All summer long, anticipation was building as a steady stream of prospective students—freshmen and transfers—visited Leo with their parents to inquire about enrolling.

Our December test numbers were encouraging, and our new Recruiting Coordinator, Ms. Tracy Crenshaw, has done an outstanding job tracking and communicating with any and all prospects who expressed interest.

On August 15, those efforts were rewarded. Leo’s largest freshman class in 15 years was on hand for the first full day of school, bringing the total enrollment to a 12-year high. Our goal of a 200-student population by the 2021-22 school year is well within reach.

In celebration, more than 60 alums showed up for a “back to school” welcoming ceremony, a fairly recent tradition we initiated two years ago to remind our young men that by enrolling at Leo, they are becoming part of something special.

“The Shaka Rawls Effect cannot be overstated,” Leo President Dan McGrath said, attributing the enrollment increase to Mr. Rawls taking over as principal in 2016. “Kids feel good about being here. Their parents feel good about having their kids here. We’re getting positive word-of-mouth in the community. The energy in the building is remarkable.”

Friends from the Big Shoulders Fund and the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Schools joined the alums in welcoming the students to Leo. Afterwards, the party moved into the cafeteria for a light breakfast and a rousing rendition of the Leo Fight Song.

Year No. 94 was under way at Leo. It promises to be another great one.