August 3, 2020
Dear Cardinal Hayes Community and Friends,
Not since Archbishop John Hughes founded the New York parochial school system in the mid - 19th century have we seen obstacles like we face today. School closings, financial stress, social discord topped off by a global pandemic threaten the well-being, safety, and very survival of many Catholic schools. While certainly not immune to these real threats, Cardinal Hayes High School remains a beacon of hope on the Grand Concourse.
Now, perhaps more than ever, the value of a Cardinal Hayes education is quite apparent. In a time of great uncertainty and discord, Cardinal Hayes continues to offer the structure, boundaries, and discipline required to meet these challenges. Remaining true to its mission, we will continue to offer rigorous academic and extra-curricular programs with an emphasis on self-discipline. The Cardinal Hayes education will remain honest and authentic as it has been since the school’s inception. The Catholic formula at Hayes, which welcomes young men of all religious, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds will continue to produce loyal, resilient Hayesmen. It simply works.
Like any organization we also want to improve. We will be undertaking a period of intense self-scrutiny and assessment. As we embark on this journey together, we will launch a strategic planning process to envision Cardinal Hayes currently, in five years, in ten years, and beyond. As stewards of this great institution, we are responsible to deliver a healthy and sustainable school to future generations of students, parents, teachers, and alumni. The Hayes culture of discipline and educating the whole person will be strengthened by assessment and data-driven decisions as we raise our academic, athletic, and extra-curricular profile throughout New York City and beyond. A cursory glance at school outcomes shows that Cardinal Hayes already significantly outperforms local public schools. We have higher aspirations.
Cardinal Hayes High School has survived a World War, an East Asian war that tore America apart, a total transformation of our borough when “The Bronx was burning” right through to the digital age and the changes wrought by the world wide web. Cardinal Hayes High School remains; a rock through it all founded on values of integrity, honesty, and discipline. Student demographics may change, but past these surface differences a Hayesman of any era would recognize and relate to another Hayesman across any divide. In my few short weeks at the school, I have personally witnessed alumni collapse a 50 year gap in age and experience to support a rising senior. The loyalty, concern, and grit of Hayesmen are real.
Patrick Cardinal Hayes himself was a child of immigrants, raised in the Five Points, who created a life for himself through New York Catholic education. Cardinal Hayes High School has done that for generations of young New York men and must continue to do so for generations to come. It is an important New York institution in a critical time. We must work together to sustain it.
I look forward to meeting you all and working with you as the president of Cardinal Hayes High School.