A Message from Board Chair, John Gerspach ’71

Dear members of the Holy Cross family,

As chairman of the Board of Directors at Holy Cross, I am privileged to have a first-hand and high-level view of everything going on at the school. From this unique vantage point, I can say without reservation that I am extremely proud of my alma mater, its habit of continual self-improvement, and the results it delivers for our students. I’ve watched the school grow even stronger in this regard – first with the wise but difficult decision to shift to co-education, then with the challenging but vital Cross Currents Campaign. The Holy Cross family’s immediate response to the $750,000 Challenge Grant has been awe-inspiring – with hundreds of new donors committing hundreds of thousands of dollars in just a few short weeks. If you have already given, thank you for your support!

For many years after I graduated, I lost touch with Holy Cross. I headed to another fine Holy Cross institution – the University of Notre Dame – for my undergraduate work. I got married, I started a family, and I focused on my professional career which culminated with me serving as the CFO of Citigroup for 10 years. While I worked hard throughout my career, I also realized that, as is the case with any successful person, I was the beneficiary of a certain amount of good fortune – being in the right place at the right time and, importantly, with the right set of skills. Along the way, I took many opportunities to counsel young people on their personal and professional development. I advised them that problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and communication skills were critical to their future success. After some self-reflection, I realized that I had acquired those very skills at Holy Cross. I came to understand that the foundation for so much of my success in life had been laid in high school. When I entered Cross, I was a smart kid, good with numbers, and perhaps a bit of a loudmouth. I left Holy Cross as a smarter kid, even better with numbers, and with the ability to write creatively and expressively. When I graduated, I was still loud — but Holy Cross had directed my voice and given it meaning and purpose. The teachers at Holy Cross (particularly Brother Karl Diemand) pushed me to be more. It was true in academics, it was certainly true in my choice of college, and it was true for me as a person.

I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to Holy Cross for all it has done for me. I am extremely enthusiastic about all that Cross continues to do for young people today. The success of the Cross Currents Campaign and the current matching gift challenge in particular will ensure its ability to excel in this regard well into the future. That’s why I decided to send you all this message today – to provide you with an update, thank you if you’ve already given, and encourage you to join me in supporting this great work.

With just a few days left in this challenge, your gift can have double the impact – but only if you give during the next few days. Thank you for all that you do for Holy Cross, and thank you again for your attention to this special appeal.

John Gerspach ’71
Chairman of the Board, Holy Cross High School
CFO, Citigroup (retired)

Seventh Weekly Update: Monday, June 14, 2021

$XXX,XXX
in Matching Funds
Earned to Date!

$XXX,XXX
in Challenge Funds
Still Unclaimed!

Just 2 Days
Left!

Any new Cross Currents gift you make by Wednesday, June 16, 2021 will qualify for the match!

A Message from Coach Kerr

Knights,

It’s that time again. We’ve all been here before. Whether we are in the ninth inning or in the fourth quarter, this game is tight. The Knights are playing their hearts out… but no matter how you slice it, this game is going to be a nail-biter.

I’ve been in these situations hundreds of times as a baseball and basketball coach here for decades, and know how exciting it is to see our School pull out some very special victories. When we win this Challenge Matching Grant put before our beloved Cross, we will be assisting future Knights to succeed for years to come through the new Athletic Center the School is building!

If you’re sitting on the stands, maybe you’re sick of getting messages like these. Or maybe you’re holding your breath, waiting to see what the next play is going to be… or to see just how close we’re going to get. As your coach, I’m here to SHAKE YOU UP and tell you that YES, this is a challenging game, and YES, it is going to come right down to the final out or the final buzzer. But we are SO CLOSE, and YOU can get in this game and YOU can help make it into a big win for Holy Cross and the Knights.

So… what’s it gonna be? The clock is running… there’s just one day left. Are you going to step up and get in the game?

To all the Knights out there – especially my students, baseball players, and basketball players – you should get into this game if you can. Not everyone can, and that’s okay. But if you can, I promise you that every gift will make a big difference — especially with this match going on.

Thanks, everyone, for hearing me out. I’m honored they asked me to be a part of this project. I can’t wait to see everyone at your next reunion or maybe even at a game. It’s been too long.

