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Mission Statement

Kathleen and MaggieNativity BVM High School is a Christ-centered Catholic school dedicated to meeting the needs of its students and enriching them through formation of faith, outstanding academics, community service, social responsibility, cultural appreciation and athletic development, thereby preparing our graduates to meet all of life’s challenges.

We Believe:

  • that a Christ-centered educational environment and praying together as a school community have immeasurable values.
  • that a quality education is the foundation for an enriching and successful life.
  • that by educating today’s youth, we are forming leaders of tomorrow and productive members of society.
  • that parents are the primary educators of their children.
  • that through partnership, the family, school, and community should understand, appreciate and reinforce the educational process.
  • in challenging students to be sensitive and effective problem-solvers in a world needy for compassion and true leadership.
  • achievement is limitless and all individuals should have the opportunity to reach their potential through a variety of meaningful educational choices.
  • in the recognition and cultivation of students’ individual skills so they will become independent lifelong learners.
  • the learning environment should be respectful, safe, clean, secure, and caring.
  • that our school must continue to change and evolve to meet the needs of students in a changing world.
  • positive adult role models foster students’ success.
  • students benefit from a positive connection to the school and community, which promotes self-esteem.
  • in effective communication among stakeholders.

Nativity Facts At-A-Glance

Nativity BVM High School, established in 1955, is a four-year, co-educational, Catholic Diocesan High School situated in the city of Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pa., offering a college prep curriculum. Map of County School DistrictsOur school draws students from Blue Mountain, Mahanoy Area, Minersville, North Schuylkill, Pine Grove, Pottsville, Saint Clair, Schuylkill Haven, Shenandoah Valley, Tri-Valley and Williams Valley School Districts. This service area chiefly comprises middle income families of diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Nativity exemplifies the essentials of academic excellence and affirms the traditional life values of Christianity in Catholic faith.

Nativity accepts students of all races, cultures, creeds, and economic backgrounds and regards them as young adults in whom are instilled a belief in the dignity of each person and appreciation of their diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Students who are non-Catholic comprise approximately 25 percent of Nativity’s population.

Nativity BVM High School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education.

History

Nativity BVM High School was established in 1955 as the successor to Pottsville Catholic High School (formerly Saint Patrick’s High School) and Saint Stephen’s High School in Port Carbon. Yet our story actually begins in 1927.

Father Edward L. Gatens
Father Edward L. Gatens

In that year Father Edward L. Gatens, pastor of Saint Patrick Church, Pottsville, planned the building of Pottsville Catholic High School. On October 15, 1927 Cardinal Dougherty of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia dedicated the new building at 112 7th Street (now Assumption BVM School) which still bears the engraving “P.C.H. School” above the door. From 1928 to 1955, Pottsville Catholic was a Catholic diocesan high school with the Sisters of Saint Joseph as faculty. Saint Patrick’s Grade School, housed in the same building, was a parish school. At that time, Catholic schools in this area were still part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Msgr. John E. Boyle
Msgr. John E. Boyle

The constantly increasing enrollment through the decades made a new building imperative and Monsignor John Boyle, then pastor of St. Patrick’s, Pottsville,
was commissioned by Archbishop John O’Hara of Philadelphia to purchase ground for a new diocesan high school.

Lawtons Hill was selected as the site for the new Catholic high school. The cross was a prominent theme in the building’s design. Windows of amber glass, facing westward, form one large cross that looks out from all three floors of the building.

Catholic high school students beginning their freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years attended Nativity starting in September 1955. The school was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 14, 1956, with Reverend John J. Nugent serving as the founding principal. The Feast of the Nativity, or birthday, of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8. The class of 1959 was the first class to go through an entire four years at Nativity.

During the early years, diocesan priests and Carmelite Fathers taught at Nativity; communities of Sisters on the faculty were Sisters of St. Joseph, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, Sisters of St. Casimir, and Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The first graduating class of 148 seniors received their diplomas in June, 1956. The first yearbook of Nativity BVM High School was called the Ave Maria (Hail Mary) and published in 1956.

