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On the Cutting Edge

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For more than half a century, the only Catholic high school in Butler County has made a name for itself with its students, faith life, focus on technology and “Ramily.” What is “Ramily?” Brian Pendergest, Badin High School Principal, and Dirk Q. Allen, Director of Admissions and Media Relations, explain it best.

“When our students are here, that’s the atmosphere in which they go to school, and we really thrive on that close-knit connection,” the duo said. “The Ramily comes together every year and it’s very rewarding to see.”

That atmosphere was especially important during the 2020-21 school year when Badin students attended school in person at a time many students couldn’t be face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) with one another.

“Everyone pulled together because we wanted to be in school [in person], so we dealt with the adjustments that needed to be made — masks, smaller class sizes, lunches in two different locations by class — in order to have a successful year,” Pendergest and Allen said. “We’ll return to some ‘normalcy’ in 2021-22, but our students will never forget the ‘Covid Year’ and everything they did to have a memorable year.”

One aspect that helped make the 2020-21 school year come together was the use of technology. Equipping students with the latest technology is nothing new for the high school. During the 2010-11 school year, students were given iPods to enhance their learning experience. Fast-forward two years, and Badin rolled out its 1-to-1 iPad program.

“At that point, we were just the second school in the state of Ohio to have each student with an iPad,” Pendergest and Allen shared.

Students continued to utilize iPads until the 2020-21 school year, when the school decided to utilize tablet PCs instead.

“[We try] to give our students the tools that will help them the most,” Pendergest and Allen said. “We’re always looking to enhance what we do.”

As part of making sure students are getting the most use of the technology at their fingertips, each student takes an integrated technology course their freshman year. Additionally, for the past seven years, Badin has offered Project Lead the Way courses, with a focus on the engineering track.

“Because there are so many careers in the STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] subjects, we find many of our students going to college with those majors in mind,” Pendergest and Allen said.

While technology always continues to evolve at the high school, Pendergest and Allen noted that the same philosophy of progress is felt throughout the entire school campus. The school opened a $3 million recreation complex (the Pfirman Family Activity Center) 15 years ago and a $2 million Student Development Center last school year. Having these facilities allowed school leaders to offer new locations for guidance, campus ministry and other school offices, while opening up more classrooms.

“‘Continuous improvement’ is the watchword at Badin,” Pendergest and Allen shared. “You can’t just rest on your laurels. We’re always working to improve our programs for the benefit of the students.”

This article appeared in the August 2021 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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