Coach Kerr
Retired Holy Cross Teacher (Retired 2004), Baseball Coach (through 1979), and Basketball Coach through 1996)

Seventh Weekly Update: Monday, June 14, 2021

$XXX,XXX
in Matching Funds
Earned to Date!

$XXX,XXX
in Challenge Funds
Still Unclaimed!

Just 2 Days
Left!

Any new Cross Currents gift you make by Wednesday, June 16, 2021 will qualify for the match!

Attention Remote Students:

Textbook collection for remote students will take place in the school auditorium on Tuesday, June 15th, and Wednesday, June 16th, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 2:30 PM. Once your finals are completed you may drop your textbooks off. Please enter the building on 170th Street. Masks are required in the building.

Summer Reading List 2021

Holy Cross English Department
Summer Reading Lists For September 2021

As part of the educational program at Holy Cross High School, all students who are entering the 9th grade in September 2021 are required to read the following books during the summer recess:

  • Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (Full text version, not young reader’s version.)

Students who are enrolled in an English 9 Honors class must also read:

  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore

There are three basic reasons for this activity:

  1. to improve reading skills
  2. to increase the student’s knowledge base
  3. to prepare students for their English teacher’s introductory lessons

Please note:

  • All students will take the Summer Reading Exam in English class within
    the first few days of school. The exam will incorporate explicit elements of theme and author intention, so students should take responsible and thorough notes on the texts while they are reading.
  • The Summer Reading Exam grade counts as a significant percentage of all students’ first quarter grade in English class; therefore, all must take this assignment seriously.
  • Students will find during the course of the year that the above texts will be valuable as response material for work incorporating the Common Core State Standards and for practicing the skills needed for the Regents Exam in English.

As part of the educational program at Holy Cross High School, all students who are entering the 10th grade in September 2021 are required to read the following books during the summer recess:

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

  • Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat

Students who are enrolled in an English 10 Honors class must also read:

  • In The Lake of The Woods by Tim O’Brien

There are three basic reasons for this activity:

  1. to improve reading skills
  2. to increase the student’s knowledge base
  3. to prepare students for their English teacher’s introductory lessons

Please note:

  • All students will take the Summer Reading Exam in English class within
    the first few days of school. The exam will incorporate explicit elements of theme and author intention, so students should take responsible and thorough notes on the texts while they are reading.
  • The Summer Reading Exam grade counts as a significant percentage of all students’ first quarter grade in English class; therefore, all must take this assignment seriously.
  • Students will find during the course of the year that the above texts will be valuable as response material for work incorporating the Common Core State Standards and for practicing the skills needed for the Regents Exam in English.

As part of the educational program at Holy Cross High School, all students who are entering the 11th grade in September 2021 are required to read the following books during the summer recess:

  • A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

  • My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

Students who are enrolled in an English 11 Honors class must also read:

  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

There are three basic reasons for this activity:

  1. to improve reading skills
  2. to increase the student’s knowledge base
  3. to prepare students for their English teacher’s introductory lessons

Please note:

  • All students will take the Summer Reading Exam in English class within
    the first few days of school. The exam will incorporate explicit elements of theme and author intention, so students should take responsible and thorough notes on the texts while they are reading.
  • The Summer Reading Exam grade counts as a significant percentage of all students’ first quarter grade in English class; therefore, all must take this assignment seriously.
  • Students will find during the course of the year that the above texts will be valuable as response material for work incorporating the Common Core State Standards and for practicing the skills needed for the Regents Exam in English.

As part of the educational program at Holy Cross High School, all students who are entering the 12th grade in September 2021 are required to read the following books during the summer recess:

  • The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells

  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Students who are entering College English in September 2021 must instead read the following three different books:

  • A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawkings

  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

  • Shakespeare – The World As Stage by Bill Bryson

There are three basic reasons for this activity:

  1. to improve reading skills
  2. to increase the student’s knowledge base
  3. to prepare students for their English teacher’s introductory lessons

Please note:

  • All students will take the Summer Reading Exam in English class within
    the first few days of school. The exam will incorporate explicit elements of theme and author intention, so students should take responsible and thorough notes on the texts while they are reading.
  • The Summer Reading Exam grade counts as a significant percentage of all students’ first quarter grade in English class; therefore, all must take this assignment seriously.
  • Regardless of which senior English course(s) students are taking, the above texts all cover the breadth of contextual and thematic elements that all courses and electives have in common. Those enrolled in genre-specific electives should pay particular attention to the authors’ execution of genre expectations and detail. The AP classes reading lists are separate and different from those above.

