“Sending my children to Gross Catholic felt like sending them to a second home,” Barb Brennan ’01 said. When her sons enter the school each day, she knows the teachers and staff at her alma mater become a second “set” of parents. They invest their time, talents and whole hearts into the success of all students at Gross Catholic. There is a family aspect that she knows, at least for her family, couldn’t be found at another school.
But Barb’s love of Gross Catholic didn’t start with her boys. Barb and her husband Josh Brennan ’01 met in grade school, but started dating after a summer of doing work study together at Gross Catholic. Both Josh’s parents and Barb’s parents also met at Gross Catholic. Josh’s parents, Theresa (Campos) Hook ’82 and Bill Brennan ’81, and Barb’s parents, Diane (Mendick) Wilkins ’79 and Bob Saum ’78, were high school sweethearts and are proud alumni.
When Diane found out her grandchildren had decided to attend Gross Catholic, she was elated that her family’s legacy at the school would continue. She recalled that the class sizes were much bigger when she attended Gross Catholic, but there was still the same sense of community. Community is what all three generations of this family love most about Gross Catholic. Both inside and outside of the building, they know their family is extended among students, staff, alumni and fellow parents.
Barb is proud of how the school has evolved over recent years. “I love how Gross Catholic is expanding programs,” Barb said. “They are really able to meet each student, where they are at.” She saw this in the way her oldest son, Nate ’20, grew from his freshman to senior year at Gross Catholic. “He really developed and matured throughout his four years at the school.” Staff and faculty hold the students accountable and there is consistency both inside and outside of the classroom.
Barb and her son Owen ’23 experienced this in the spring when students were forced to learn remotely due to the pandemic. “The teachers communicated really well and were still completely invested in the students, even though they were not in the building together.”
That investment in the students reminded Barb and Josh why they make sacrifices, in order to send their children to their alma mater. “I feel, 100 percent, that my children deserve to be at Gross Catholic,” Barb said. “We love our second home.”
What You May Have Missed
- Grandparents Are the Footsteps to Future Generations!
- Amazing Drama Department Adapts
- Planting a Place to Connect With God
- Finding Rainbows in the Storm
- Covid 19: A Prayer for Solidarity
- Kathleen Brousek: A Passion for Playing Her Heart’s Strings
- 3 Alum Add Up to the Right Answer
- The Stern Family: Keeping Marianist Traditions Alive
- Statterly Advocates for Dignity and Opportunity
- Meet the Pajnagars!
About Gross Catholic
One of Nebraska’s best catholic high schools, Gross Catholic is a faith and family-based community committed to developing Christian leaders through academic excellence in the Marianist tradition. Recognized locally for its outstanding education, welcoming atmosphere, competitive sports programs, engaging activities, robust faith, and boundless service work, Gross Catholic has energized the Omaha area for over 50 years. We are Faithful, Compassionate, and Driven! We are Gross Catholic!
To discover more about one of the top high schools in Omaha, contact us at 402.734.2000 or visit our Admissions page at grosscatholic.org.