St. Thomas provides great community for children of faculty members


By Mauricio Negrin
Eagle Staff

Most kids do not get to see their parents as often as they should. Students are at school most of the

day and afterwards students attend their sporting events, club events, or simply hang out with friends

after school.

On the other hand, adults work all day too. Most Americans today work about 40 hours a week which

starts early in the morning and ends sometime after 5 p.m.

However, at St. Thomas, teachers are encouraged to bring their kids to work. In fact, there are 13

students ranging from freshmen to seniors whose parents are part of the faculty.

“As part of the staff benefits, financial aid is incrementally offered to staff members based on years’

experience at St. Thomas, Principal Rev. Father Patrick Fulton, CSB, said. “But this is not unique to

just St. Thomas, faculty members who have daughter also receive partial tuition for IWA so many of

our faculty staff have their sons or daughters come to this catholic institutions.”

“It is great to have my dad around, I see him every morning and it is always nice to spend some time

with him,”

Freshman Josh Gensheimer said. “My mom also works here and it’s nice to see her too. I am just

afraid of having them because I feel like they will hold me to a higher standard.”

Teachers are part of the schools motto. They are the “teach” part of “Teach me Goodness, Discipline

and Knowledge”.

Teachers believe in the mission of the school so much that sometimes they bring more than one of

their kids. All three of History Dean Brett Mills’ kids attended and graduated from STH. Mills recalls

those memorable years.

“It was my sons choice what on school they wanted to go to,” Mills said. “They were heavily involved

with athletics because I would bring them to games and they would be ball boys but I believe they

chose St. Thomas over public school because they knew they had better opportunities by attending.”

Mills added, “What they learned at St. Thomas carried into their college careers. Conor and Riley did

a great job at Texas A&M and Keegan pursuit his career as a rugby player at Lindenwood.”

Some of the faculty and coaches also have their kids come here like coach Dean of Physical Education

Tim Fitzpatrick whose son is a freshman, and Dean of Students Tim Clarkson whose son is a senior

committed to United States Air Force Academy to play Division I football. These kids are also

involved in activities where their dads are coaching them like the Fitzpatricks and Clarksons, but how

does it affect the students both on the field and in the classroom?

“It is really cool to have my dad here because I have someone to turn to when I am struggling, and

instead of waiting until I get home, I am just a short walk away,” said freshman John Fitzpatrick. “On

the field, he helps me a lot to become both a better man of St. Thomas and a better football player.”

Some of the faculty are also lucky that they can have their kids not only come to St. Thomas but also

attend our sister school.

Choir Director Joshua Wilson, who has a daughter who benefits from her father being a teacher at St.

Thomas and receives financial help to attend Incarnate Word Academy.

“I have worked at St. Thomas for over ten years and Incarnate Word Academy resembles the message

that we thrive in so my family and I decided it would be a great fit for our daughter Susannah to

pursuit a single-gender education at our sister school,” Wilson said.

“As the choir director, it is a great experience to spend some extra time with my daughter when the

boys and girls come together for concerts since she is part of IWA’s choir,” Wilson said. “It is always a

good experience to spend extra time with one’s kids.”

Some kids simply do not get to see their parents as much as they should or want.

However, if you are a teacher at St. Thomas, you can almost be sure that you will spend four years

with your kids while watching them grow at a prestigious institution like the one the Basillian Fathers

founded nearly one hundred years ago.