Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Two Local Schools Named To National Honor Roll

Published October 25, 2007

The Catholic High School Honor Roll announced Oct. 17 that Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Atlanta, and Pinecrest Academy, Cumming, were named to its 2007 list of America’s top 50 Catholic secondary schools.

The annual Honor Roll, initiated in 2004, provides a resource to parents and educators by acknowledging those schools that best maintain high academic standards, uphold their Catholic identities, and prepare students to actively engage in the world.

This is the first year that Holy Spirit Prep was eligible for consideration and the first year that any school in Georgia has been recognized by the Honor Roll.

“We are proud and grateful to be named one of the top 50 Catholic high schools in America,” said Holy Spirit Prep president Gareth N. Genner. “Our dedicated faculty and staff as well as our committed and supportive parents make Holy Spirit Prep a special place. We thank the Catholic High School Honor Roll for this distinction. We look forward to continuing our commitment to academic excellence, Catholic faith formation and exceeding the high expectations of our students, parents and alumni in the years to come.”

Rick Swygman, executive director of Pinecrest, was equally appreciative of the honor given to his school. “Our community is so excited to be recognized for this honor, as it reinforces the importance and value of our mission, as well as our passion to be the best possible example of an authentic Catholic school. As a result, we are motivated more than ever to deliver on this Catholic mission and serve Christ’s kingdom as he calls us to do as Catholic educators. We also congratulate Holy Spirit Preparatory School, who shares this honor with us.”

Nearly 1,300 Catholic high schools were invited to apply to the Honor Roll by completing surveys that measure academic excellence, Catholic identity and civic education. Nearly 300 schools responded to the surveys. Inclusion on the Honor Roll indicates outstanding success in each of the disciplines examined.

“I am grateful that we have been recognized by the Catholic High School Honor Roll as one of the top 50 Catholic high schools,” said Holy Spirit board chairman Msgr. Edward J. Dillon. “This honor is fully the result of our dedicated teachers and staff for their hard work and commitment to Catholic education.”

Overall, 25 states are represented on the Honor Roll, which is produced in consultation with a national advisory board comprised of Catholic college presidents and Catholic scholars. It is an independent project of the Acton Institute.

“I share my delight in celebrating … the recognition” with both schools, said Diane Starkovich, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Atlanta. “Whenever an outside agency recognizes a school’s academic excellence, Catholic identity and civic education, the local community must be commended for its commitment to the students it serves. I extend my congratulations to the administration, teachers, staff, parents and students.”

Holy Spirit Preparatory School was founded in 1996 and graduated its second senior class in 2007. It is an independent, coeducational, Catholic, college-preparatory school serving students from Pre-K2 through high school on three distinct campuses located inside the Perimeter in Sandy Springs. The upper school campus is located at 4449 Northside Drive, Atlanta.

Pinecrest Academy is a private Catholic school serving students from pre-kindergarten through high school. Pinecrest is part of an international network of schools and universities that implements the Integral Formationism method of education developed by the Legionaries of Christ. The school’s mission is to form Christian leaders who will transform society. The school’s first senior class graduated in 2007. Pinecrest is located in Cumming at 955 Peachtree Parkway.


To see a list of the top 50 schools, as well as lists of the top 25 schools in each category, visit