GC News

March 26 | 6:00–8:00 PM | Alumni Gallery

Join the Our Lady of Good Counsel High School counseling department for the GC College Fair. Come talk to admissions representatives from various colleges and discuss course offerings, admission and financial aid requirements, college life, and other information pertinent to the college selection process. This is an excellent time to learn about colleges and meet the admission representatives that will be working with GC students during the admission process.


This week, Good Counsel Theatre Company proudly presents Meredith Willson's Tony Award-winning musical, The Music Man. Come enjoy the upbeat musical score and dance numbers with the families of River City, Iowa and our very own Dr. Barker and Mr. Campbell as featured actors!

This comedy follows salesman Harold Hill who cons the town into creating a boys marching band by selling them uniforms and "76 Trombones". "It's You" who must come and find out what happens in the end as there is a twist you won't forget!

GCTC's production of The Music Man runs March 16 - 24, 2018 in the Performing Arts Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School.
Tickets can be purchased on ShowTix4U. Performances are Friday, March 16 at 7:30pm, Saturday, March 17 at 7:30pm, Thursday, March 22 at 7:00pm, Friday, March 23 at 7:30pm, Saturday, March 24 at 2:00pm & 7:30pm.

On Wednesday, March 14, at approximately 10:00 AM, schools across the country participated in the #ENOUGH National School Walkout to appeal to lawmakers for stricter gun control. On this day, exactly one month ago, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida shocked and saddened the world.

Since that tragedy, the nation has been in a renewed and emboldened debate over stricter gun laws. The focus of the #ENOUGH movement is speaking up against all gun violence—not only the high-profile instances but also the gun violence which impacts students in inner-city schools and countless others on a daily basis. It hopes to put an end to tragedies like Parkland, Columbine, and Sandy Hook.

Today, our Good Counsel community gathered together around the newly built Our Lady of Good Counsel grotto to listen to speeches from senior student leaders, participate in a moment of silence, and pray. The entire process lasted seventeen minutes, a minute in honor of each Parkland victim.

Senior Helton Rodriguez began the gathering with words of remembrance. "We meet here today to honor and pay tribute to those lost, and share a moment of solidarity with all those directly affected by this tragedy and keep them in our thoughts. Some of the lost were no older than the freshmen at our school. Others had already begun to make plans for the college they were to attend in the fall and were ready to begin the next step in their lives. Even adults, who put themselves last and tried to get kids to safety, were killed and will never be able to go home to their families, again. While we alone will never know the answer as to why such tragedies continuously happen, or how to keep them from ever happening again, we gather to show compassion, trust that righteousness will come from such low moments, and hope to encourage a zealous proactive attitude to stand up as one."

Others like senior Caterina Ieronimo called for her fellow classmates to take action. "Many of us will be voting in the next election. But we don't have to wait until then to take action. What lawmakers do now will impact whether they remain in office, so it is imperative that we do our part in letting them know what issues are important to us. Calling and writing letters to representatives, lobbying, and protesting are just a few of the ways we can influence state and federal policy."

Here at Good Counsel, we emphasize the Xaverian Values. Today, we hope to embody them—humility and compassion most—as we support our nation and its fight against injustice.

On being a safe place

I am tremendously encouraged by the coming together of student voices across the country to provide a powerful spur for meaningful action from government.

Here at Good Counsel, students Helton Rodriguez and Caterina Ieronimo were quick to step forward with ideas about how our community could respond to this latest national tragedy. Teach-ins have already taken place. Talon journalist Alexia Ayuk secured an interview with Senator Van Hollen to ask tough questions about legislative action. In solidarity, we will participate in next Wednesday's National Walk Out in a way that reflects our most deeply held values and our Catholic identity. Unless the weather interferes, we plan to walk out to our recently completed grotto. There, we will spend 17 minutes in a prayer service for peace.

In the aftermath of Parkland, I suspect every school is taking a hard look at its security procedures. We are. Our students felt Parkland keenly. Their seriousness was evident when we held a lockdown drill last week. I walked much of the building; you could have heard a pin drop. Our practices have been analyzed by a senior Montgomery County Police officer and he has made a number of suggestions that reflect the latest police thinking about school security. There's more to come on that.

Yet for all the adjustments to align with best practices for a safe school environment, those of us who are in schools every day realize the near impossibility of making our schools impregnable. We are a school, not a fortress.

Our reaction to school violence is visceral. There are other less visible threats to maintaining a safe and secure school. We live in a state where it seems legal recreational use of marijuana is not far away from becoming a reality. The old stereotype of students smoking in the bathroom seems like an almost quaint throwback. Today, there are multiple threats that exist below the radar – opioid painkillers, small and odorless vaping devices, edibles that are indistinguishable from any other cookie or brownie.

And, earlier this week, the National Association of Independent Schools published Prevention and Response: Recommendations for Independent School Leaders from the Independent School Task Force on Educator Sexual Misconduct. The document, developed over the past 18 months, is a powerful call for every school to be vigilant and have clear expectations, sound policy and procedure, and consistent training in the effort to protect students from harassment, abuse and other forms of misconduct.

Year in and year out, surveys of parents come up with the same three reasons why families choose Catholic schools: rigorous academics, values, and safety. Our families trust us to deliver on all three.

My colleague, Principal Tom Campbell wrote a letter to the community recently in which he addressed some of these same issues and provided valuable resources.

I write this letter to reiterate the commitment we make at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School to meet your fundamental expectation that we will do our utmost every day to maintain a safe, secure and healthy environment for all our students. Only in such a context can we carry out our mission: to inspire our students to excel, serve, and love.

In the same year that the United States Men's Team won Gold, for the first time, in the Olympic Curling competition, Good Counsel junior Diana Black is beginning to make her own history. Diana was only in the 5th grade when she started curling. As a little elementary schooler, she could barely make it past the hog line—the thick line in front of the target, or house. Now, she travels throughout the United States to participate in curling tournaments with her teammates. This season, she qualified for the curling nationals in Bemidji, Minnesota.

The sport consists of teams of two or four people sliding heavy stones across sheets of ice toward a target. Water droplets, which freeze on the surface, are then applied to the ice to improve the stone's grip. At the 2018 Winter Olympics, the Canadian Women's curling team placed first in the event.

Diana's club, the Potomac Curling Club in Laurel, attend bonspiels (the curling equivalent of a tournament) in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and other areas across the country. Most recently, she traveled to upstate New York.

Although they've had their ups-and-downs, Diana and her teammates have developed close relationships, and they stand by each other no matter what. She considers them to be one of the essential parts of being successful in the sport.

-Clara Griffin '19, Talon Staff Writer

Good Counsel junior Diana Black competed in the 2018 U18 National Championships in Bemidji, Minnesota this past February. Her team finished with an overall record of 3-2