by George J Elbaum
One year after my first visit I returned to Moreau Catholic High School and teacher Samantha Wainwright’s well-prepared and enthusiastic students. Moreau is a college preparatory Roman Catholic secondary school established in 1965 by the Congregation of the Holy Cross. With college preparation as a focus for its 900 students, the results are admirable: of the recent graduating class, 100% went to college, 50% received at least one Merit-Based Scholarship/Award, and over 75% scored 3 or higher on their AP exams. As a result of this academic strength, Moreau was one of only 8 schools in California and 54 schools nationwide to be selected as a 2010 Apple Distinguished School, recognized for educational excellence through use of technology across its curriculum to provide its students with the 21st century skills needed to succeed.
However, as a community of faith, the school also prepares its students through social and spiritual learning to become responsible citizens of the global community. Thus, as part of its humanistic and liberal arts curriculum, Samantha Wainwright’s 10th grade English class includes a 6-weeks study of the Holocaust with reading of Eli Wiesel’s Night, and a variety of stories of victims, survivors and perpetrators, plus viewing applicable propaganda posters, watching the movie Life is Beautiful. Ms. Wainwright arranged my talk together with Jack Weinstein of Facing History and Ourselves. Also attending it were Librarians Anne Arriga and Jessica Simons.