By Bernie Niehaus
In 1970, Central Catholic High School for Boys and St. Rose High School for Girls were combined into Rivet High School. I was fortunate to be on the School Board at that time. We named the new school after Father Rivet, Indiana’s first public school teacher who was commissioned by President George Washington to bring education to this area. Father Rivet established Jefferson Academy, the forerunner to Vincennes University founded in 1801.
Christian values are the heart of Rivet’s education system. Discipline, morality and religion are the school’s three cornerstones. A special effort is made to teach students to live what they learn in school and to take it home and into the community, where they volunteer for many activities such as Loaves and Fishes, and nursing home visits. Service hours are an integral part of the education at Rivet. There are many academic extracurricular activities such as Science Olympiad, National Honor Society, the Hoosier Spell Bowl and many more. A strong student government provides a calendar of social events, community services and other activities throughout the year. A collaborative partnership between Rivet with Vincennes University enables students to participate in VU classes and earn college credits.
Over 90% of Rivet students participate in the school’s many athletic programs. These include volleyball, basketball, track, baseball, cross country, golf, tennis, cheerleading and soccer. Over the last several years, the boys’ and girls’ teams have been very successful. In the last decade alone, Rivet sports teams have won several Sectional, Regional, Semi-State and State championships.
Rivet certainly has a bright future. Father Tony Ernst has been assigned to Vincennes and has filled the new role of Priest-Delegate for our Catholic Schools. His caring attitude and experience in working with youth will be a great asset to Rivet. Also, our Christian Educational Foundation has done an excellent job of keeping our schools financially sound. The CEF’s hard work with fundraisers; German fest, Fall Gathering, Mega Bingo, Golf scramble, and many more have been highly successful.
Rivet is certainly a tremendous asset to our community. Not only does it provide an excellent Christian education, but it also provides an alternative to public education. Many businesses and industries that are looking at our community ask about our school system. Vincennes and Knox County are fortunate to have four great high schools: Rivet, Vincennes Lincoln, North Knox and South Knox.
The Message thanks Bernie Niehaus for this column, which originally appeared in his company’s newsletter. You can email him at [email protected].