Seton Keough High School was an all-girls college preparatory high school. Located in Baltimore, Maryland, it was a private Roman Catholic school. In fact, its precise location was at 1201 Caton Avenue in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore, the oldest diocese in the US whose see the city was completely within the nation’s boundaries when the US declared its independence in 1776. The high school was founded in 1988 after two schools were joined – Archbishop Keough High School and Seton High School. Students excelled and failed at their studies just like at any other school. Indeed, studying and completing assignments on time can be quite challenging, so you might be thinking, “How can I pay someone to write my paper?” If that is the case, don’t hesitate to look for additional academic help with your studies. The event that has largely defined Seton Keough High School’s reputation happened in 2016. That year, the aforementioned Archdiocese of Baltimore had stated that past students of the school were paid settlements after they were sexually abused by Father Joseph Maskell. Maskell was a priest and counselor at Seton Keogh High School from 1967 to 1975. The school eventually closed in June 2017.
The sexual abuse case was not the only strange and controversial aspect of Seton Keough High School, but it is necessary to look closer at the case to understand why the school eventually had to be closed. In 2016, the Archdiocese of Baltimore confirmed that the settlements that were paid to 16 past students amounted to $472,000. All of them had been sexually abused by Father Joseph Maskell during the time that he was a priest at the school between 1967 and 1975. Moreover, Maskell had served as a counselor specifically at the Archdiocese of Baltimore for a much longer time – from 1965 to 1994. He was born and grew up in Baltimore, graduated from the Calvert Hall College High School, and then received priesthood training at St. Mary’s Seminary. After being ordained in 1965, he continued his education at Towson State University where he earned a Master’s in school psychology in 1972. He then received a certificate of advanced study in counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Despite having a good reputation and being so well-educated, it didn’t take Maskell long after his ordination to begin taking advantage of the girls at the Seton Keough High School. Luckily for the students, the new headmistress listened to the parents’ complaints about him and removed Maskell from his position as a counselor and chaplain. Even before his abuse at the high school, Maskell had already sexually abused an altar boy. Unfortunately, it wasn’t difficult for Maskell to continue serving elsewhere. He was first transferred to the Division of Schools (1975-1980), served at Annunciation (1980-1982), and then transferred to Holy Cross (1982-1992). Due to the sexual abuse allegations, the Archdiocese of Baltimore sent Maskell to The Institute of Living for psychiatric treatment. From 1993 to 1994, he was a pastor at the St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church but was eventually prohibited from the ministry after more allegations surfaced in 1994. Lawsuits were filed against Maskell and several other perpetrators who had collaborated with him and were all involved in the sexual abuse of the students from the school. Maskell had been claiming his innocence up until his death due to a stroke on May 7, 2001. What’s notable is an event that occurred back in 1969. Sister Catherine Cesnik, a popular nun and English and drama teacher at the school, was found murdered on the outskirts of the city. The 2017 Netflix documentary web series “The Keepers” examines this murder case that was never solved. The murder was covered-up and could be directly related to the sexual abuse allegations – one of the students had confided in Cesnik about the abuse shortly before her death. The documentary states that over a hundred past students testified on rape, sexual misconduct, and molestation.
On October 26, 2016, the Archdiocese of Baltimore announced that the Seton Keough High School would be closed in June 2017. The decision was a result of an 18-month study of 22 Catholic schools in and around Baltimore conducted by consulting firms Ayers Saint Gross, DataStory, and Fielding Nair International. The study examined school facilities, enrollment, and projected demographic data and potential areas of growth and identified three schools for closure due to under-enrollment and/or facility conditions.
Seton Keough High School was known for having some very notable graduates who went on to become talented sportswomen and politicians, including: