St. John Henry Cardinal Newman, whose long list of distinctions includes teaching, founding, and administering a religious community, a university, and a school for boys, wrote, “All education should be conducted on this principle—that it is a means towards an end, and that end is Christian holiness.” St. Thomas More Academy seeks to integrate intellectual, moral, spiritual, and physical formation within this universal call to holiness, shaping young men and women who will live with excellence in this world, yet whose deepest hope and satisfaction rests in another. 

In a world that favors impersonal systems, STMA adapts to particular human needs in order to maximize the potential of each student. Our founder and benefactor, Mr. Robert Luddy, commends to us the Japanese notion of kaizen, commitment to constant growth and improvement, while never compromising our core values. By our creative and nuanced response to the real people in front of us, we inculcate in them our “three C’s”: Catholic, Classical, and College Preparatory—that is, utter fidelity to the Church’s Magisterium, a curriculum molded on the best of what has been thought and said, and practical preparation for real excellence in college.

An essential aspect of our holistic formation is our family-like environment of intimacy and individual care. To build these relationships, the faculty remains amongst and around students as often as possible—before and after school, at lunch, and between classes. In this regard, our school draws on the spirit of St. John Bosco, whose investment of time and intense love of each student transformed the lives of his pupils who were, at first, by no means model children. A key ingredient of bringing our vision to life in the real formation of our students is the excellence of our faculty as individuals and a collective team. Our faculty are valued for knowledge of their subject matter and are legitimate scholars in their fields. The excellence with which teachers devote to their subject gives them a personal rapport and authority with students that the mere fact of educational training or certificates does not. 

Devotion to intellectual excellence takes place in a context of moral excellence–sincere charity for each student. Students respond to this love; they love their school and experience a transformation in that love. They are called upon to take ownership of their school and be responsible stewards of it. On liturgical feast days and special occasions, students prepare and serve meals in our classroom-kitchen and enjoy games and organized dancing at lunch. Another staple of their holistic formation is the inculcation of manners, in the broad sense, which students imbibe in their “Non-Cognitive Skills” course. There, they learn formal dances and cover topics related to social decorum. The students’ skills are put on display every year at the much-anticipated Chancellors’ Ball, an evening of formal dining and dancing. STMA students are formed to love excellence in all aspects of life—and realize it is actually fun.

The spiritual and physical center of our school is the chapel, where the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament anchors our small community. Male altar servers assist at our weekly school Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Many female students sing in the choir, serve as lectors, and assist in practical service at evening retreats for Advent and Lent. A small group of students can be found in our chapel for daily Morning Prayer. Opportunities to serve go a long way in the maturation of young people, and contribute to the flourishing of our community.

Students also take ownership of their intellectual growth by selecting unique elective courses during their sophomore, junior, and senior years. Faculty have offered courses on such diverse topics as architectural design, hagiography, cooking, the science of coffee brewing, the works of Tolkien, the history of nuclear power, wilderness survival, and the philosophy of religion. These hands-on electives offer a deep dive into topics that might be only superficially covered in regular courses, allowing natural curiosity and love of learning to blossom.

A hallmark of our college preparation is the capstone senior thesis project. Each student chooses a faculty advisor and a topic of personal interest, usually sprung from their studies in American history. The focus on American studies in senior year is accompanied by an emphasis on Catholic principles applied to bioethics, politics, and economics, giving students a broader understanding of contemporary culture. Importantly, students learn to write well through targeted academic procedures across all four years, one of the most critical and oft-cited aspects of our students’ college readiness.

Originally founded as a high school, St. Thomas More Academy saw its first middle school cohort become freshmen in the fall of 2023, and now has full 6-12 offerings. Our middle school is a joyful, close-knit community that strives to produce positively engaged learners. The fun and festivities at the middle school foreshadow, on a smaller scale, what they will experience in high school. Our younger students recite poetry, decorate for Christmas, perform dramas, serve the needy, and begin to learn formal dances, all in a spirit of charity and warmth.

In an age of division, when the human person, society, faith, reason, and God Himself are picked apart piecemeal and set at odds with each other, St. Thomas More Academy offers an oasis where students can reintegrate what our world tears apart. Our mission is to allow students to fully come alive in the Gospel by allowing them to tune into the beauty of the natural world, the human world, and God’s truth. This mission takes place one student at a time; there is no one-size-fits all approach to education. Through deep attention to each particular student and his or her uniquely God-given journey, our faculty strive to deepen each student’s attention to the good—all to the greater glory of God.