Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School

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Meet Mr. Shawn Holup: A love of Pittsburgh inspires new course for OLSH students

OLSH’s assistant principal, Mr. Shawn Holup is a Pittsburgh guy. He is a huge sports fan and proudly cheers on all of Pittsburgh’s “black and gold” teams: the Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins, and even though he’s not an alum, he’s a big Pitt Panthers fan, too! He’s such a big fan, he and his friends were the champions of the McDonald’s Steelers Sports Trivia Challenge on KDKA in 2005.  Holup and his wife Jade also enjoy visiting Pittsburgh’s many museums and attractions, especially with their dog Cocoa, a 6 ½ year old lab rescue.

Mr. Holup’s other passion is education. He has been at OLSH since December 2017 when he joined the administrative team as Assistant Principal and he brought a wealth of experience from his work in Catholic high school settings, and prior roles including Dean of Students, Athletic Director, Girls Basketball Coach, Cross Country coach, Social Studies and Religion teacher at Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School, Bishop Canevin High School, and Greensburg Central Catholic in 2009. 

Holup received his B.A. in History from St. Vincent College and his M.Ed. in School Administration K-12 from Duquesne University.  He also has certifications as a K-12 Principal, and in Social Studies and Diocesan Religion.

Prior to joining the OLSH staff, he had heard many good things about the school, particularly with regards to its academic programs and community atmosphere.  “With my 20 years of working in the Catholic education field, it just seemed like a good fit,” Holup commented.  He believes the course offerings at OLSH are the best he has seen in a Catholic high school.  “We have something to offer everyone from Advanced Placement courses to an After-School Tutoring Program,” he said.  “Additionally, the departments are able to create and offer specialized courses here at OLSH.” This year he will share his love of all things Pittsburgh with OLSH students as he teaches a new elective course - History of Pittsburgh.

“OLSH offers students a great experience whether it be in academics, sports, or theatre,” he shared.  “The most rewarding aspect of my job is watching the students grow both academically and spiritually.” Mr. Holup also enjoys hearing from former students and learning what they are doing with their lives, working in a variety of fields.  “I like to think we provide our students with lessons they can apply to all aspects of their life,” he said.

Teaching dominates the Holup household.  Mr. Holup’s wife, Jade, teaches biology and physics at Shaler Area High School.  In 2015, she was a finalist for PA Teacher of the Year. 

Mr. Holup’s vision for OLSH is to see it continue to grow as a place where students can discover who they are, and one that won’t allow them to slip through the cracks.  “All schools have faced challenges since March but I have been so impressed by the OLSH community and how we have all come together and adapted to create a positive learning environment for all students,” he reflected.  “It will be a challenging year ahead but I am positive the OLSH community will adjust and overcome all obstacles presented to us as we move forward."