Archbishop Curley High School

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Archbishop Curley High School
Archbishop curley hs baltimore cross and sign.jpg
Archbishop Curley High School is located in Maryland
Archbishop Curley High School
Archbishop Curley High School
Archbishop Curley High School is located in the United States
Archbishop Curley High School
Archbishop Curley High School


United States
Coordinates39°18′47″N 76°33′54″W / 39.31306°N 76.56500°W / 39.31306; -76.56500Coordinates: 39°18′47″N 76°33′54″W / 39.31306°N 76.56500°W / 39.31306; -76.56500
TypePrivate, All boys
Motto‘’Quis ut Deus’’
(Who is like unto God?)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s)St. Francis of Assisi
School boardPresident - Mr. Martin Wolf ‘76
School districtArchdiocese of Baltimore
OversightOrder of Friars Minor, Conventual
SuperintendentDr. Barbara Edmondson
CEEB code210032
PresidentFr. Donald Grzymski ‘70, OFM Conv.
PrincipalMr. Brian Kohler
Average class size23
Student to teacher ratio13:1
Campus size33 acres (130,000 m2)
Campus typeUrban
Color(s)Black and White         
Athletics conferenceA and B
MascotThe Friar
Team nameFriars
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Alumniover 10,000

‘’'Archbishop Curley High School’’' is a Roman Catholic men’s high school located in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore in the US, within the City of Baltimore. It is affiliated with the Franciscan religious order, it is also the brother school to the neighboring all-girl school, The Catholic High School of Baltimore.

Early history[edit]

The school is named for Michael Joseph Curley, the tenth archbishop of Baltimore and first archbishop of Washington, it opened in September 1961 with a class of 420 freshmen, and was dedicated on April 17, 1962, by Cardinal Lawrence Shehan.

The building was designed by local architect Edward H. Glidden and is located on a 33-acre (130,000 m2) campus on the northeast edge of the City of Baltimore.

The first head of school was Fr. Aloysius Balcerak, OFM Conv., who welcomed the first students to Curley as their principal. The school’s first graduating class matriculated in 1965.

Growth and development[edit]

Archbishop Curley High School celebrated its 25th anniversary during the 1985–1986 school year under principal Fr. Gregory Hartmayer (later Bishop of Savannah). During that year, a smaller wing was added onto the building to house the instrumental music department facilities, including a concert practice room. Additional athletic facilities were added in an adjacent wing, including the weight room and wrestling room.

brick sign
Capital Campaign efforts have improved the campus of the school

In 1994, the school welcomed its first head of school to also be an alumnus. Fr. Donald Grzymski, OFM Conv. graduated from Curley in 1970 and returned now to serve as principal. Fr. Grzymski’s tenure as principal is most notable for transitioning the school to a president-principal model, where he would continue on as head of school in the role of the Curley’s first president. Under the leadership of Fr. Grzymski, the school undertook its first capital campaign, “Endowing Our Tradition”, with the funds benefiting Curley’s endowment. By 1996, Fr. Michael Martin, OFM Conv. ‘79 had joined Grzymski in the administration as the school’s principal.

By the year 2000, a shift had begun to take place among the faculty and staff. Three notable educators who had served since 1962 all retired after over 30 years each; as Mr. E. Patrick Maloney, Mr. Richard “Coach” Patry, and eventually Mr. Albert E. Frank all departed the school, a new trend was beginning to emerge. Alumni were increasingly returning to teach and work at their alma mater. By the dawn of the 21st century, the school boasted over a dozen men who had come home to serve Curley again, both in leadership offices and in the classroom.

21st-century expansion[edit]

Barry Brownlee
Barry Brownlee, Curley’s first lay principal

At the start of the 21st century, with the endowment secured, the campus grounds were revamped with new fencing, a concession stand, and a new bowl stadium with terraced seating. After the completion of the Bowl project, Grzymski stepped down as president and Martin was appointed to succeed him. Martin would in turn be replaced as principal by Mr. Barry Brownlee. Brownlee had previously served as assistant but head under Martin, and was the first lay principal in school history.

At the end of the 2004–2005 school year, the first phase of a major facilities renaissance was begun; the friary was reconstructed to better reflect the number of religious living on the grounds and the balance of the space provided room for the relocation of the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan Library to the second floor, adjacent to the academic wing of the building. The space previously occupied by the library was renovated to house a new fitness center, with expanded weight training and wrestling room space. A center for the full-time athletic trainer was also added.

