In 1989, I wrote a letter to the editor about a local high school football team that won its first game in two years. The school was rundown, grass needed cutting and enrollment dwindling.

This single victory was a shot in the arm, and there was a grass-roots effort to revitalize the school. Parents, students, teachers and alumni came together and help put the pieces back together. Enrollment started to increase; athletics started to thrive. In the next 15 years, this rundown school had won multiple state championships in sports. In 2004, this school became a 4A school for the first time in its history. It was a school that everyone wanted to attend. Forward 10 more years and the same conditions that had occurred in 1989 begin again.

This time is different. There is a change in the attitude in the people that oversee the school. Instead of trying to revitalize the school again, there was a completely different agenda.

I was part of a group that attempted the revitalization of the school, but there was no cooperation from the authorities that oversaw the school. The rumors began, and people starting pulling their children out of the school until it reached a crisis point.

This school that has meant so much to so many people was now just a shell of what it was in 2004. December 2014, there is a decision to close the school. There is another grass-roots effort to try and save the school once again, but that effort is thwarted. This wasn’t just a school; it was an institution. People became lifelong friends; some students became priests, doctors, attorneys and everything in between.

My whole family attended this school and became better people because of it. It will be a sad day on June 30 when they close the doors to Redemptorist High School. Everyone who attended, had family attend or just loved to go watch the Wolves play will have lumps in their throats and tears in their eyes.

I chose to take what that school gave to me and everyone else who attended. Pride, respect, a never-quit attitude, an education that our parents sacrificed to give us and a love for our Lord. I will miss Redemptorist but I will never forget it and the people that made it special!

Pat Englade

retired police chief

Baton Rouge