Saturday, November 26, 2005

Bishop Hogan High School

When I was at the Convent of the Benedictines of Perpetual Adoration the other day, I took a couple of pictures of Bishop Hogan High School, now "Hogan Academy," a charter school sponsored by Central Missouri State University. It wasn't long ago that Hogan closed. I have an aquaintance whose daughter went there and reported that it wasn't particularly Catholic. Funny thing, people don't wanna spend several thousand a year on a mediocre, nominally Catholic education. A pity.

Two problems with Hogan--obviously the Catholicity and orthodoxy problem at diocesan schools as a whole, which I think Bishop Finn will address, insofar as one man can, over time (but, I suspect, not quickly or definitively enough for my kids to benefit). The other is the cost problem. Without dedicated religious teachers and decent endowments, Catholic education (of any quality) at the secondary level is really out of the reach of Catholic parents. All but the most prosperous big Catholic families (the ideal Catholic families) could never send five or six kids through high school at six or seven grand apiece, could they? Lots of catholic elementary schools have a sliding scale for multiple children (one that I know of charges a flat rate for four or more), but I don't know how the high schools respond.


Anonymous said...

Bishop Hogan is an ancestor of mine. He was my great-great-grandfather's brother.


Kevin Hogan

Anonymous said...

Just surfin today and I typed Bishop Hogan HS. I graduated there in 1951 I was saddened to find out it was no more, but then nothing is like it used to be. Thanks for the memory. Carolyn Garbett, Silverhill Al.

Anonymous said...

I graduated from Hogan High in 1974. Played basketball there and received a good education. They've had many good sports teams over the years, and continue to do well in sports as a charter school (football team finished 2nd in their size group fall of 2006). A group of us (several of us are alumnus) rent the gym each Wednesday for basketball. A couple of the lay teachers from my era are still there - at least that's what I've heard.

Rob said...

I taught at Hogan in the mid 80s, directly out of college at Mizzou. It was a great school for academics back then, and I really felt like I was able to make a difference in students' lives.

We had excellent administrative support--Sr. Vickie Perkins was amazing!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Around 37 years ago, my mother lost her cherished 1960s-era Hogan High School sweater, when her mother sold it at a gargage sale. It is a story she has told me many times. My mother's 60th birthday is fast approaching (May, 20007) and I hope to find someone in Kansas City who might like to part with an old wool (dusty and moth-eaten are fine!) Hogan Sweater. I know this is a present that would make her birthday. Does anyone on your blog have any ideas? If so, please email me: I would be very grateful.

Anonymous said...

My name is Elizabeth, I graduated in the last class of Bishop Hogan High School. I was Student Council President, involved with Art Club, Beta Club, Track, Cheerleading, Basketball, Gospel Choir, and much more. I went through the hardest time of my life while I was at Hogan (I was raped, became pregnant, and placed my daughter for adoption), my Hogan family was always my shoulder to cry on. But regardless, my time at Hogan will always, always be remembered. It was still the BEST TIME OF MY LIFE! I had many, many opportunities that stemmed from Hogan. I worked for the Kansas City Star for almost 4 years while still in high school, Kauffman Foundation, Mayor's Office, volunteered with NCCJ/Harmony/ANYTOWN, Students Against Drunk Driving, Promise Project, etc... When I graduated I had 13 full ride scholarship offers & about 40 other almost full rides, but attended St. Mary's in Leavenworth (I choose St. Mary's mostly because there were teachers/nuns who lived there on campus that taught at Hogan before they retired). I will always cherish my memories of Bishop Hogan, as the best times of my life!!!!

Anonymous said...


I graduated from Bishop Hogan High School in 1967. It was a wonderful time in my life.

Check out two of my recent postings in my blog, Shake, Rattle and Roll at:

The postings are: Ticket to Ride at:

and, How to Find Almost Anybody, Anywhere at:

Kate Kelsall, now
Kathy Doyle, then

Anonymous said...

I am also one of the last graduates of Bishop Hogan High and like Elizabeth, I found my education there to be anything other than "mediocre". Anyone who would have such an opinion of the school, teachers, or students either never actually attended or never really tried. There were folks who whined and moaned about the education style; there are folks like that at every school. They piloted the "brain-based" learning style that is becoming status quo in educational design now. The only catholic high school with a majority of minorities, a pioneer in the development of modern education, but they shut her down and negative press is washed across her.
Mediocre? More like lost in translation. Checking your facts before you publish them is still good journalistic practice, even if it isn't used enough today.

Anonymous said...

Check out "Hoganites Reunite" at:

Kate Kelsall

Anonymous said...

I am a '68 grad of Hogan. The years there were among the best I've had. Played B-ball. We were 50-6 67 and 68. The top three in our class have seven graduate degrees among them. So the education was great.

Unknown said...

I attended Bishop Hogan High School in 1952, 1953 and 1954. I moved in 1956 and graduated elsewhere. As a non-catholic I can not offer an opinion as Hogan's relative Catholicity then or now. Even so between Hogan an St Vincent (KCMO) I have Catholic friends who know little of their own church. They did not listen when Sister Mary X and Father Cruiz taught us religion at St Vincent's and Hogan.

Anonymous said...

I graduated in 1989, having never been in a minority class myself, the lessons learned in daily encounters as a minority at the school have paid dividends beyond any reading and writing education can afford a person.

While I do agree that Catholocism itself in a "dogma" sense was not taught catholocism in a more perfect way was experienced at some level(for those who had never known the fear and disenfranchisement of being a minority).

Sure I have regretful memories of "the highest hole I ever had to climb a hill to get in", but as time has separated the experience I have been able to find value....(or atleast some "WOW" factor in the scars).

