Achieving a Sense of Normalcy through the Hybrid Learning Model

Saying that my senior year at Cardinal O’Hara High School wasn’t what I thought it was going to be is an understatement. However, I am so thankful that the hybrid learning model allows me to have some sense of normalcy during this unprecedented time. Being able to connect with my teachers and fellow students in the classroom and partaking in various activities after school has made this year one that I will never forget.

One thing I have realized throughout the pandemic is how much I have taken going to school for granted. I can confidently say that each one of my teachers has thought outside of the box this year in order to accommodate their lesson plans for all students and have readily adapted to the technology. One of my favorite parts of the hybrid learning model is that teachers have utilized a multitude of online resources to benefit all students, regardless of whether they are in school, learning from home, or completely virtual. 

Another highlight of the hybrid learning model is that we have been able to continue after school extracurriculars through Zoom since Mrs. Evert, our Assistant Principal of Student Affairs, has been working with moderators so that every club is up and running. This is especially important to me because the extracurricular activities at O’Hara make my O’Hara experience so special. Whether it’s prepping for the year ahead in Lion Ambassadors or connecting with the incoming freshmen through Lion Connection, O’Hara has managed to maintain one of the most crucial parts of every Lion’s experience. In Cappies, the returning members of the critic team, along with our moderator, Mr. Kelly, are continuing to hone our writing skills by viewing previous O’Hara shows, holding our own discussions about them, and writing reviews. Although the Greater Philadelphia Cappies season has been postponed until January, we have utilized Zoom to strengthen our observing and writing skills. Just this past week, we watched and reviewed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! The collective ensemble brought much energy and passion to their performance and made me reminisce about how much I miss watching live theater!

As a senior, I have the difficult task of juggling my classes with the college process. However, for me, this has all taken place online. Although my college search has been limited to various webinars, these interactive, virtual information sessions have been informative and have allowed me to condense my list of colleges. While I may not have visited all of my top prospects, these webinars have given me enough background on each college. Although navigating the college application process virtually is challenging, I have been able to connect with admissions counselors at my potential colleges to answer my questions. Shoutout to Mrs. Graney and her team of counselors for working round-the-clock to help all of us seniors navigate through this complex process as well! Even though I went into the college process feeling overwhelmed, I can confidently say that, as I near the conclusion, each college successfully adapted to this unprecedented situation and made me feel like I was on their campus even though I was often thousands of miles away. 

To quote a line from Frozen 2, right now I feel as if I am going “into the unknown” during this anything but typical senior year. However, O’Hara’s response allowed me to achieve a sense of normalcy and ground me in my faith during these challenging times. In times of uncertainty, sometimes our faith is all we have.

Written By: Katie Tuberosa ’21

Hybrid learning at O’Hara has been beyond my expectations.

Starting high school at Cardinal O’Hara as a freshman was an overwhelming but very exciting experience. I remember thinking about what high school would look like back in early March. I was excited to make new friends, go to different sports games and get involved in lots of activities. Little did I know what I envisioned would be completely different. 

When I first heard the term “hybrid”  I really didn’t understand what that meant. I soon learned that it meant that  I would only come in every other day. Specifically, there are two groups, A and B. Groups are in school every other day, and if you aren’t in school, you are virtual that day. As a virtual student, I login to all my classes over zoom. When on a zoom call, my teacher’s MacBook will act as a camera in class. This system is great and makes me feel like I am right there as a student. It didn’t make transitioning into high school any more difficult than it had to be, and the school has invested in HD cameras for each classroom so that transition will only become easier. Social distancing, desk wiping, and hand sanitizing are abundant throughout O’Hara. All of our desks are spaced out 6 feet and only two students are allowed at each lunch table.  As for making friends, I feel that this is not that difficult because we are in school half of the days and still have opportunities to socialize and get to know each other.  I feel that these regulations have struck a balance of keeping us safe and keeping our learning and social lives on track. In short, hybrid learning at O’Hara has been beyond my expectations.

Written By:
Paul Giacomucci ’24

Student Reflections on the National Pro- Life Summit

Student Cassandra Phillips ’20 submitted this vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWpO3YRl9aY.


The National Pro-Life Summit was one of the most life-changing weekends of my life.  I had attended this conference last year with six other students and we came away from it with such a fire to start or revamp our own club.  One year later, and we brought home the award for the National High School Group of the Year! It’s amazing what one year can do, and how much we were able to grow!