Father Nugent was principal of Nativity from 1955 to 1967. During his tenure, the Allentown Diocese was formed from an area that had formerly been part of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. In 1960, Catholic schools in Schuylkill, Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties became part of the new Allentown Diocese.

Soon the Holy Family Sisters joined other religious communities on the school faculty. Enrollment continued to increase; some classes had approximately 300 students, and the enrollment of the entire school rose to about 1300. The school did not charge tuition at that time, although students had to buy their own books and pay an activities fee. Seeing the need for an ongoing fundraiser, Father Nugent sought the help of local businessmen, who began plans for an annual dinner which they named the “Century Club” (after the nickname for a $100 bill) because the admission fee was $100. The first Century Club dinner was held in 1968, during the administration of Rev. Joseph T. Gilmore, who was principal of Nativity from 1967 to 1969.

Rev. John A. Rusek was principal during the 1969-1970 school year. The name of Nativity’s yearbook was changed, and the 1970 school yearbook was known as The Lawtonian. “Skylines” was the name given to the school newspaper. Rev. Joseph D. Hulko was principal from 1970 to 1977. Rev. Leo F. Lenick was principal during the school year of 1977-1978. Rev. John V. Egan ’61 served as principal from 1978 to 1982, but died several years after he left Nativity.

By the early 1970′s, Catholic schools had begun to charge tuition, and decreasing enrollment was a trend in most areas. In 1978, 178 seniors graduated from Nativity, and the school enrollment was still larger than it was in 1956.

Rev. Stephen L. Maco became principal in 1982 and served in that role until 1991. Rev. Anthony P. Mongiello was principal from 1991 to 1992. In 1991, the new Development Office of Nativity published the first Alumni Directory and the first Alumni Newsletter, Nativity Now. Nativity’s Recruitment Committee was also formed during Father Mongiello’s tenure. 97% of the graduating class of 1992 went on to further their education. Members of that class were awarded a total of over $700,000 in scholarships, grants, and awards.

Rev. Ronald C. Bocian was principal from 1992 to 1999. During Msgr. Bocian’s tenure, there was a marked increase in Nativity’s enrollment, especially in the freshman class, which increased by 68%. As before, the vast majority of graduates went on to college, many with awards, grants, and scholarships. There was also a dramatic increase in the number and variety of new courses and new teachers.

Rev. Ronald V. Jankaitis came on board as principal at the beginning of the 1999-2000 academic year. He remained until July 14, 2008. Fr. Jankaitis was at Nativity as a teacher and principal for 21 years.

Rev. Christopher L. Wakefield joined the Nativity community as President on July 15, 2008. At that time, Fr. Wakefield was joined on the Nativity Leadership Team by Principal Bruce Hess. This was the first time that Nativity had the President/Principal model at the school.

Mrs. Lynn Lechleitner Sabol ’76 was named Principal pro tem of Nativity in January 2010. Mrs. Sabol has over 40 years of dedicated service to Nativity in several capacities. She was named principal of the school on June 1, 2010.

Nativity’s student-teacher ratio is 11 to 1. The dedicated faculty is made up of lay teachers. While Nativity is a Catholic secondary school, it accepts students of other religions. It also accepts students of all races, cultures, creeds, and economic backgrounds.

Be it known to all who enter here:
Christ is the reason for this school!
He is the ever-present Teacher,
The model for its faculty,
The inspiration of its students.”

Employment Opportunities

Science Teacher – Full Time
Bachelor’s Degree in Science is required. Science certification is preferred.

Boys Soccer Coach
For the 2024-2025 season

Interested candidates for either position, please send resume, clearances & references by April 25, 2024 to:

Mrs. Lynn Sabol
Nativity BVM High School
One Lawtons Hill
Pottsville, PA 17901
lsabol@nativitybvm.net

Visits: 742

Nativity BVM High School  •  One Lawtons Hill  •  Pottsville, PA 17901  •  570.622.8110

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