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HOT SPRINGS -- St. John's Catholic School plans to offer a shuttle so that local students, for their freshman year, can attend Catholic High School for Boys and Mount St. Mary Academy for Girls in Little Rock.

Janet Edgar, principal at St. John's, said Paul and Sunny Carson are donating the bus, and noted that the students don't have to be St. John's students to use the shuttle service.

"We are going to have a bus shuttle every day to Mount St. Mary and Catholic High," Edgar said. "The bus will leave here at 6:30 in the morning, and we have a loop where we think that they will get back at 5:30 p.m."

The bus has to meet certain regulations because the school is under the diocesan insurance, she said. They also plan to have Wi-Fi on the bus, so the students can do their homework.

"We are excited about this partnership. We think it's a win-win for both Catholic High and Mount St. Mary and also for (St. John's)," said Matthew Dempsey, vice principal of Catholic High School for Boys.

Dempsey said the Catholic High School students would experience faith in addition to knowledge.

"We're going to practice and experience character, integrity and brotherhood. These are the things that set us apart. I've known some students who have gone to Catholic high schools from Hot Springs, from St. John's, and it's a big deal. It's a big commitment, a lot of time on the road," he said.

Dempsey said he promises Catholic High will commit to the students for a lifetime, noting the students will be committing to the school since they will be traveling to Little Rock for their education.

Mary Patricia "Pattie" Davis, president of Mount St. Mary Academy, said their school is one of the 54 Sisters of Mercy schools in America, noting it is an icon.

"We are strong. We are strong in our sisterhood. We are strong in our academics," she said.

Davis said whatever the students' calling is, they will find it when they walk out the doors of the Catholic schools, noting the students will be so confident.

Father Keith Higginbotham, St. John's Catholic school associate pastor, said he graduated from Catholic High and he taught at Mount St. Mary. One of his most significant moments when he was at Catholic High was his history teacher who told them he didn't care what they do in their life, but they were to do it well.

"He said to us, 'I don't care if you become a CEO or a trash man. Both of them have dignity in the work they do if they do their work well,'" he said.

"Catholic High was interested in making me a good and honorable man," Higginbotham said.

When he was at Mount St. Mary, they were interested in forming young women to be their best, holiest and strongest selves, he said. "They are an excellent school. They come up with excellent statistics."

Metro on 03/16/2020

Print Headline: Shuttle to 2 Catholic schools in LR from Spa City planned

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