pens history book on Shawe High School
(April 2006) When a teacher assigns a project
for class, many students moan and groan and procrastinate until the
last possible minute. Not so with Jacob Laskowski, a 2005 graduate of
Shawe Memorial High School in Madison, Ind. He enthusiastically decided
to do something special in honor of his schools 50th anniversary.
new book on Shawe High School will help mark the schools
Laskowskis project grew over the course of 1 1/2
years and expanded into a book titled, Looking Back: The Story
of the Hilltopper. The 130-page coffee table type book features
more than 250 photographs and documents the history of Shawe High School
and the history of the Catholic Church in Madison.
The book chronicles the 50-year history of the high school and the nearly
200 years of the Catholic community in the area. Included in the book
is a foreword by Father Hilary G. Meny, an area priest who helped develop
the high school. Other notable Catholic leaders in the community added
invaluable assistance, including editing help.
Laskowski, 19, said that although he met with some naysaying when he
first thought of the book idea, he persevered. I have a way of
getting things done, he said. As the project developed, however,
enthusiasm and support for his work grew.
Thats quite an accomplishment for someone of his age,
said Marta Belt, director of development and marketing at Prince of
Peace Catholic Schools, which operates Shawe Memorial High School and
Pope John Paul elementary schools. She helped edit Laskowskis
manuscript and served as sort of a mentor on the project.
Much of the research for the project came from several books about the
previous Catholic churches in Madison. Laskowski also used pictures
from past Shawe yearbooks, the Jefferson County Historical Society,
Historic Madison Inc. and The Madison Courier. He said Michael Moore,
a historian at St. Patricks Catholic Church, was extremely helpful
in providing historical information for the book.
Laskowski said he loved working on the project because he learned so
much information. His favorite part of the work was when he gathered
together the first graduating class from the high school for an interview.
He said it was really exciting to listen to the former Shawe students
talk about the early days of the school.
In order to get the money to print the book, Laskowski
spent much of last summer fund raising. He called and wrote letters
to church communities asking for donations. Many private donors also
gave to the project. At this point, he has raised about $10,000 for
publication costs but he needs another $5,000 or so to finish covering
expenses. He hopes sales and further contributions will provide the
additional funds. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Shawe Memorial
student newspaper, The Topper Tribune, which Laskowski helped
to revive while a student there.
Laskowski now attends Barry College in Rome, Ga., where he is studying
public relations and communications. He would eventually love to work
in broadcasting as a newscaster.
As for the class project that started the book, he said he received
a good grade.
Looking Back: The Story of the Hilltopper, will be available
in April upon the books arrival from DPI Printing in Madison.
Books will be available at a book-signing event sometime this spring.
Anyone interested in making a donation
or ordering a book, which will cost $25, can call (812) 273-5835, ext.
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