A grant provided funds for a rehabilitation of the auditorium seating, and in the summer of 2005 further renovations funded by a capital campaign provided a new faculty dining room, a relocated bookstore, conference rooms and offices for the development director, athletic director and alumni association; the science labs, school roof, tennis courts, and student lockers were also rehabilitated.

Capital campaign improvements[edit]

new entrance
The new entrance to the school.

Under the theme “In Giving We Receive,” an aggressive capital campaign was launched in 2008 to generate funds for improvements to the campus in advance of the school’s 50th anniversary in 2011.

In the summer of 2008, a second parking lot was added and the interior roads were renovated, reestablishing the Auditorium lobby as the main entrance of the school. An elevator, making the academic wing ADA accessible, was completed in the spring of 2009; the auditorium was also temperature-controlled for air-conditioning and heat. Additional renovations have included the gymnasium, main office, auditorium lobby, and the guidance office.

Groundbreaking photo
Groundbreaking on the Holthaus Center for the Arts

In May 2009, ground was broken on a $4 million complex, the ‘’'Holthaus Center for the Fine Arts’’'; the center is named for Gerard E. Holthaus ‘67, then-CEO of Algeco Scotsman International, who made a $1 million leadership gift to the building campaign; the new facility, completed in May 2010, houses choral and instrumental music practice rooms, as well as storage for Blackfriars’ Theatre and space for the Visual Arts Department. Offices for student media and student activities round out the state-of-the-art complex.

Curley celebrated its fiftieth anniversary during the 2010–2011 school year in honor of its founding in 1960 and its opening in 1961; the theme was “A Year of Jubilee.” The capital campaign concluded, with future plans still including a new baseball field (made possible from a land swap with the City), artificial turf for all of the athletic fields, a Field House practice facility, and a second gymnasium.

Leadership transitions[edit]

After nine years as president, Fr. Michael Martin announced in November 2009 that he was stepping down at the conclusion of the 2009–2010 school year, his successor, nominated by the school board and the friars and confirmed by Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, is Fr. Joseph Benicewicz ‘78, OFM Conv.

After assisting Fr. Joe with the transition to the president’s office, Barry Brownlee announced his retirement as principal, his successor was named as Mr. Philip Piercy. Concurrent to this announcement, Joseph DellaMonica, vice-president of finance and Curley’s longest-tenured employee (43 years), also announced his retirement. With additional changes in both assistant principal offices and campus ministry, 2011–2012 marks the largest leadership transition in the school’s history.

In July 2014, the archdiocese announced that Fr. Joe and Mr. Piercy would not continue in their roles for the 2014–15 academic year.


There are three distinct academic programs available at Archbishop Curley High School. Mobility and flexibility between programs is a key value of the curricula.

The Franciscan Program[edit]

The honors curriculum offers a rigorous course of study for intellectually gifted students. Franciscan Scholars as a stand-alone program within the Franciscan track, achieve baccalaureate honors through a Capstone project as well as numerous Advanced Placement courses and electives.

The Cupertino Program[edit]

The college-preparatory curriculum offers development in 21st Century skills for students performing at or near grade-level ability. Emphasis is placed on an inquiry-based system of study that engages students across disciplines.

The Anthony Program[edit]

The adaptive learning curriculum offers support and remediation to student with diagnosed learning differences. Resources are provided to assist students of all ability levels achieve their fullest potential.

Campus life[edit]

Campus activities[edit]

The school boasts a large number of clubs and co-curricular activities (over 30) for students to participate in beyond the classroom. Intramural sports provide students an opportunity for informal recreation and competitive play throughout the school year. A comprehensive summer program for both recreation and academic enrichment is also offered annually.

Campus ministry[edit]

Curley’s Franciscan Youth Ministry program offers students opportunities for prayer, liturgy and fellowship; as well as a commitment to service, social justice, and community outreach.


Archbishop Curley High School was a founding member of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). After the disbanding of the Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) in 1994, it was Fr. Robert Twele, then Curley’s principal, who led the Committee to draft the new organization’s constitution and its by-laws.[2] Consequently, championships from 1961 to 1994 are from the MSA and championships from 1995 to the present are from the MIAA.

