The realm of college and careers is very different than it was a generation ago. Preparing students for the world of tomorrow means identifying their natural aptitude and abilities, exposing them to a wide variety of academic challenges, and equipping them with the confidence, curiosity, and care to paint their own canvas with singular color and purpose.
Each child is born with innate gifts and talents. The mission of St. Thomas Aquinas High School is to help each student recognize his/her gifts and to develop them to a higher level, all while reminding each child that the greatest source of contentment lies in knowing s/he is deeply and unfathomably loved by God.
Directing and redirecting adolescents’ eyes toward Christ isn’t easy anymore, even for Catholic schools. An increasingly secular culture bombards our youth with conflicting messages of virtue and vice. Priorities, sources of gratification, moral codes have all changed. In the simplest of terms, what was no longer… is.
While the challenge is significant, St. Thomas Aquinas embraces it. Here are a few ways in which an STA education prepares its students not just for school but for life.
Interrupting young people’s fixation on cellular devices affords them an opportunity to think creatively, collaborate jointly, and be productive in solitude. All great thinkers of the past relied on solitude to achieve their most creative work. Prayer, reflection, quiet reading all bless the developing mind with a respite from cellular rings, vibrations and notifications. Shoe racks on the back of our classroom doors provide a safe location for smart phones to wait while Saints engage in meaningful learning.
While the world espouses a frenzied attitude toward excellence (must do more, must be more, must earn more), St. Thomas Aquinas pauses to remind each child that excellence lies not in what is done or earned but rather in who they are and who they become. Contentment and joy are embedded in our propensity to seek goodness. We educate the mind, the body and the spirit so that when any one of the three prongs folds, the other two can adjust and retain balance. Learning to manage time allows our youth to be healthier, more focused, and less harried.
“Entitled” is an adjective that encircles young people these days. It crawls behind them, hides in their shadow, ready to stand and present itself as armor whenever a challenge presents itself. St. Thomas Aquinas strives to foster a sense of grace and gratitude in our students. By educating children that differing opinions are not only important to human interaction and dialogue but vital to successful leadership, STA teaches them that Voice is a human unifier meant to add harmony to dissonance and an additive to dark divisor. Accountability is far more admirable than slinging culpability.
Catholic education is rooted in the Gospel. Catholic educators are animated by the knowledge and understanding that sequences, syntax, synopses, scenarios, signs, symbols and all scholastic strings lead back to the Greatest Common Equalizer: Christ. Preparing students for the world of tomorrow means not only sowing seeds of intellect but also cultivating blossoms of love. And so we spend our days lifting our students’ eyes up- away from disorder, away from distractions, away from darkness, toward enlightenment, toward erudition, and toward the eternal light of God.
This is the powerful legacy of a Catholic education. This is the legacy of St. Thomas Aquinas High School. This… is lux in tenebris.