St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

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St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Vita ∙ Deo ∙ Veritas
2801 SW 12th Street
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33312
United States
Coordinates 26°6′28″N 80°10′49″W / 26.10778°N 80.18028°W / 26.10778; -80.18028Coordinates: 26°6′28″N 80°10′49″W / 26.10778°N 80.18028°W / 26.10778; -80.18028
Type Private
Denomination Roman Catholic
Established 1936
Oversight Archdiocese of Miami
Dean Robert Biasotti
Principal Tina Jones
Supervising Principal Monsignor Vincent T. Kelly
Faculty 123
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 2,194 (2013)
Student to teacher ratio 18:1
Campus size 25 acres
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Blue and Gold          
Nickname Raiders
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
Average SAT scores 574 Critical Reading
574 Mathematics
590 Writing
Average ACT scores 24.2 (mean composite score)
Publication Spectrum (Literary Magazine)
Newspaper 'Aquinas Word'
Yearbook 'Veritas'
Tuition $10,850
$8,800 for students and families participating and contributing in a Catholic Parish

St. Thomas Aquinas High School (also known as STA) is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, that educates young men and women in the Catholic tradition of youth formation. The school was founded in 1936 as part of St. Anthony School. In 1952, the high school separated and moved to its current location under the name Central Catholic High School. Finally, in 1961, the school was named in honor of Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of Catholic education. Sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the school currently enrolls 2,194 students on its 25-acre (100,000 m2) campus in southwest Fort Lauderdale.


On May 29, 1996, President Bill Clinton presented St. Thomas Aquinas High School with the Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award for excellence in education. The Blue Ribbon Award, the Department of Education's most prestigious honor, recognizes schools for excellence in leadership, vision, teaching curriculum, student achievement, parental involvement and community support.[2]

It was the second time in two decades that St. Thomas Aquinas had received recognition by the U.S. Department of Education. The school was first recognized as a "School of Excellence" during the 1984-1985 school year.

St. Thomas Aquinas High School has been named to the Catholic High School Honor Roll five times (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2010). It is the only Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Miami to have been listed as one of the Top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States for five years.


St. Thomas Aquinas accepts students from 102 feeder schools, 59 Catholic parishes, and three counties.[3] An Entrance Exam is required for all incoming Freshmen. Prospective students must also submit their first semester 8th grade report card and two letters of recommendation from their current school. Final acceptance and enrollment is contingent upon successful completion of 8th grade.[4] Prospective transfer students must submit an application along with a copy of their current high school transcript. Two academic letters of recommendation from current school officials must also be submitted to complete the application requirements.[5]

Faculty and curriculum[edit]

The St. Thomas Aquinas faculty consists of three religious and 120 laypersons, with 73 teachers holding advanced degrees. The ratio of students to teaching faculty stands at 18 to 1. The faculty averages 20 years of teaching experience and 12 years of experience at the school.[3]

The school offers 192 different courses in 9 subjects: English, Mathematics, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, Fine Arts, Computer/Graphic Arts, and Theology. Students are grouped by ability with course offerings at Advance Placement, Honors and College-Preparatory levels.

National Merit achievements[edit]

Established in 1955, the National Merit Scholarship Program is designed to honor academically talented high school students and stimulate increased support for their education.[6] St. Thomas Aquinas has achieved high levels of recognition by placing many students among the finalists for the coveted National Merit Scholarship. Of the roughly 1.5 million students who sit for the PSAT and National Merit Qualifying Test only 8,300 are awarded scholarships by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Class Year Finalists Commended National
2013 21 29
2012 25 20
2011 24 17
2010 23 25
2009 16 32
2008 33 30
2007 22 34
2005 16 23
2004 27 29
2003 36 13th
2002 21 35
2001 25
2000 16
1999 21


In 2005, St. Thomas Aquinas was recognized by Sports Illustrated as the third best high school athletic program in the nation.[7] Of the more than 38,000 high schools in the U.S., fewer than one in a thousand made Sports Illustrated's list honoring schools with the nation's top athletic programs. The criteria emphasized all-around excellence during the last 10 years and included state championships won and the number of college athletes produced.

In 2011, St. Thomas Aquinas was named the nation's top athletic program by Maxpreps.[8]

The Raiders have won 93 FHSAA state championships and have produced such athletes as tennis great Chris Evert, NFL star Michael Irvin and U.S. Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross. The school has been awarded the Broward County all-sports trophy by the Sun-Sentinel for 27 consecutive years. The athletic department has also won the FHSAA's Dodge Sunshine Cup every year since the awards inception in 1995.

State Championships[edit]



  • Cross Country - 2012, 2013
  • Golf - 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 2001
  • Soccer - 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014
  • Softball - 1993, 2002, 2003, 2013, 2014
  • Swimming - 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004
  • Tennis - 1972, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008
  • Track and Field - 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2013, 2014
  • Volleyball - 1995, 2004

Notable alumni[edit]


Arts, Entertainment, and Civil Service[edit]


In 2006, a summer forensics class was on a field trip where they discovered what they assumed was a fake body planted by their instructor testing their analytic ability. It turned out to be a real one, thereby making international news.[10]


  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Retrieved 2009-06-23. [dead link]
  2. ^ Awards & Recognition, 
  3. ^ a b Academic profile, 
  4. ^ Freshmen admissions, 
  5. ^ Upperclassmen admissions, 
  6. ^ National Merit Scholarship, www.national 
  7. ^ Menez, Gene; Woo, Andrea (May 11, 2005), Best High School Athletic Programs, Sports Illustrated 
  8. ^ St. Thomas Aquinas named nation's top athletic program 
  9. ^ Newton, Michael. "Gerard Schaefer". Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Julian Borger (2009-11-05). "CSI: Kids. Field trip unearths real body in Florida park". The Guardian. 

External links[edit]