Seniors registered for AP Literature and Composition: There are three books that you will be required to read. These books will form the core of the class work and discussions for the first semester. This list is necessarily different from College English and the AP Language and Composition class lists.

Summer Reading required books:

  • 1984 by George Orwell

  • A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  • Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

There are also books that you’ve read in past English classes that you should review to re-familiarize yourself with specific themes. The themes explored in these works will come up in class discussions as well as (possibly) the AP exam itself.

  • A Raisin in The Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

  • King Lear by William Shakespeare

  • The Lord of The Flies by William Golding

Please note:

  • The Advanced Placement test is a challenging exam. Naturally, reading is an important part of the test. The most significant purpose for reading to prepare for the AP Lit test is for the student choice free-response question.For this question you’ll be asked to examine how a specific theme works in one novel or play that you closely read both in class and independently with an to increase your familiarity with literature from different eras and genres and to improve your critical close-reading skills; the more books you have time to read, the better.
  • You’ll want to critically read them for comprehension and analysis, but you don’t necessarily need to focus equally on every book you read.
  • Students will find during the course of the year that the above texts will be valuable as response material for work incorporating the Advanced Placement Standards.

In order to become more informed citizens and to gather evidence for your argument essays, you will complete a REHUGO portfolio. Each of the sections will be graded separately. The type of evidence you are collecting is exactly the type of information you will need to knowledgeably defend your position in an argument essay on the AP exam, so the work product must be thorough and meet the standards of the AP exam readers (in other words, don’t bring in evidence from unreliable sources or that deal with trivial matters).

ORGANIZATION: You will be sharing 6 separate Google Docs each titled with the following with one of the following six terms:

R – Reading E – Education H – History U – Universal Truths G – Government O – Opinion

SUBMIT: You will be asked for multiple examples for some of these categories. Please refer to the chart.For each researched example of evidence, you will include the following:

  • a written précis paragraph
  • a link to a professionally published piece that’s NOT written by you (a news article that summarizes events, a brochure for a museum exhibit, a review of a book from a respected publication, a printed page from an online encyclopedia).
  • 3-5 sentence personal commentary

Model Précis:
Sentence one: Name of author, (optional—a phrase describing the author), genre and title of work, date in parentheses, a descriptive verb such as “assert,” “argue,” “imply,” “suggest,” “claim,” etc., and a “that” clause containing the essay’s main assertion or thesis statement
Sentence two: An explanation of how the author develops and/or supports the thesis, usually in chronological order
Sentence three: A statement of the author’s apparent purpose, followed by an “in order” phrase
Sentence four: A description of the intended audience and/or the relationship the author establishes with the audience and possibly an identification of the tone the author takes.
You will be producing some version of this project each quarter throughout the 2020-2021 school year

Vaccine Appointments & COVID Testing

Vaccine Appointment

Commonpoint Queens is a not-for-profit agency that offers a myriad of services to its community. They have reached out to let us know that they may be able to help you find a vaccine appointment if you are interested. See the information below:

Commonpoint Queens’ Test and Trace Team is now booking vaccine appointments for community members that are 16 or older, and living in one of the following zip codes:
11101, 11368, 11369, 11412, 11419, 11420, 11421, 11423, 11429, 11432, 11433, 11434, 11435, 11436, , 11691, 11692, 11693, 11694.

Please complete this form if interested.

Novino Pathology, conveniently located across the street from Holy Cross High School at 26-19 Francis Lewis Boulevard, L2-2 in Flushing, is offering free COVID-19 testing. If you are interested, please see information in the link below:

Novino Path Free COVID-19 Testing

Hours of operation for walk-in drop off are:
Tuesday: 11:00 a.m. – 07:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 11:00 a.m. – 07:00 p.m.
Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 07:00 p.m.
Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 07:00 p.m.
Saturday: 11:00 a.m. – 07:00 p.m.