This issue of Rebel News contains stories of student success, an inspirational message, and a profound commitment to sense of community. Saint Louis Priory School has a long tradition of having numerous students recognized for their top scores on nationally-administered, standardized tests, and this year proves to be no exception. Again, we have one of the highest percentage of students in the state of Missouri achieving National Merit semi-finalist or commended status and a sophomore whose score on one of these tests placed him in the top 3% of test-takers nationwide. We congratulate each of these young men for receiving such a noteworthy distinction!
While there is a growing national discussion on both the nature of the various tests themselves and their use in predicting future academic success, we acknowledge that student performance on these tests remains a vital component of the college admissions process. Priory’s academic leadership team considers performance on tests such as the PSAT, ACT and SAT as one metric, among several others, by which we gauge the success of our college-preparatory program of study. Many of you are aware that these tests have undergone what some believe to be considerable modifications over the last few years and are likely to be carefully scrutinized for some time to come. We will continue to use the information made available to us to ensure that our curriculum includes those concepts and skill-sets that are assessed on college-entrance exams, while remaining committed to emphasizing the broad intellectual skills and disciplines of a comprehensive liberal arts program of studies in the Western Christian classical cultural tradition. We firmly believe this tradition prepares our students for the successful pursuit of their higher studies and for continued intellectual development.
Mr. John O’Leary’s presentation to our High School students, faculty, and administrators earlier in the week provided each of us with an opportunity to reflect upon our own lives, replete with their respective challenges, triumphs, heroes, and possibilities. As explained more fully in this week’s article, Mr. O’Leary encouraged all of us present to ask ourselves, “What more can I do?” each day to make a difference. While most of us are initially inspired to commit to doing more, I believe that, all too quickly, we face the real temptation to think that we are incapable as individuals to truly have any meaningful impact or influence on the lives of those around us. I think, however, that when considered in light of Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s famous observation, “Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love,” there remains the very real possibility that each of us can, in fact, make a very real difference in the lives of those we encounter each day. I hope that, as families and as a school community, we will take some time to further reflect upon and discuss Mr. O’Leary’s message with all of our students.
Lastly, I ask that we all keep Brother Maximilian in our prayers this weekend as he is ordained to the priesthood in the Abbey Church. From his days as a young boy in the Junior School through his return this past year as a seasoned faculty member, Brother Maximilian’s participation in the life of this community exemplifies a commitment to be ever closer to God in prayer and in service to others. His work and prayer on behalf of our students, their families, and our faculty will undoubtedly further our founders’ mission of providing a school for the Lord’s service. All members of the community are invited to attend the ordination at 9 a.m. this Saturday.
I look forward to seeing many of you at Parent-Teacher Conferences on Sept. 30 and at the Starting the Conversation program on Oct. 3.