. His essay really expressing how Bishop McNamara feels about our wonderful Ms. Hayes.

Everyone is a Freshman at some point, so therefore you have or will have passed through Ms. Hayes’ door. In her interview with the Gazette, Ms. Hayes shared, “As an educator you are able to spark, enhance, ignite a flame that exists in every child and to me that is a wonderful opportunity to help a young person’s light to shine.” Ms. Hayes settles for no less each and everyday.

Photo Essay: Exam Week

Pictures of mid-term exam week, December 2009.
by Jacqueline Wills ’10, Photo Editor
English teacher, Mr. Ryan Meczkowski and subsitute, Mr. Gregory Vazzana anxiously prepare for the first midterms of the week on Tuesday morning by hoarding some Starbucks, rearranging the classroom, and locating the test materials.
Seniors, now without US History II teacher Sean Dougherty for questions and answers, rely on the knowledge within to complete their exams in first period Tuesday morning.
teacher, Mr. Michael Pozniak gleams and shakes with excitement when discussing a very serious subject during a review for his midterm exam on Monday December 14th.
English teacher Mr. Matthew Buckley '98 plays with a yo-yo in his hand, happy the first midterm day is over.