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|Bellarmine Preparatory School|
2300 South Washington Street|
Tacoma, (Pierce County)
Christus Exananvit Semetipsum|
(Christ Emptied Himself)
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic, Jesuit|
|Patron saint(s)||St. Robert Bellarmine|
|Founder||Fr. David McAstocker, S.J.|
|Rector||Fr. Thomas Lamanna, S.J.|
|Chaplain||Fr. Gerry Chapdelaine, S.J.|
|Enrollment||996 (April 5, 2015)|
|o Grade 9||259|
|o Grade 10||285|
|o Grade 11||232|
|o Grade 12||216|
|Average class size||26|
|Student to teacher ratio||14:1|
|Campus size||42 acres (170,000 m2)|
|Campus type||Urban closed|
|Houses||Thérèse of Lisieux, Francis Xavier, Ignatius of Loyola, Lady of Guadalupe, Maximillian Kolbe, Kateri Tekakwitha|
|Color(s)||Blue and white|
|Slogan||"Where potential becomes purpose"|
|Fight song||"Fight Lions"|
|Athletics||43 athletic teams|
|Athletics conference||4A SPSL|
|Rival||Curtis High School|
|Newspaper||The Bellarmine Lion|
|Campus Minister||Deacon Jim Fish|
|Enrollment||Director, Cari Harrison|
|Development||Vice President, Dean Hanks|
|Facilities||Director, Kevin Kalal|
|Athletics||Director, Ed Ploof|
Bellarmine Preparatory School is a Roman Catholic high school in the Jesuit tradition in Tacoma, Washington, United States. It is located in the Archdiocese of Seattle. Today it serves just over 900 students from the Greater Tacoma area, including Olympia and Gig Harbor.
Bellarmine was founded in 1928 as an all-boys school, and became the first coeducational Jesuit school in the nation in 1974 after its merger with Aquinas and St. Leo's schools. The date of the school's creation is commonly accepted to be 1928 despite the fact that both Saint Leo's Grammar and High School and Aquinas Academy for girls were founded earlier (in 1912 and 1893 respectively). This can cause confusion since the current parents club, Philomathea, was founded at Saint Leo's and continued at Bellarmine after the merger, so that the club predates the present school. The first graduating class of Bellarmine was in 1929, with 19 students graduating.
The school sits on a large campus, at the highest point overlooking the city of Tacoma. Poplar trees planted to remember the sacrifices of Bellarmine Alumni in World War II still stand near Memorial Field. Memorial Field remained a grass field up until 2017, laying out a new turf field the summer before the 2017/2018 school year. The school quad has the qualities of a Grad at Grad printed in metal letters on the concrete and the letters AMDG printed at the quad's center-most point.
Besides being divided by years, the school is divided into six houses, each named for a famous Catholic figure. This is intended to help students bond outside their grade levels. Most competitive activities internal to the school are done by house.
|Thérèse of Lisieux||Yellow|
|Lady of Guadalupe||Blue|
Home to the highly competitive FIRST Robotics Competition(FRC) Team 360, The Revolution. Established in 1999, the team is well-decorated and highly respected within Pacific Northwest both for the quality of the robots produced and for their commitment to community service. They are the oldest sustaining team in the Pacific Northwest District at 18 years. They won numerous awards including seven blue banners:
Bellarmine has a Knowledge Bowl team.
Established in 2013, Bellarmine's Model UN program, BellarMUN, continues to expand.
Many students do independent work in the school greenhouse.
Over 70% of the student population competes in at least one athletic activity. It has been named All-Sports Champions by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association the past four years, winning it for the first time in school history in 2004 with the second highest All-Sports score recorded in state history, and the highest score for a 2A, 3A, or 4A school. In 2004, the men's soccer team won its first state title in school history with an undefeated record of 20-0-2. In 2008, the men's soccer team went on to win its second state title, over Puyallup High School; it was determined by penalty kicks.
Bellarmine has excelled in all sports with the men's golf team gathering seven state championships, including four individual champions. The wrestling team has had two state champions. The girls cross country has four state championships as a team and three girls who have combined for 5 individual championships. The boys tennis team has recorded 9 individual/doubles state championships and nine team state championships including a run of four in a row from 2005-2008. The girls soccer team has five state championships to their credit, and the boys have two. The girls volleyball team won their first state championship in school history in 2012, and repeated in 2013. The fast pitch team has one state championship in 1985. The girls tennis team has six team state championships to their name along with four individual titles won in a row by Sonja Olejar from 1989-1992, and four state titles in doubles. The girls golf team has won seven state championships in a row plus three more from 2003-2005 giving them a total of ten along with four individual champions.
Bellarmine has a lively theater program which puts on two shows a year: a fall musical and a spring play, as well as a Dramafest featuring student-written one-act plays. In recent years, the department's musical productions have been nominated for several 5th Avenue High School Musical Theatre Awards, with one win in 2014 and two in 2015. The department is known as a lively place, with strong leadership from faculty and dedication from student performers, designers, and craftsmen and women. Graduates of the department have gone on to high-quality institutions in the performing arts.
The students work in six sub-departments of the theatre program: acting, set building, costume designing/hair and make-up designing, sound design, light design, and stage managing.
Bellarmine is committed to community service. Sophomores must complete a total of thirty hours and also participate in helping out at the local L'Arche farm with their Community Period (homeroom). Additionally, a community service class is required for graduation. Several community service clubs are active on campus such as Habitat for Humanity and Key Club, and there is a sophomore retreat offered that involves several hours of community service.
In 1993 Bellarmine started a tradition of housing temporarily homeless families in academic buildings during non-school hours for a small span of the year, called Phoenix Housing. Bellarmine provides these persons dinner, breakfast, and overnight accommodations with the help of student volunteers.
Religion is an integral part of the Bellarmine curriculum, with eight credits required for graduation (new for the class of 2018), as well as an additional half credit of community service class.
Bellarmine holds a required student body retreat for the freshmen, called "My Place in this World". Freshmen and sophomores are also required to attend Faith in Formation meetings. These generally occur during Community Period (homeroom). The sophomore meetings focus more on volunteer work, including participation in a Habitat for Humanity build or work with L'Arche.
The Junior Encounter is an optional three day off-campus retreat during the weekend. Six occur each year, three for males and three for females. The details of the retreat are a tightly-kept secret from underclassmen, and the entire event is generally considered to be a strong bonding experience for the class.
Four retreats are offered to seniors. Senior Pilgrimage is a weekend hike up a mountain. Montserrat is an Ignatian, directed retreat which is made in complete silence for a 24-hour period, and the Manresa is also a silent retreat over a 48-hour period. The Magis is a three-day overnight retreat.
Bellarmine students may also work on crew or team for the Senior Pilgrimage, Magis retreat, and Junior Encounter.
All-school Masses are rare, normally on Ash Wednesday, the last day before Christmas break, and the Feast of Saint Robert Bellarmine. The entire school attends, but active participation is optional. There are also occasional Masses during lunch, and Mass is offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays prior to the start of school
Bellarmine offers a number of AP classes, along with other special programs.
Bellarmine is home to an art program with many resources, including pottery wheels, kilns, and glaze required for a wide variety of ceramics. There is also a photo lab and photography classes are offered.
The marine chemistry program is available to students who score sufficiently well on the school entrance examination and opt into doing extra research work to fulfill this requirement. It is a four-year program where students learn the skills needed to do chemical and biological marine research in their first two years, and then apply those skills in their own research projects during their junior and senior years.