Bishop McNamara High School and the story of the development of the new La Reine Science & Innovation Center has been featured in the Prince George's Suite Magazine Fall 2020 edition "Level Up" telling the story of how the Center came to be and benefits to students and residents for generations to come. The feature compiled by Raoul Dennis entitled "The Look and Feel" includes a visual presentation of the school and a message from Former BMHS President/CEO, Dr. Marco Clark '85.
The vision and development of the La Reine Science and Innovation Center at Bishop McNamara High School is arguably one of the top five most important educational developments in the county slated for 2021. - Raoul Dennis, Prince George's Suite Magazine
Enjoy the reprint of the article below:
The Look And Feel
Compiled By Raoul Dennis
The vision and development of the La Reine Science and Innovation Center at Bishop McNamara High School is arguably one of the top five most important educational developments in the county slated for 2021.
The Fall 2020 edition of Prince George’s Suite Magazine feature “Level Up,” tells the story of the new La Reine Science And Innovation Center - how it came to be and the number of ways it will benefit students and residents for generations to come.
Former Bishop McNamara President and CEO Dr. Marco Clark, spent so much time working equally in developing the center and in supporting the process of the Prince George’s Suite feature, it is said, with humorous affection, that he has some of his own DNA in both.
Below, and one of the final interview dialogues help with the Suite, Dr. Clark shared a great deal of the behind the scenes magic that makes any dream worth fighting to build toward reality. Throughout this story, please enjoy additional images of the center and the people who helped make it possible.
Tell us about Bishop McNamara High School and why it’s a special place.
"This is a very proud community. I've been around this community my entire life. My parents met and dated here and owned their first home in District Heights and I was raised in the Kettering/Largo and later Capitol Heights area. My mother went to school at Mt. Calvary and La Reine and my brother and I are proud graduates of Bishop McNamara. This is home to me. I love Prince George's County. My wife and I continue to live in the county (Cheverly) and we've been proud to raise our kids here (also Bishop McNamara graduates).
Throughout my years as an administrator at McNamara, I've attended numerous community meetings and planning sessions about future redevelopment in this area. This has been a discussion for more than 20 years. I also observed, however, that much of the new development around the city is taking place in Virginia, Montgomery County, Northern Prince George's County and Northwest DC. For many years there has been a lot of talk but only small advancements in this area. I firmly believe in the potential of this area. With amazing access to DC and positioned near Joint Base Andrews and Joint Base Bolling as well as being only a few miles from National Harbor and Alexandria, this area has such a huge upside. My thoughts are why not us? The people here in this proud part of the County deserve the very best. So I figured, if it's to be, it's up to me. I'm especially honored that we will be building a facility that will be a first of its kind anywhere in the DMV. The first! I believe that someday the ideas that are created and discoveries made here in this building have the potential to change the world.
This is truly about changing the narrative and changing trajectories. Bishop McNamara High School has had a strong history of producing leaders. Our graduates are represented in many fields and are scattered all over the globe. Most, however, come right back to Prince George's County. With an underrepresentation of African-Americans and women in STEM fields in the U.S., I thought, we can change that. Our students are bright and ambitious and their families are proud and hard-working. They deserve the very best. Father Basil Moreau, C.S.C., Founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross who founded and sponsor Bishop McNamara High School stated, "We must teach our students all that they should know both with instruction for how to live and education to make a living." We decided that we will help change the narrative and change trajectories by positioning our students and by providing opportunities for the local residents to be empowered leaders by receiving a rigorous, relevant, next-generation education. These students will someday work jobs that haven't even been created and will experience technology and the world in a different way than each of us. My hope is that not only will they be prepared, but they will create it. They will be the innovators of tomorrow."
How and when was the idea born for the La Reine Center?
This started as a dream in 2010 when I was first appointed as president at Bishop McNamara. I wanted to create a building that was cutting edge and that bore the name of La Reine to honor the school that merged with Bishop McNamara in 1992. Our Board of Directors commissioned a 20-year Campus Master Plan in 2012 with Phase I to include this building as well as modernizing parts of our current facilities. In 2014 we launched the Faith. Family. Future! Capital Campaign in honor of the 50th anniversary of our founding. The Executive Corporate Partnership Committee was created in 2018 to help elevate the profile of the campaign and to seek more support from the business and philanthropic community in the greater Washington DC area.
For the full article and all images, go to The Look and Feel.
Prince George's Suite Magazine is an award-winning lifestyle publication that publishes four times per year and is direct mailed to nearly 30,000 readers in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.