Bright, articulate, confident students lead the way at archdiocesan school

Lisa Johnston | lisajohnston@archstl.org

A senior at Trinity Catholic High School, Sydnie Martin plans to study accounting in college. She already has been accepted to half of the eight schools to which she has applied, and is likely to attend a smaller college in Missouri.

The graduate of St. Angela Merici Grade School played on the volleyball and soccer teams at Trinity, is a member of the National Honor Society, Renaissance Club, Diversity Council, Student Council and Student Ambassadors.

Bright, articulate and confident, she attributes her success in part to the Trinity community.
"It's the teachers, staff and students," Sydnie said. "They really prepare you."

And the president and principal know students by name.

"You're not just a number," she said.

Dan Jedding, another Trinity senior, also is finalizing college plans, thinking about majoring in actuarial finance. When he graduates, he'll have 58 hours of college-credit classes, taken at a significant cost-savings

The college-credit courses are opportunities "to challenge myself a little more," he said. "I like the challenge to see what it's like to be a college student. ... It prepares me for what it's going to be like for me next year."

He most enjoyed the pre-calculus/calculus course taught by Tom Shannon, whose approach to the material he admired. He said teachers such as Shannon present the tougher material in a way that high school students understand.

Dan has played baseball and soccer at Trinity; one of the things he liked about the school originally was that he could balance sports and academics while excelling at both. He also participates in the National Honor Society and Student Ambassadors.

"We're really close as a school," he said. "I know everyone in my school. ... I know most of the teachers. I feel I'm closer with the kids than I would be at bigger schools. I have more friends who are great and different and spectacular in their own ways."

Consistently, 99 percent of Trinity Catholic graduates go on to post-secondary education at universities, colleges and trade schools. Recent graduates have been accepted at Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern, Georgetown, St. Louis University, Xavier, the University of Missouri, the University of Illinois and elsewhere.

Students start college preparation as freshman.

"Freshman year is focused on grades and starting to think about college and careers they may be interested in," said Heather Gogel, a guidance counselor at Trinity.

Gogel meets with each junior and senior as well as their parents to work on their plans, spending extra time with students who would be the first in their families to attend college. Scholarships and financial aid are a big part of the discussion. Preparation for the ACT test also is emphasized.

ACT scores vary, but Trinity students who take college-credit courses have an average score of 28.

"I get just as excited as the students do when I see their scores," Gogel said.

A teacher also serves as a freshman advocate, overseeing the transition from grade school. Other efforts assist students if they fall behind.

The college preparatory curriculum meets a wide range of student abilities, interests and career goals, providing courses that challenge students on all ability levels. Trinity employs a full-time learning consultant to work with students with diagnosed learning challenges.

Trinity is known for its diversity -- academic, economic, faith, culture and race. The knowledge and friendship with a cross-section of people is seen as an advantage, enabling students to better adapt to a multicultural world.

In her seventh year as principal, Nancy Lydon was attracted to the school's mission as "a welcoming and caring community committed to graduating responsible citizens grounded in Christian values, dedicated to serving others and engaged in lifelong learning."

According to Lydon, the school is proud to be Catholic and to support the teachings of the Church, which is evident in its belief statement: "Christ is the reason for this school. He is the unseen but ever-present teacher in its classrooms."

Trinity Catholic High School

Trinity Catholic High School, the only archdiocesan high school in North St. Louis County, is offering a $2,000 incentive to prospective freshman students for the 2015-16 school year. The incentive will carry over through four years, provided registration deadlines are met each year.
Students and their parents have until Feb. 19 to register to take advantage of the savings of nearly 25 percent. Tuition and fees for the 2015-16 school year at Trinity Catholic before the savings is $9,000 for Catholic students and $9,575 for non-Catholic students. The new rate also will include a $500 decrease for current students.

Some features of Trinity:

• With a co-educational enrollment of 281, Trinity excels in a number of areas, including science and technology. Under the guidance of chemistry/physics teacher Frank Cange, the school's Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering academic team has in recent years finished in the top five among high school competitors, winning the state championship in 2012.

• Each student uses an iPad at school and at home for the entire time he/she is enrolled at Trinity Catholic, which has a wireless campus.

• Students can earn up to 58 hours of college credit.

• A full slate of elective offerings includes industrial technology, business, media, computer science, band and choir, art and family and consumer science.

• Faith life includes an all-school Mass each month, prayer twice a day, campus ministry, retreats, service and a Mission for Life Team.

For more information about the tuition incentive, contact Dan Grumich at dgrumich@trinitycatholichigh.org or (314) 741-1333. For information about Trinity, visit www.trinitycatholichigh.org. 

Archdiocesan High Schools
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