Moeller Hosts the House System Institute
Archbishop Moeller High School is known as a trendsetting school. Many of the things they do as a school are then modeled by other schools all around the nation, and for good reason. The Moeller House System is a successful institution within Moeller High School, and is one of the things that makes Moeller unique compared to other high schools. The House System is known for building community and strengthening relationships between teachers and students.
BACKGROUND OF THE HOUSE SYSTEM
Moeller High School was one of the first schools to take part in the house system. Fourteen years ago, Moeller launched the house system within the school, and it became a success. The school transitioned to a house system in order to strengthen our community as a whole, and fuse relationships between students of different grades and teacher relationships with students.
One of the major changes that came with the house system was Mentor Groups. Mentor Group is a 10-minute or 30-minute bell where students are with each other for all four years and so are the teachers of the Mentor Group. The purpose of Mentor Groups was to build and foster relationships. Students and their mentor teachers would be together all four years and they will have the same teacher in hopes that they will develop a strong, trusting relationship.
Another major part of the house system is the competition and the relationships and solidarity that comes along with it. We developed a competition for The Marianist Cup, this is something that students from the six houses compete for. The Cup consists of certain games throughout the year such as The Crusader Games. The Crusader Games takes place towards the end of the year and students from each house compete in different games such as basketball, tug-of-war, and dodgeball. The houses are awarded points based on their placement and at the end of the year the house with the most points are awarded the Marianist Cup.
All in all, the House System at Moeller was built in order to build solidarity and the brotherhood that we are all about. The House System ended up becoming very successful and because of that other schools from all around America wanted in on this.
THE HOUSE SYSTEM INSTITUTE
In June of 2018 Moeller High School hosted the “Moeller House System Institute”, a three-day symposium event where seventeen schools from 10 different states, as far as Washington and Texas, came to Cincinnati to learn about what the House System has to offer. The idea was inspired from Bishop Chaminade in St. Louis, Missouri who hosted their own Institute in Summer of 2016. Mrs. Karen Matuszek, Director of Moeller’s House System, said, “We went there, and we were there for about an hour and we looked at each other and said, ‘We should be hosting this.’” She feels Moeller had a lot of beneficial information and we could make it bigger and better.
The Crusader asked Mr. Clayton Graham (Pillar House Dean) to give a summary about what the Institute was about and he said, “It’s basically a coming together to share practices and ideas that would help people that needed it, and maybe to revitalize some areas where people needed it.” Overall, to sum up the main idea of the Institute, it’s a large get-together where schools come to learn about what the house system is about and the benefits of it.
The House System Institute included students, house deans, alumni, and coaches from Moeller High School. Also, the schools that came to visit brought teachers, faculty, and some even brought students.
The Institute was structured around small group meetings and larger audience talks. Mr. Graham commented on the prep that was done by the deans before the event, “We spent a lot of time before hand preparing things like name tags, what would go on during the sessions, organizing people like the guest speakers.” Every single representative from Moeller had an important role, even if they were working behind the scenes. The organization was crucial to the success of the Institute because if everything wasn’t set up correctly the whole thing would have been a mess.
Another person who had a very important role in the House System Institute was Mrs. Karen Matuszek who hosted a session called House System 101. Matuszek said, “I had a session called House System 101 which talked about the main structure of the house system.”
Mr. Todd Naumann, Trinity House Dean, did a presentation on Leadership. Eveslage House Dean, Mrs. Terri Shaffer, presented about The Crusader Games and the positive effects of competition. Together all the deans did presentations on the Collaboration of Campus Ministry and the House System.
The student panel was a very good addition to the Institute. “We had a student panel of past school and house captains who talked about how their leadership in the house system carried on to their college careers and their lives after,” Matuszek said. The common consensus about the student panel is that it was one of the most beneficial and important panels held at the Institute because it displayed the real life benefits that The Moeller House System offers students.
All in all the Moeller House System Institute was an assembly of multiple schools to come together to learn about what The House System is all about and to share ideas and knowledge.
There were two major takeaways from this symposium. The first is that, as a school who has had a successful house system for 14 years, this summer’s institute gave us a chance to showcase what we’ve been doing so well for 14 years. The second is that it was a great sharing of ideas from other schools with house systems.
The House System Institute was considered a success. When hard working educators get together to improve their schools, the benefits can be numerous. Matuszek and the rest of the deans were eager to share Moeller’s ideas about the benefits of a house system, while also learning from teachers and administrators in attendance.