The Southern Cross



St. Joseph Academy Named a ‘School of Excellence’

By Betsy Kerekes

SAN MARCOS — The Cardinal Newman Society recognized St. Joseph Academy in San Marcos as a 2014 School of Excellence. Honor Roll schools receiving this designation are marked by the integration of Catholic identity throughout all aspects of their programs, as well as excellence in academics.

“We have been nationally recognized for providing authentic Catholic education of the highest quality,” said Principal Tony Biese. “Our unwavering commitment to the faith is well known, but we also excel academically, which is partially indicated by our very high standardized test scores.”

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, said, “As a Board member and as a parent of a 2009 graduate of St. Joseph’s, I am very proud that the Cardinal Newman Society has recognized the strong Catholic identity and academic excellence of St. Joseph Academy High School.”

This year, 71 schools received the honor of being named a School of Excellence, and an additional nine received the distinction of Honorable Mention. This is less than 5 percent of the Catholic high schools in the United States.

James Brandt, high school lead teacher, called the award “a tribute to our outstanding faculty, as well as our wonderful students who commit themselves to learning in an environment that is nurtured by the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

Joseph Aglialoro, a member of the graduating class of 2013, said, “St. Joseph Academy improved me as a person in so many ways. The small class sizes allowed me to grow close to my fellow students, and the teachers treated me as more than just a name and a face.

“The atmosphere is truly Catholic, and it greatly helped me grow in my faith,” Aglialoro, now a freshman at University of Dallas, continued. “I came out of high school a better friend, student and Catholic than I was before, and I have S.J.A. to thank for it.”

The Acton Institute founded the Catholic High School Honor Roll in 2004. The Cardinal Newman Society assumed the program in 2012, consistent with its mission of helping Catholic families and promoting faithful Catholic education.

“Since competition began in 2004, the Honor Roll has been a helpful tool for administrators, families and benefactors in recognizing the quality of a Catholic high school education,” said Patrick J. Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society. “The Honor Roll schools are a reminder that Catholic education is getting better every day — not only academically, but in the renewal of Catholic identity.”

St. Joseph Academy is the only K-12 Catholic school in San Diego County. Faithfulness to the Magisterium, an S.A.T. average of 1720, traditional Catholic values, and C.I.F. sports are all part of the educational experience.

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