by Michael Reul
When making a decision about where to go to high school, prospective students will see the advantages of attending St. Thomas. There are countless reasons that weigh into a student’s decision. Whether it be rigorous academic programs, athletics, unique clubs and classes or the rich tradition of our school, each potential student has a different interest and varying reasons for deciding to become an Eagle.
First and foremost, it offers one of the best private school educations in the city of Houston. 100% of graduates go on to some sort of secondary school; however, this is a standard for private school education.
With over 20 students recognized by the National Merit Program, the strength of our academics is quite clear. Students benefit from some of the best teachers in the city and a college preparatory curriculum.
“The perception used to be that St. Thomas was not a very strong academic school,” Director of Admissions Jon Moody said. “If you compare not only National Merit student, but also St. Thomas students’ scores on AP exams, it’s an honest indication that we have an extremely strong academic program.”
For the first time in school history, two students were recognized as National AP Scholars in 2012. Those students scored a 4 or 5 on nine different AP Exams.
This year, St. Thomas implemented a tablet program to add new ways to learn. The school has long emphasized the importance of technology whether it be the use of interactive whiteboards and computer labs or technology electives such as Computer Apps, Java and Web Design.
Other elective classes are also of interest for those deciding which school to attend.
“There are a lot of students and their parents looking for something very specific,” Moody said.
The fine arts department is stronger than ever, with art and music electives such as Fundamentals of Art, Ceramics, Art History, Drawing, Band, Photography and Theater. Those who are interested in the arts will find ample opportunity to express themselves.
In recent years, success on the athletic fields has skyrocketed. This year, the cross country team won another district championship and finished in second at the state meet.
Last year, state championships were won in rugby, wrestling and golf, adding to the total of seven titles since 2010.
Other service or common interest clubs interest many students. Students interested in certain studies after high school may be interested in the Pre-Med, Pre-Law or Business clubs.
Other clubs spread awareness throughout the community such as the Respect Life Club which increases awareness on campus about abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty. The Rocketry club has received national notoriety and its members participate in competitions and launches across the country.
There is always a club for any member of St. Thomas, whether it be the Math, Robotics, Student Council, Key club or Paintball. Students have the ability to create their own clubs based on a common interest.
Some students, when considering St. Thomas, worry about the all-male environment. Their fears are generally calmed.
“The girls love St. Thomas guys,” sophomore Chris Winter said.
This is something all students find out rather quickly. The fact that we are an all boys school does not really make any difference as girls are always here, whether it be for band, plays or school events.
The admissions department is very particular about the type of students they admit. This creates an environment of diverse people who share a common interests and focus on expanding their development of goodness, discipline and knowledge.
“I chose St. Thomas because of the people here,” junior Alejandro Perez said. “St. Thomas creates a different type of person that you don’t see in other places.”
The diversity of the student body is evident and provides every student an opportunity to get to know classmates from different parts of town or middle schools.
“We have students coming from 125 different zip codes and 75 different middle schools,” Moody said. “The distinct advantage that St. Thomas students have is they get to meet some of the best students in the entire Houston Metropolitan Area.”
Being an all boys Catholic school, a tremendous fraternity is created among students. Students here are friends and brothers for life.
“I just felt more welcomed here,” freshman Jeffrey Landreneau said.
The friends and memories you make at St. Thomas will never be lost. You become linked to one of the most prestigious groups of alumni of any high school in Houston.
The tradition of St. Thomas is what really keeps it rolling. It is why St. Thomas alumni continue to send their sons and grandsons to St. Thomas.
“My dad and my brother went to St. Thomas,” junior Damian Gonzales said. “I didn’t really have a choice, but I’m very glad I didn’t because St. Thomas is simply the best place around.”
“There’s something magical going on here,” Moody said. “And it’s hard to put a handle on what exactly it is. I’ve given hundreds of tours here and in each one you can see, we just have to get them in the door and they can feel it.”