The Direct Network

Archbishop Hannan High School: A Lesson in Resilience

Posted by Lori Reese on Jun 12, 2017 5:30:00 AM
Topics: School stories, K-12, online bookstore

Archbishop Hannan High School discovered the merits of an online bookstore in the wake of tragedy. Hurricane Katrina struck the Louisiana-based coed Catholic school August 29, 2005, at the start of a school year boasting a record enrollment of 550 students. The hurricane devastated St. Bernard Parish, where it was based and forced a number of Archbishop Hannan’s families from their homes.


When the school reopened in 2006 in a temporary location, it also launched an online bookstore, so purchasing course materials would be “more convenient to parents and students,” said Assistant Principal Nancy Baird.

On July 31, 2007 Archbishop Alfred Hughes broke ground on a new site for the campus on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain, where many St. Bernard residents had relocated after the storm. The rebuilt school, he said, would represent “people turning tragedy into triumph and victimhood into victory.”

A little over a year later, the campus welcomed faculty and students.

Since then, enrollment at Archbishop Hannan has surpassed its pre-hurricane peak, increasing to 600 students hailing from 12 Northshore communities. All signs are the high school, which serves grades 8 to 10, has not only recovered but thrived in the aftermath of disaster. Collectively the class of 2016 received $6.7 million in scholarship dollars and 91% of graduates received TOPS Award scholarships.

Archbishop Hannan prides itself on offering students a “grounded, family-like environment that challenges them spiritually and academically, while encouraging exploration of new ideas and interests,” according to its website.

The school devotes itself to “developing the whole student — intellect, body, and character.” It also believes that providing students with a coed Catholic experience offers multiple benefits. The coed experience gives students an authentic, real-world environment, allows siblings to study together, enhances learning with diversity and helps to de-emphasize gender stereotypes.

Archbishop Hannan chose the MBS Direct Online Bookstore because it offers greater simplicity and more choices.  

“We chose to switch to MBS because of pricing options and ease of use,” said Baird.Subscribe to Direct Network

About Lori Reese

Lori Reese is a writer and an educator with 20 years of experience in higher education teaching.

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