ABOUT O'GORMAN HIGH SCHOOL
O’Gorman is a four-year Catholic high school comprised of approximately 750 students who come from a Catholic junior high, public middle schools, and the area surrounding Sioux Falls. Since its opening in 1961, O’Gorman High School has lived its mission, “…to form a community of faith and learning by promoting a Catholic way of life through gospel values and academic excellence.” Most recently, school and community leaders embraced the need to update the O’Gorman campus in order to continue to provide the environment necessary for a world-class education. Amidst trying economic times, in September of 2011, the O’Gorman community celebrated the completion of a five-year 55 million dollar capital campaign appropriately titled, the “Building on Excellence Campaign.” Led by alumni, priests, and business leaders, this renovation project included totally replacing academic classrooms, expanding and updating athletic facilities, and adding a 1000 seat performing arts center to the forty- acre campus.
While O’Gorman’s campus has undergone a major renovation, its mission has not changed. The National Catholic Education Honor Roll recognizes the top 50 Catholic high schools in the nation based on their demonstrated commitment to academic excellence, Catholic identity, and civic education. O’Gorman is one of only three high schools in the nation to be named to this list every year since the inception of the award. In addition, The Siemens Corporation recognized O’Gorman High School as the outstanding Advanced Placement District in the state of South Dakota with the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement. The ACT Corporation, in a research study listed O’Gorman in the top 10% of all high schools nationwide for “academic rigor.” The College Board recently announced that O’Gorman was named to its 4th Annual AP District Honor roll based on increasing opportunities for students in advanced placement while simultaneously increasing AP test scores. The AP pass rate for O’Gorman students over the past three years has been 90%.
O’Gorman offers a comprehensive instructional program including twenty-two advanced placement/college courses which serve as dual credit options for the 98% of students who pursue post-secondary education. Students have the opportunity to earn fifty-seven college credits while attending O’Gorman High School. Efforts in the last ten years have also expanded the curriculum to include opportunities for learners at all levels of achievement. A total of over $250,000 in financial aid was awarded mainly through a work-study program in which student workers assist in various capacities throughout the school. In addition, all students are the recipients of parish subsidies which offset tuition costs. Students can also earn matching grants and scholarships based on both need and achievement.
O’Gorman competes at the highest level in the state for co-curricular activities. Though one of the smallest schools in its division, O’Gorman has won more state athletic championships than any other high school in the state since the school’s acceptance into the South Dakota High School Activities Association in 1968. Since 2000, O’Gorman has won 67 state athletic championships. O’Gorman’s performing arts programs have enjoyed equal success at the state, regional, and national levels. O’Gorman’s oral interpretation team won the National Team Excellence Award from the National Catholic Forensic League for the past three years, an award given to only five schools annually, and the National Forensics League recently awarded the O’Gorman Forensics team the National Award for Excellence in Speech for the second year in a row. For the current academic year, 529 students are enrolled in courses related to the visual and performing arts. Over 90% of O’Gorman students participate in at least one extra-curricular activity ranging from 18 varsity sports to 33 clubs and organizations.
O’Gorman students contribute well over 20,000 hours of volunteer service annually. Students enrolled in a theology class complete ten volunteer service hours each semester. Beyond these hours, an active Campus Ministry program offers additional opportunities for service in a wide range of capacities, and a Christian Service course, taken by two-thirds of all seniors, contributes over 5,000 service hours.
A veteran and dedicated faculty leads the school. Forty-nine percent have advanced degrees or are currently pursuing advanced degrees. Over half have more than ten years of teaching experience at both the secondary and post-secondary level.