I think that is how life works we tote our little red wagons of experiences along with us and learn from our experiences....or find something better to fill them with. mostunless you were in remedial courses....I doubt you could complain about the education.....not only did they accept eighth graders into their Algebra Courses, they promoted collegiate education for seniors with credentials.

.....And if Greg Marks Googles this.....look up someone in the Beer is Food Movement.


Curmudgeon said...

What on earth could you mean by contrasting "Catholicism as dogma" versus "Catholicism in a more perfect sense"? Feel-good, non-dogmatic catholicism is not Catholicism. The fact that such crazy ideas migrated from the beatniks into the heart of the Church, and were spread by Fr. Slaphappy and Sr. Bubbles is exactly why Catholic ed has broken down.

Elizabeth Schurman said...

I've taught at Hogan for six years, and my mom and aunts and uncles are all alums. We are still open, still mostly minority, but not Catholic. Yes, still a few folks left from the Catholic school days.

Two years ago, we won a $250,000 national award from the College Board for our AP program, and we continue to have all our grads accepted into college. Our kids also won the state basketball championship last year.

So we are doing our best to keep up the heritage of Hogan as a place where kids are challenged and offered opportunities.

Anonymous said...

I graduated from Hogan in 2007...I loved that school...and I had majority of the catholic teachers from back in the day (Ms. Miles, Mr. Day, Mr. Reed to name a few)...Hogan is still around...and its still a good school...even if it has changed in recent years..including the 5 years its been since I graduated.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Hogan High School ceased to be a "Catholic" high school when local parishoners fled the neighborhoods for south Kansas City and refused to send their white students to an interracial high school. The school was abandoned by its Catholic families and left to scrape together any students and teachers it could find.

The diocese failed to place quality administrators in the building after Sr. Vickie Perkins left. Subsequent admins chased away high-quality teachers. One parishoner, who didn't even have children in the school, tried to get a math teacher fired because the teacher wasn't Catholic. The teacher later went on to teach IB math at the top high school in the region and had many National Merit Scholars as former students. Too bad the Catholic families thought it was more important for the school to be "Catholic" than to provide the best education to students.

Truthteller666 said...

My father went to that school I'm thinking he would have graduated in 1949 or 1950 name is cunningham he has since passed away and has taken the answers to so many questions . my question to you is do you remember any Cunninghams

Anonymous said...

John, do you know if Bishop Hogan had any boarding students in the years you attended?

Anonymous said...

Rob, I was a student at Hogan during the mid 80's, what subject did you teach? You're right about Sr. Vickie Perkins having excellent administrative capabilities, and also about the fact that Hogan itself was academically sound at that time. I am very grateful my experience there at Hogan and very proud to call it my alma mater!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting those very accurate and positive comments about Bishop Hogan High. I graduated in the mid 80's and I have fond memories. Teachers were quality, caring, and the curriculum was set for students to be successful. Teachers and administrators cared back then. If you weren't successful, you may not have applied yourself to your fullest potential. Hogan Rams forever!

Anonymous said...

Michael A. Greene, Class of 1973. There was another Michael A. Greene who sat right next to me--no relation. No kidding.

Curmudgeon, the education was superior to most. The religious aspects taught discipline (without 12-rulers). The nuns were respected. The girls' uniforms were dreadful plaid. Minorities got along. What little drug use there was, was not a serious problem. There were no fights. The nuns held good control over the students because the students could see that the nuns were trying to help us through our teen years during a tumultuous age of ex-Vietnam hippies, free love and easy drugs, and Nixon scandals that shook the nation's trust in institutions.

One day the students won a huge concession from the administration, after weeks of haggling and deal making: The boys would be allowed to wear blue jeans! Wow! OMG! But not, NOT, those "hard core" jeans, the ones with yellow thread around the pockets and rivets in the corners. :)

The administration invited speakers of other beliefs to speak to us at assemblies. New Age types, mainly. BHHS did not give up Catholicism--they broadened our view of why God was necessary in the world.

Then, of course, there was our "American Problems" teacher, Sister George. Probably four feet tall and constantly on fire! "Think!" she would shout harshly and loudly--but you knew it was meant as loving encouragement. Her "classroom" was a large closet under a stairway at the lunch room rear exit. I think it was lit by only one bare light bulb. Along the walls were patriotic posters forming a mural courtesy of the US Army. The posters illustrated each of the verses of the American Fighting Man's Code of Conduct. "I will never surrender of my own free will. I will never surrender my men while they have the means to resist...

In American Problems class, we read many current paperbacks like Black Like Me, Soul on Ice, The Ugly American, The Ugly Russian, many containing radical thought. At Hogan, we also read "The Electric Acid Kool Aid Test" and "Catcher in the Rye" which were banned elsewhere, I believe.

It was anything but a mediocre education, Curmudgeon.

PS: TI learned there that there are two, and only two, American problems: Communism and Abortion. All the other ills of the world stem from just those two heinous influences.

Anonymous said...

I attended Bryant Elementary in the 70s, I remember BH had a great reputation, I love reading Brookside stories! Bryant also used to offer an exceptional education, including an elementary honor’s program, which I attended, until desegregation laws destroyed the quality programming and community education, local students being bused into far away schools, no longer was it a school of neighbors sadly. As mentioned above, our family moved south out of the KCMO school district. This destroyed the KCMOPSD forever sadly.. What was needed was high quality school programming, teachers, admins and parental involvement in all local, neighborhood schools. KC still needs to harken back to this in their quality heyday, instead private and KS schools get many of the brightest children. This is the elephant in the room. You can’t destroy the neighborhoods and schools of one community to help another community. There are other answers to uplift everybody in opportunity. One such answer being school choice statewide for all families.