Welcoming New Students to Central

Among Bishop Donahue High School’s greatest strengths as an educational institution has been the sense of community among students, parents and many others. A sense of belonging, of being among people who care, has a very real effect on how well a young student does in school.

But BDHS is closing. This year’s graduating class, receiving their diplomas on Tuesday, was the last for the school.

Students from the area served by BDHS now will have to get their educations elsewhere. Especially for those already at the school, the transition may not be easy.

Most probably will pursue their educations at Wheeling Central Catholic High School, simply because they and their parents prefer the type of programs and philosophy offered by another Roman Catholic institution.

That puts a responsibility on the shoulders of everyone at Central Catholic. From students to staff, it will be important to make the former BDHS students feel at home.

That may be easier said than done, especially for teenage students. They are about to experience an influx of others it would be easy to view as competitors — for positions in extracurricular activities, to be noticed by teachers in class, and in the social arena. Putting up walls to keep the newcomers out would not be an unnatural reaction.

We think Central Catholic students are better than that, however. With a little encouragement from the school’s staff — adults dedicated to educating every young person — it should be only a matter of time before the BDHS transfers feel a part of the Central family. Making that happen as quickly as possible ought to be the goal of everyone involved.

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