Xavier honored

Appleton school named to national Top 50 Catholic High Schools list

APPLETON, Wis. (Oct. 15, 2010) -- Xavier High School in Appleton for the third time has been selected as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States, announced Dr. Joseph Bound, Director of Education for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

Xavier and Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha were the only two schools in Wisconsin to be recognized by the 2010 Catholic High School Honor Roll, which was released today by he Acton Institute, an international research and educational organization.

Great day for Catholic education

"This is a great day for Catholic education," said Bishop David L. Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay. "All of us can and should celebrate Xavier's success because it outwardly demonstrates what we inwardly know: Catholic schools are doing a great job of forming citizens who are well-educated and faith-filled."

"Catholic education provides a faith-based, nurturing environment," he continued, "in which our students are challenged academically and prepared to become good citizens and leaders who are grounded in our Catholic faith, morality, and ethics. I congratulate Xavier for being recognized in these areas and forming our young people in the Catholic faith and giving them a solid foundation for the rest of their lives."

Students hear from alums

Deacon Tony Abts, ACES Xavier president, made the announcement at a 1:45 p.m. assembly at Xavier. The assembly included live, video and written statements presentations from a cross-section of Xavier High School alumni who have made significant impacts in their respective fields.

Alumni presenters were:
  • Kip Whitlinger, class of 1963, representing business. Whitlinger, a three-sport athlete at Xavier, owns Plastic Recycling Solutions in Neenah.
  • Rocky Bleier, class of 1964 and a four-time Super Bowl Champion, representing the military and athletics. Bleier was a Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back in 1968 and 1971-1980. Bleier, drafted by the U.S. Army in December 1968, earned the Purple Heart and Bronze Star in August 1969 as a Specialist 4 in the 196th Light Infantry Brigade when his platoon was ambushed in a rice paddy in Hiep Duc, Vietnam.
  • Maureen Riopelle, class of 1980, representing non-profit management. She runs her own foundation and camp for women with cancer in Ohio.
  • JP Hayes, class of 1983 and a professional golfer living in Texas, representing athletics. Hayes continues to compete on the PGA tour.
  • The Very Rev. Tom Long, class of 1983 and vicar for ministers for the Diocese of Green Bay, representing religious life. Fr. Long is the former vocations director for the Diocese.
  • Mee Moua, class of 1988 and a Minnesota state senator, representing government. Moua is the first Hmong state office holder in the U.S.
  • Mindy Rueden, class of 1996 and executive director of the Brother David Darst Center in Chicago, representing social justice. The Brother David Darst Center provides urban immersion experiences in social justice.
  • Kale Bongers, class of 2003 and a medical scientist training program student, representing medical research. Bongers attended Dartmouth before beginning studies in molecular physiology and biophysics at the University of Iowa.
  • Sopen Shah, class of 2004 and a government consultant in Washington, D.C., representing public relations and consulting. Shaw is a Presidential Scholar and Wisconsin Junior Miss 2004. Shah attended Harvard University and was Miss District of Columbia first runner-up in 2010.

Proud of honor

"The Xavier community is very proud to be recognized as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in the country for the third time," said Xavier principal Matt Reynebeau. "The Acton Institute recognizes us for academic excellence, Catholic identity and civic education. We credit our success to not only our students and their families but also to our dedicated and talented teachers, our partner elementary and middle school teachers, the parish support we receive, and to our many alumni, supporters and benefactors. This award is shared by the entire Xavier community."

Xavier High School is a member of the ACES Xavier Educational System. It is a regional high school with 568 students from 16 Fox Valley communities. Xavier's average ACT score for the class of 2010, released earlier this year, is 26.0, ranking highest among all public and private high schools in the Fox Valley.

In the Diocese's 16-county area there are six Catholic high schools with 2,100 students. Another 10,500 students are enrolled in Catholic elementary schools.

Award uses several criteria

Now in its sixth year, the National Catholic High School Honor Roll identifies the 50 Catholic high schools that best demonstrate:
  • balanced excellence
  • an active Catholic culture
  • sound college preparation
  • integration of Church teaching in all departments
  • sound moral, catechetical and civic formation that prepares students for vocations in the world as political, religious, scientific, and business leaders.

All 1,300 Catholic high schools in the United States were invited to apply for the Honor Roll. Xavier began the application process in April with written assessments by the school's principal, the chair of the religion department, and the chair of the social studies department. Student test scores and textbooks were also evaluated.


More information

Dcn. Ray DuBois, Diocesan director of Communications
Phone: (920) 272-8213
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Matt Reynebeau, principal of Xavier High School
Phone: 920-882-6901
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it