For 160 years, Christian Brothers College High School has been preparing young men for college—and for life. “At CBC, accomplishment is not just for an elite few,” says president Mike England. “Our students come from more than 100 different parishes and public schools, representing a cross section of religious, ethnic, social and economic backgrounds.” The school prides itself on nurturing the strengths of students with a broad range of abilities and achievement levels: “Kids who score in the 90th percentile aren’t necessarily better, or even smarter, than kids who don’t,” he says. “We focus on individual needs and customize each student’s program accordingly.”
CBC carries out its mission, England explains, by maintaining an environment in which students can develop their unique talents and leadership skills while learning self-discipline and self-motivation, creative and critical thinking skills, responsible freedom, and Christian virtues, spirituality and service. “One of our kids came in as a ‘learning needs student’ a couple of years ago,” he recalls. “He hadn’t done well in grade school, but he ended up getting a nearly perfect score on the ACT. We meet each student where he is and encourage him to move forward, challenging him to reach his highest potential.”
England is a CBC graduate, as were his father and three brothers. Today, his son is the third generation to wear the school’s colors, purple and gold. “That’s not uncommon—there are lots of legacies, all of whom feel a strong, continuing love, commitment and support for this school,” England says. Proud alums were out in full force during CBC’s recent annual golf tournament, which raised more than $200,000 for the school’s financial aid fund, and during homecoming weekend in mid-September. “CBC students and alums share a brotherhood and connection that lasts forever,” he says. “The school’s motto reflects our deep-rooted religious philosophy: ‘Men for tomorrow. Brothers for life.’ ”
Located on a 25-acre campus in Town & Country, CBC is operated by the Brothers of the Christian Schools. “The order’s founder, Saint John Baptist de la Salle, was an innovative, 17th-century teacher who believed education was for everyone, not just the wealthy,” England says. Today, CBC’s 900-plus students enjoy a student-to-teacher ratio of 15 to 1 and an average class size of 20. “One-fourth of all students receive some form of financial aid or tuition assistance, and a work-study program is also available,” he reports. “We award nearly $1 million in financial aid each year.”
Academically, CBC offers everything from a learning needs program to an honors track. “Our fine and performing arts and music curricula are strong, too,” England adds. The school also has a rich tradition of athletic excellence and was named 2009-2010 Large School Athletic Program of the Year by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We recently won the state baseball championship and the district championship in tennis,” he says.
At a time when standards and civility are not as universally encouraged as they once were, CBC holds strong to its core values. “Our goal is to help each student know and respect himself, so he’ll be better able to understand and care about others,” England says. “We’re here to produce leaders, but being a leader is not about you—being a leader is about using your abilities to make life better for others. Our faculty, staff and families share a common vision: to develop students academically, spiritually and morally, so they have the strength of character to face whatever challenges the future brings.”
On the Cover: Christian Brothers College High School, 1850 De La Salle Drive in Town & Country, is a Catholic college preparatory boys school founded 160 years ago. For more information, call 985-6067 or visit www.cbchs.org. Cover design by Erica Fisher • Cover photo by Jason Mueller