This conference was such an eye-opening experience in so many ways.  It deeply impacted me by showing me the horrible truths of abortion and the abortion industry that are rarely talked about.  Another beautiful part of the experience was the feeling of camaraderie and unity among everyone there because we all understood that we were there for the same mission and reason.  With all the informative talks and keynotes given, I was given so much knowledge and “ammunition” to fight back against this horrific genocide. I have already used this information and these tactics to help spread love and truth, and I plan to continue doing so!  I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to have this amazing experience!

 ~ David Saunders ’20


I had a great experience at the pro-life conference! The March for Life let me see the pro-life movement in action for the first time. It was my first time going and I really enjoyed marching for a great cause with many of my friends. After the march, we went to the hotel and it was beautiful. I also got a room with a couple of my closest friends. That night, we explored Washington D.C., which is a great city. Then, we got to know some of the kids from other schools and talk about the conference.

In the morning, my friends and I got breakfast in our hotel, then we got to go to the conference. I was able to get in pretty early, so I got to go around to some of the booths, with people from YAF and Live Action among others. Then I went into the big ballroom, where we got to see some keynote speakers, like Kay Coles James (President of the Heritage Foundation) and Matt Birk (Superbowl champion). Throughout the day, we had several options of talks that we could attend, including a talk about the role of men in abortion that I found very interesting. Another talk I enjoyed was about how true feminism opposes abortion. At the end of the conference, Charlotte Pence spoke and we learned that O’Hara won the award for best high school pro-life group! All in all, it was a successful day.

I am so thankful to get this opportunity to learn more about what I am fighting for. Now I know so much more about how to really help the movement, which is growing every year. I can’t wait to attend the March for Life next year and hopefully the summit as well. My goal is to eventually help the pro-life mission so much that I can speak myself at one of these conferences. I can truly say it was an eye-opening experience that I will always remember.

~ Ryan Garvey ’22


The Pro-Life Summit for me was an incredible experience. I was able not only to gain more information about the abortion controversy, but I also learned apologetics and how to respond to people with the opposite opinion with wisdom and compassion. The speakers were honest, straightforward and made it clear why abortion is so wrong. They articulated the true evil that abortion is and gave us the real facts and statistics of it.

The summit also allowed my classmates and I to meet fellow young Pro-Lifers. I believe that it is very important to know that you have others standing with you and that you are not alone in your fight. It was remarkable to meet so many other teens who were so passionate about being Pro-Life. I trust that this Pro-Life generation, together, can and will end abortion. I feel equipped with the knowledge I have attained, and I am eager and confident to go out and make a change.

~ Isabella Guerra ’23


A few weeks ago, I was given the incredible opportunity to represent Cardinal O’Hara at the National Pro-life Summit in DC. Even before his amazing weekend I knew that the Pro-life mission was vital to the protection of the basic human right to life. But I did not know how to defend and stand up for this cause. I knew what had to be done, but lacked the tools I needed to do it. Through every section of the summit, I was armed for the battle, prepared to defend this vital mission to save the lives of the most innocent and vulnerable people in our society; the unborn.

One specific speaker that resonated deeply with me was Mrs. Kay Coles James. Mrs. James described an encounter with a Pro-choice person who said someone in an extremely unfortunate living situation should abort their child on the way. Mrs. James then simply stated,

“That was me. I was that child.” This moment gave me chills. To think such an amazing person could not have been here because of her own mother’s choice just astonished me, and made me realize the true impact of abortion.

~ Anne Brown ’22


Last year, the seven people who attended the conference had no idea what to expect. This was the first year anyone from O’Hara had gone, and there were only seven of us. Our expectations were blown out of the water. The speeches were so inspiring that we vowed to commit ourselves to the pro-life movement. We set up our leadership board, and got to work. This work paid off, as our membership grew from twenty members to one-hundred members, and twenty-three of those members attended this year’s summit, which was even more incredible than the year before.

The National Pro-Life Summit was one of the most influential weekends of my life. Having experienced the National Conference the year before, I had high expectations. But the sheer magnitude and quality of this weekend were absolutely awe-inspiring. The number of people there was shocking, as every speaking hall was packed to the brim. This was immensely encouraging for the future of the pro-life movement, as many of these people were young. The speakers were crucial in helping prepare the attendees for every situation they could face in the real world, from workplace conflicts to sidewalk confrontations. Without this weekend, I doubt the pro-life movement in America would be where it is today. It has inspired so many young people to get involved in the pro-life movement, and winning the National Pro-Life High School of the Year is an immense honor that everyone involved should take pride in.

~ Brian Brown ’20