Cardinal O’Hara High School Announces Addition of a New Classical Education Track Option Beginning in the Fall of 2016

Thursday, November 12th

Tom Fertal, President of Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield, (Delaware County) announced the formation of a new classical education track option called the “Regina Chesterton Academy” at Cardinal O’Hara High School.

The Academy will be integrated into the Cardinal O’Hara educational program for grades 9-12. It will offer a curriculum created by the Chesterton Academy in Edina, Minnesota, now in use in several schools around the country. The Academy’s goal is to graduate literate and articulate leaders prepared to face the unique challenges of the 21st century. The curriculum features a neoclassical model that emphasizes Logic and Rhetoric, as well as Math, Science, Philosophy, and the Humanities to include Art, Music, Drama, Latin and Greek. The principal mode of learning will focus on a Socratic dialogue in which the teacher moderates an informed classroom discussion of the primary works of the masters of classical thought.

“This new offering came out of our strategic planning,” said Mr. Fertal. “It fits perfectly within our vision for O’Hara. Education of course is not a one-size-fits all proposition. We do our best to approach it from the perspective of what is most instructive for each and every student and his or her gifts. This will be the kind of unique program that a number of our parents have been asking for. As it will be deeply rooted in our authentic Catholic tradition, it is a program that also fits the mission of the Office of Catholic Education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to “prepare Saints for life in this world and in the next.”

The Regina Chesterton Academy will be initially available to freshman and sophomores beginning in September 2016 and migrate to a full, four-year program by September 2018. It will be a collaboration with the Regina Academies of Philadelphia. Part of the Chesterton approach is to augment the educational curriculum with frequent communal prayer, the study of Sacred Scripture and landmark papal encyclicals, and bi-annual trips to Rome for juniors and seniors. “In a real sense, this program is something of a retrieval,” said Regina Academies Chairman Tim Murnane. “Classical catholic liberal arts education has always been anchored in the great thought and discoveries of ages past. This track will re-open wide the doors to the very foundations of western civilization.”

Regina Academies Foundress, Barbara Henkels, hopes the program will be an answer to prayer for her Regina Academies parents. “We are very grateful to Mr. Fertal, Cardinal O’Hara High School and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for this opportunity,” said Henkels.

Open House Informational sessions regarding the program will be held at Cardinal O’Hara at 6:30 PM on Thursday, December 10th 2015 and again at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, January 20th 2016. Attendees are asked to RSVP to Cathy Markley,

For more information contact Mr. Tom Fertal at or 717-419-5690.