Family, faith, diversity, engagement: the MC character

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Joseph Williams-Tubay

Parents, teachers, and even outsiders all agree: there is something unique about Mount Carmel.

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Whenever Mount Carmel comes up in a conversation, people have many different things to say. While many know MC as the “football school” or the “athletic school,” there is something that truly separates MC from every other school.

As a student at Mount Carmel, I have heard many students, graduates, faculty members and parents describe a certain feeling they have when they are at MC. This feeling has been described as a feeling of “brotherhood,” a feeling of “friendship” and a feeling of “family.”

Mrs. Auguste, Assistant Admissions Director and mother of two sons at Mount Carmel, has high praises for MC.

“Having chosen MC as the best high school for my sons, before I became part of the MC staff, I think Mount Carmel is an exceptional place.”

Auguste continued, “I think there are quite a few things that set MC apart from other schools.  I think the brotherhood and camaraderie among the students here is one of them.  The boys here seem to have a respect and acceptance for each other that I did not see among students at other schools. I like that MC encourages young men to try activities and sports that they may have not ever thought about…They can discover they have a love and aptitude for tennis, wrestling, choir, drama, band, etc. that they didn’t even know that they had before.  This kind of experience builds a type of confidence and ability to take risks that help shape them into an adult who believes in themselves and their abilities, among other life lessons.”

For Auguste, another characteristic that sets MC apart from other schools is the teachers’ ability to engage their students.

“The way our teachers engage young men in the classroom helps them stay focused on the information that is being presented and allows them to form a deeper understanding of that material.

She also appreciates the fact that MC develops students’ character and faith.

“I love the way that we inspire young men to be good people and to stay connected to their Catholic faith.  From my perspective as an MC mom, there is no other place like Mount Carmel.”

Mrs. Laura Mazurkiewicz, Administration Assistant here at MC, has encounters with many students every day, agrees with Auguste.

“I believe we try to instill in our students, along with everyone that is a part of the community, teachings of our Catholic faith, respect for each other, self discipline, accepting diversity and most of all the genuine acceptance of the person we are.”
Mr. Scott Tabernacki, graduate of the 2002 class at MC and current principal, pointed out another important factor.
Mount Carmel is different because of the people that make up our school family. We have dedicated alumni, such as myself, who have a desire to give back to the family that gave us so much.”
Tabernacki also emphasized the school’s diversity.
“We have young men from all over the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana area. We are not a typical neighborhood school…Mount Carmel has a way of taking everyone out of their comfort zone and challenging us to grow and to do something better.” 
Two other factors that make Mount Carmel special, according to Tabernacki, are the Mothers’ and Fathers’ Clubs and the alumni.
From our Mother’s and Father’s Club, to the alumni and parents of our students, our community does not take this special place for granted and it shows. Not many schools could operate like we do and produce stellar students and athletes without the love and support of Caravan Nation.” 

The summer camps also have made an impact on students who attend other high schools.

Jaiden Fishbein, a junior at West Linn High School in Portland, Oregon, attended the Mount Carmel basketball camp in 2017.  Although his experience was brief, he grasped the underlying culture of the school.

“I think that, from the outside, Mount Carmel seems like a good school that gives a good education and promotes a sense of unity and good morals between all of its students.”

Zachary Weber, a junior at Whitney Young High School who knows the school solely through athletic competition against the Caravan, also has gained an appreciation for what makes MC special.

“I get a good feeling from Mount Carmel, it’s a tight community that sticks together through thick and thin, and everyone might not always get along but they always respect each other, and work together to learn and get better.”