Happy Birthday, Marian!

Ava Palminteri, Crown Writer and Photographer

This year Marian Central Catholic High School celebrates its 60th anniversary. For those sixty years, Marian has been both a school and a home for its students and staff. “I have always considered Marian to be a home to me and the more I looked back at my time here, the more I loved it. I wanted to return ‘home’ for my teaching and wanted to give the same experience I had at Marian to the present students,” says Ms. Megan Graf. Graf (Class of ‘12), after graduating from South Dakota State University in 2016, decided to come back “home” to start her career as a teacher. The loving and welcoming atmosphere of Marian is something many people, not just Graf, sense and speak about highly. The common feeling of home, acceptance, and love of Marian is felt throughout the different generations of students, with each generation bringing its own personality to the ever-growing Hurricane family.  

Although many traditions have stood the test of time in the hallowed halls of Marian, over the years, generations of Marian graduates have evolved along with the school itself. In addition to the change of cultural impacts, education level, and personalities of students, the school also has also grown in square footage from when ground was first broken in 1958, with the first expansion in 1995, adding ten new classrooms and a state of the art auditorium, along with a new gymnasium facility, now named “Lander’s Pavilion,” The “Field of Dreams” to support more athletic programs in 1999,  a new bleacher facility at George Harding Field in 2008, following with the addition of the new science wing in 2010 to provide a more advanced space for science classes, and building faith with the newly built chapel, and a brand new guidance office. The school itself has grown to support its ever-growing population and adapting to prepare students for the experiences they will encounter when they graduate from Marian. However, Marian has never experienced as many changes at once, then it has this year. “I have been here for a total of eleven years and a lot has happened during that time. Many of the changes at the school have actually happened this year, which is something I am really happy and thankful about,” says librarian, Mrs. Karen Varga. It is only fitting that the year Marian’s 60th anniversary takes place, would also be the year many school changes take place. A burst of new teachers coming, in order to fill new teaching positions; new technology, to keep up with the modern world; a new summative and formative grading system, for the purpose of giving students an equal chance of thriving in their academics; and new policies, in order to keep Marian students and teachers up-to-date and safe, are just some examples of differences the school has seen during the school year. Even though  Marian has experienced many new revisions, the identity as a Catholic school and its religious values never waver.

The core values of acceptance, truth, and love which Marian hold so dear are shown clearly through faith. Over the years, theology classes, retreats, masses, and prayers have united the school as one. “I love how we all get to share our love of our faith together as a school community,” says Guidance Secretary and Registrar, Mrs. Julie Diamond. Since Marian’s doors opened, the Christian faith has been a constant unifier for all students, teachers, and staff. Even though all the members of the Marian community celebrate the differences that make our school so unique, our love of God and the church brings us together. So, as a family, embracing the school’s changes and future endeavors, everyone can celebrate Marian’s 60th birthday together.