Sport Season Head Coach Varsity Conference JV Conference Frosh Conference Varsity Championships
Soccer Fall Barry Stitz ‘87 A A A 1968, 1979, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2006
Football Fall Sean Murphy B B - 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014
Cross Country Fall Gene Hoffman ‘69 A A - 1975, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1990, 2002
Volleyball Fall Rebecca Reed A A - -
Wrestling Winter Pat Curran ‘99 A A - 1981, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002
Basketball Winter Brian Hubbard ‘98 B B B 1996, 2001
Indoor Track Winter Gene Hoffman ‘69 A A - 1997, 2003, 2005
Swimming Winter Brendan McElroy B - - 1987, 1988
Ice Hockey Winter sport inactive - - - 2000, 2001
Lacrosse Spring Christopher Ogle B B - 1969, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1986, 2007, 2008
Track & Field Spring Gene Hoffman ‘69 A A - 1982, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1990, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Baseball Spring Brooks Norris ‘01 A A A 1969, 1970, 1978, 1983, 1999, 2001, 2018
Tennis Spring Bobby Picarello B - - 1989, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
Golf Spring Dave Ball B - - -

Fine arts and student media[edit]

Program Medium Director/Moderator Frequency of Appearance
Concert Band Instrumental Music David Stauffer two annual school concerts, special events, annual interscholastic competition
Jazz Ensemble Instrumental Music David Stauffer two annual school concerts, special events, annual interscholastic competition
Jazz Combo Instrumental Music David Stauffer special events
Alumni Jazz Instrumental Music David Stauffer “All That Curley Jazz” annually
Drumline Instrumental Music Nicholas Breidigam athletic events, special events, annual interscholastic competition
School Choir Choral Music Michael Gaffney two annual school concerts, special events, school liturgies
Luminare Choir Choral Music Michael Gaffney special events
Schola Choral Music Michael Gaffney special events
Handbell Chorus Choral Music Michael Gaffney Christmas Concert annually
MasterClass Choral Music Michael Gaffney special arrangement annually
Blackfriars’ Theatre Drama Edward Lawrence one fall stage play and one spring musical annually
Art Club Visual Arts Mark Halcott ‘97 annual spring art show
The Cord School Yearbook Cheryl Jose One Issue Annually
The Curley Chronicle School News Service Greg Malanowski ‘70 Monthly Issue

Additional information[edit]

Connection with Franciscan Order[edit]

St. Francis
Curley is managed and staffed by the Order of Friars Minor, Conventual (St. Anthony of Padua Province)

The School Board established by the Archbishop of Baltimore is responsible for the general operation and management of Archbishop Curley High School. There are currently four Franciscan friars on the full-time staff, with one other in-residence. In addition to the Franciscan friars, the faculty also includes lay teachers.

Other affiliations and recognitions[edit]

The school is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education and, through 2014, by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. Beginning in 2010, all Archdiocese of Baltimore schools became accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; this new accreditation will replace the MSA process.

The School Board received the Outstanding Board Award in 2007 from the National Catholic Educational Association.

Head of school[edit]

From 1961 until 1995, the principal served as head of school. Beginning in 1995 with its inception, and still today, the position of president serves as head of school; the principal still functions in the role of daily school management and as chief academic officer, reporting to the president. A gallery of formal portraits featuring all the past heads of school is on display in the auditorium lobby.

Head of School Title Years in Office Principal(s)
Fr. Aloysius Balcerak Principal 1961–1967
Fr. Robert Grzybowski Principal 1967–1971
Fr. David Stopyra Principal 1971–1976
Fr. Leon Krop Principal 1976–1979
Fr. Linus DeSantis Principal 1979–1981
Fr. Mark Curesky Principal 1981–1982
Fr. Xavier Nawrocki Principal 1982–1985
Fr. Gregory Hartmayer Principal 1985–1988
Fr. Robert Twele Principal 1988–1994
Fr. Donald Grzymski ‘70 Principal 1994–1995
President 1995–2001
  • Fr. Paul Reinhardt (1995–96)
  • Fr. Michael Martin ‘79 (1996–2001)
Fr. Michael Martin ‘79 President 2001–2010
  • Barry Brownlee (2001–2011)
Fr. Joseph Benicewicz ‘78 President 2010–2014
  • Barry Brownlee (2001–2011)
  • Philip Piercy (2011–2014)
Fr. Donald Grzymski ‘70 President 2014–present
  • Brian Kolher (2014–present)

