Saturday, September 20, 2003

Moeller goes high-tech to attract cool students



By Liz Oakes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Moeller High School students perform for a music video Friday at the school. From left are Vinnie Vicario, on guitar, Jack Novak, guitar, Collin Muldoon, drums, and Andy Dumond, keyboards.
(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
KENWOOD - In a new, high-tech marketing effort, Moeller High School is betting $25,000 that Catholic sixth- to eighth-graders in Cincinnati want their MTV.

That's how much Moeller, a 960-student all-male Catholic school, is laying out to produce a flashy, 90-second, music-oriented mini-CD for prospective students. Educators and a local CD-production company say it is a first in school marketing in Greater Cincinnati.

The intent is to be MTV-like, with louder rock music and special effects, compared with a CD produced six years ago, school officials say.

Enrollment is up 10 students from last year, which was the biggest class in 15 years, but tuition has increased 19 percent from $5,800 five years ago to $7,200 this year, said Brother Ron Luksic, the assistant principal at Moeller who handles admissions for the school.

The school's capacity is 1,000 students, so the goal is to maintain enrollment. "You have to tell people why you think your school is worth the tuition to go there," Luksic said.

The CD stars Quagmire, a group of four Moeller seniors lip-synching to one of the band's songs, "Until Then," around campus.

"It's not easy. I think even after half of the shooting today, we're all pretty tired of it," said Jack Novak, 17, a senior from Sharonville who plays guitar and does vocals on the CD.

"I know the end result will be awesome," he said. "And it's cool to do it for Moeller."

Other members of the band, who have been playing together for only a couple of months, are seniors Collin Muldoon, 18, of Glendale (drums); Vinnie Vicario, 17, of Loveland (lead guitar), and Andy Dumond, 17, of Blue Ash (keyboard).

Kari Adams is an account executiveat Fluid Media in Monfort Heights,which is producing CDs for schools nationally and locally, including Roger Bacon High, St. Ursula Academy and Seton High. She says Moeller's approach is unique here.

"Parents used to make the decisions of where kids were to go, and now it's the kids," she said.

The CD will have a link to the school's Web site (www.moeller.org) , which will include other elements intended to interest students, Moeller officials say, including an interactive game that could lead to a prize at the school's open house.

Times have changed, Luksic says. "Twenty years ago, I started out with a slide show and a Carousel (projector)."

Six years ago, Moeller went high-tech with the full-size CD, which cost $15,000 to produce.

If the school can attract just three new students, the new CD will have paid for itself, Luksic said.

The school plans to produce 1,000-1,500 of the mini-CDs, to be distributed beginning Oct. 13 to Greater Cincinnati Catholic schools.

The public can also order the free CD by calling 791-1680, ext. 123, or by e-mailing rluksic@moeller.org.

E-mail loakes@enquirer.com




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