Road to Success

Hayden Lipscomb poses after a successful hunt. Although living in Cabot has some disadvantages, the access to nature is a great amenity. 

 

Sacrifice comes in many forms. It is making donations, helping a friend with an assignment, or even laying down one’s life for another. For many students, a Catholic High education is entirely out of reach without everyday sacrifice.

Over the school’s history, many students have jumped on buses, ridden trains, or walked to obtain a diploma from the school. As cars have become more accessible, so has a Catholic High education, but those who travel 50 minutes, one hour, even two hours a day to school and back still make daily sacrifices — sacrifices that much of the student body has never had to make. From being unable to be involved in clubs to waking up before the crack of dawn, commuting long distances to school is no easy feat, but these students will let nothing stop them as they seek to gain the best education possible.

Senior Hayden Lipscomb has made the drive from Cabot to the school every day since freshman year. Furthermore, he is a four-year football player. To succeed through the school’s rigorous academics, attend daily football practice, and make the 60-mile drive to school, Lipscomb has had to master his time-management skills. His days are filled with little breaks as he wakes up at 6:00 every morning and is out the door by 6:30, not knowing if a traffic jam or tractor on a back road will impede his journey to school. 

Even with all of the challenges, Lipscomb feels no regret for the joint decision he made with his parents just before freshman year. He said, “I came to Catholic for teachers that help students when they don’t understand and for the much smaller class sizes. I never wanted to be a face in the crowd at a huge school. I have enjoyed every day I have been at Catholic High and wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”

Senior Robert Gangluff has had a similar experience, but with unique challenges. He makes a 50-mile commute to school every day in his restored Ford Bronco. Gangluff’s father and uncles also attended the school, and he has always desired to attend the school. Each day, he wakes up at 5:30, driving to school in the dark with headlights that sometimes fail. He also picks up his siblings from school each day and fulfills household chores, duties that, in conjunction with his commute, make it impossible for him to participate in many clubs or play sports. However, Gangluff does not regret his decision to make the necessary sacrifices to attend the school. He said, “I make the long trip because I enjoy the larger piece of land we live on outside the city limits. Also, besides being smaller than Bryant, my local school, Catholic is much more enjoyable because the teachers seem so much more dedicated to our success.”

Freshman Larry Desiderio has found himself in a completely different situation. He lives in Hot Springs, 70 miles away from the school, and thus cannot catch a ride with a classmate who can drive. Instead, Desiderio is a part of a bus program that takes students living in Hot Springs to the school and Mount St. Mary’s. Desiderio wakes up every morning at 4:45 to get ready for the day before walking to his church, where the bus awaits. 

After attending St. John’s Catholic School for grade school, Desiderio developed a strong desire to continue his Catholic education and was elated when he discovered the bus program. He said, “Deciding to do high school like this was a tough decision, but I don’t regret it a single bit. All my classes are amazing, and the education is better than I ever imagined.”

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