Current administration[edit]

  • ‘’'President - Fr. Donald Grzymski, OFM Conv. ‘70’’'
    • VP: Institutional Advancement - Mr. Barry Stitz ‘87
    • VP: Operations & Finance - Mr. John Kogler
  • ‘’'Principal - Mr. Brian Kohler’’'
    • AP: Student Affairs - Mr. John S. Bowden
    • AP: Academics - Mr. Zachary Dziedzic

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Class year Notability References
Nicholas D’Adamo, Jr. 1976 served on the Baltimore City Council, representing District 2. City Council[3]
William J. Frank 1978 serves in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 42. House of Delegates[4]
Vincent J. Gardina 1973 serves on the Baltimore County Council, representing District 5. County Council[5]
Peter Hammen 1984 serves in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 46. House of Delegates[6]
Michael Ranneberger 1967 is the current United States Ambassador to Kenya. US State Dept[7]
Gerard E. Holthaus 1967 was the CEO of Algeco Scotsman International.
Giuliano Celenza 1997 was a member of the Baltimore Blast. Baltimore Blast[8]
Butch Jansen 1979 holds international, national, and regional titles for Greco-Roman, and Freestyle Wrestling, Sambo, and Judo.
Gene Hoffman 1969 is a former 110m High Hurdle National Champion and All-American. Currently he is Curley’s Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Track & Field coach, as well as a Phys. Ed. teacher.
Barry Stitz 1987 is a former player and captain of the Baltimore Blast. Currently he is Curley’s Soccer coach and the Vice-President of Institutional Advancement.
John Tucker 1979 is a 2010 inductee into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame and a 2003 inductee into the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame; he was a midfielder for Johns Hopkins University‘s 1984 Division I NCAA National Championship lacrosse team; was named to the U.S. Men’s National Lacrosse team in 1986 and served as its Captain in 1990 and 1994, he played professionally for the Philadelphia Wings, winning two National Lacrosse League championships and a league MVP. For several seasons he was the coach of Major League Lacrosse‘s Washington Bayhawks; his second coaching stint in the MLL after the Los Angeles Riptide, he also served as the head coach of the West in the 2007 Major League Lacrosse All-Star Game during his tenure with the Riptide. Washington Bayhawks[9]
Christopher Marr 1986 is a featured co-star of A&E Network‘s popular reality TV series ‘’Airline‘’. A&E Network[10]
Byron Pitts 1978 is a national correspondent for the CBS Evening News, and author of ‘’Step Out on Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Conquer Life’s Challenges’’. CBS News[11]
Jim Jagielski 1979 is a FOSS leader, the co-founder and President of the Apache Software Foundation, a director of the Open Source Initiative. Apache Software Foundation[12]


  • Mickey Cucchiella, comedian and radio personality, is a morning disc jockey on 98 Rock in Baltimore. He attended Curley for his freshman year.
  • Santino Quaranta, professional soccer player in Major League Soccer, attended the school his freshman and sophomore years as a starter on Varsity Soccer.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ MSA-CSS. "MSA-Commission on Secondary Schools". Archived from the original on 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  2. ^ Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association. "About the MIAA". Archived from the original on 24 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  3. ^ Baltimore City Council. "City Council Member Biography". Archived from the original on 2009-02-20. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  4. ^ Maryland State Legislature. "House of Delegates Member Biography". Archived from the original on 25 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  5. ^ Baltimore County Council. "County Council Member Biography". Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  6. ^ Maryland State Legislature. "House of Delegates Member Biography". Archived from the original on 10 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-26.
  7. ^ US State Dept. "Ambassador to Kenya". Retrieved 2009-11-24.
  8. ^ Baltimore Blast. "Baltimore Blast Team Bios". Archived from the original on 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  9. ^ Washington Bayhawks. "Washington Bayhawks Coaching Staff". Archived from the original on 2009-01-29. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  10. ^ A&E Network. "Airline Cast & Crew". Archived from the original on 2009-04-10. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  11. ^ CBS News (2002-10-09). "CBS News Bios". Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  12. ^ "Apache Software Foundation". ASF. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  13. ^ "OSI". OSI. Retrieved 8 February 2012.

External links[edit]