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Pinecrest ranks among top Catholic high schools
Chad Morris, a chemistry teacher at Pinecrest Academy, instructs students Wednesday. The school has been ranked as one of the top Catholic high schools in the country. - photo by Micah Green

SOUTH FORSYTH — For the eighth straight year, Pinecrest Academy in south Forsyth has been ranked as one of the top Catholic High Schools in the country.

The private school on Peachtree Parkway was one of just two in Georgia named a 2014 School of Excellence by the Catholic Education Honor Roll.

“What it seeks to do is recognize Catholic high schools around the country that are excellent in their Catholic identity, which also involves high academic standards,” said the Rev. Robert Presutti, school president.

While the school doesn’t set out to win awards, Presutti said that it was a nice way to recognize the efforts of faculty and staff.

“I know no one here tries to work for awards, but it’s a great one,” he said. “The hard work and sacrifices are recognized in this way, and … hats off to our high school administration and our high school teachers, who just do an excellent job.”

Presutti added that Pinecrest’s teachers and administrators were not only interested in teaching knowledge and skills, but also wanted students to reach their calling in life.

“We take our Catholic identity very seriously, the whole history of Catholic education, Catholic intellectual tradition of trying to bring out academic excellence, not simply from a career advancement point of view, but from a human vocation point of view,” he said.

“It’s education for life, but its education to fulfill our goal and our mission in life. Our teachers see their work as a vocation. We see our being here as much more than giving an education … it’s really transforming the individual to become … Christian leaders for society.”

Pinecrest has won the award, previously known as the Top 50 Catholic High Schools, every year since 2007. That year was also the school’s first graduating class.

The award is given by The Cardinal Newman Society, an organization of Catholic college alumni that promote Catholic education. The society was founded in 1993.

“Schools receiving the School of Excellence honor are marked by the integration of Catholic identity throughout all aspects of their programs and excellence in academics,” said Vivian Heard, communications coordinator for the school.

“This year, 71 schools across the country … received the honor of being named as a School of Excellence, and an additional nine received the distinction of Honorable Mention. This is less than 5 percent of all Catholic high schools in the United States.”