Bishop McNamara, a boys' Catholic high school in Forestville, was started in the early 1960s when the then Archbishop of Washington, Patrick A. O' Boyle invited the Brothers of the Holy Cross, a large international religious order, to administer and staff a school for boys.
In 1964, Bishop McNamara opened, admitting 218 freshmen and 111 sophomores. Brother Thomas Buckley was McNamara's first principal, administering a staff of 15 religious and 5 lay faculty members. The school's administration was restructured 1989 and Brother John Paige was appointed president of the school.
Today, McNamara has a student body of 322 male students and has facilities that include modern science and computer labs. The school administers internship programs at the County Circuit Court, Congress and the White House. According to Paige, the Holy Cross philosophy promotes education of the whole person, "spiritually, intellectually, artistically, physically and socially."
In order to achieve that, "McNamara has a three-tiered approach to its college preparatory curriculum: Honors, Regular and Developmental Programs, said Paige. "We have a rigorous course of study for outstanding students, while providing help in basic skills and study methods for students who need help." Bishop McNamara had a 96 percent college acceptance rate last year.
Among McNamara's accomplished alumni are pro golfer Chris Piggot, Kronheim Company vice president Joseph Stanley, New Hampshire State Attorney General Paul Gagnon, College of the Mainland, Tex. Professor Michael Cady and local realtor Patrick Morrissette.
General science and physics teacher Thomas Gleason, who graduated from McNamara in 1985, said his experience as a student inspired him to return and teach at his alma mater. "McNamara was like one big family with a lot of school spirit," said Gleason.
Terrence Porter, currently a senior at McNamara and president of the student council said, "The teachers really care about us. They're helping us prepare for our future, for life."
Mark Washington, also a senior, said, "There are many well-structured organizations, both academic and extracurricular, for us to participate in. It's impossible to get bored at McNamara because everyone is so excited about learning and getting involved."
"You can't sit back and watch life; you have to get involved," said Washington. "At McNamara, we all get involved because we understand that with God all things are possible."