Scholars First, Players Second at Notre Dame

| January 20, 2010

Varsity team players at Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School, Utica, not only cheer about a great jump shot or passing game, they cheer about great grades, too. For the past ten years, Notre Dame has participated in the New York State Public High School Athletic Associations’ Scholar/Athlete Awards, given to teams that have an academic average of 90 percent or higher. Last year, Notre Dame had 99 scholar athletes receive this recognition on nine varsity teams. To qualify, grades must be earned during the student’s particular sports season, meaning a student has to be able to excel not only at practices and games, but after the competition, when it’s time to hit the books.

“I have noticed more of the senior students using the Scholar/Athlete Team Award in their communications with potential colleges,” said Patricia Mundschenk, guidance counselor at Notre Dame High School. “The recognition is good for the school, and it’s good for the students.”

Athletic Director Gene Leuthauser thinks high school sports get a fair share of the limelight and that the academic focus at Notre Dame is right thinking.

“We’re very fortunate to have a large number of our students do well academically,” he said. “They have to know that sports and competing are fun but that is not what is going to carry them through the rest of their lives.”

With a foundation built on a strong emphasis for success, it’s no wonder nearly all of the school’s graduates go on to college. For example, National Honor Society member Patrick Moore, ’10, recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Colgate University next year — on a full scholarship.

“He’s a perfect example,” said Leuthhauser. “Patrick under­stands that he’s preparing for the rest of his life, and he’ll get a great education out of this.”

— Connie Berry

Category: Bold Initiatives

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