Cretin-Derham Hall is a high school of about 1,000 students in Saint Paul, Minnesota. A private, Catholic school in a residential neighborhood, Cretin-Derham Hall competes in the Suburban East Conference. A quick glance at their website reveals some of the school’s priorities: faith, education, service, and athletics.
In terms of extracurriculars, athletics appears to play one of the most influential roles. There are 27 varsity sports, with the school reporting that about 76% of the student body participates. So many students participate that there are junior varsity, B team, and 9th grade squads as well for many of the more popular sports. Cretin-Derham emphasizes athletics because they view sports as promoting “their mission and values,” as their sleek website puts it.
Many of Cretin-Derham Hall’s famous alums are professional athletes, including NFL, NHL, and MLB players. Alums have won awards at the highest level of their sports. Behind this must be a system to fundraise and manage a large athletics program at a private school. Looking at the development office at Cretin-Derham Hall should reveal a staff adept at getting people to support an educational institution largely because of sports.