New kids in school

Carmel concludes Open House event

Megan Brinkman and Tori Jozwiak

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Freshmen Claire Hanam and Dan Tourville updated the Crossroads website as stories came in from the tours.

On Sunday, Carmel hosted over 200 prospective families through the annual Open House celebration. Along with these families, roughly 541 students volunteered to show their love of Carmel and its community.

“It’s because they [the students] love this place. The kids want to share and communicate what makes this place [Carmel] so great and special,” Director of Admissions Brian Stith said.

Compared to previous years, the prospective families were larger and younger, including students as young as 5th grade. Carmel’s admissions team believes that if families know what the school has to offer early on, they’re more likely to sign up and potentially enroll.

“Everyone always says Carmel is Lake County’s best-kept secret,” Stith said. “We want to make sure it’s not the best-kept secret. We want to make sure people know about it.”

The event went through a dramatic transformation two years ago, from a simple walk-through to the interactive experience it is today. Because of the success of the current setup, the program organizers do not anticipate large-school modifications in the upcoming years.

“Open House is a fluid program… there will always be changes made but nothing major or drastic,” Stith said. “We’re always tweaking and adjusting to make sure it’s the most effective program to meet the needs of our prospective families.”

And many of these needs were met. Feedback from families praised the emphasis on faith, especially in a college prep school environment.

“They love it because we’re a Catholic school, and they believe in Catholic education,” Stith said. “They love academics: the fact that we’re college prep, educating the whole child, that it’s not just limited to academics, but its faith combined with that.”

Along with volunteering at Open House, students were asked to participate in the “#MyCarmel” challenge by tweeting out what makes Carmel their own.