Aquinas Academy (Pittsburgh)

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Aquinas Academy
Contemplata aliis tradere
To hand on to others the fruits of contemplation
2308 West Hardies Road
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, (Allegheny County), 15044
United States
Coordinates 40°35′53″N 79°58′4″W / 40.59806°N 79.96778°W / 40.59806; -79.96778Coordinates: 40°35′53″N 79°58′4″W / 40.59806°N 79.96778°W / 40.59806; -79.96778
Type Private, Coeducational
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholicism
Established 1996
Director Richard Meland (HS)
Michael Flynn (HS)
Nicholas Salinas (MS)
Melaine Kachmar (LS)
Sharon Navari (PS)
Head of school Leslie Mitros
Faculty 22 full-time; 10 part-time[1]
Grades K-12
Enrollment 265 (61 in the high school)[1] (2008)
Campus size 14 acres (57,000 m2)
Color(s) Blue and Gray         
Athletics conference Pittsburgh Diocesan League/WPIAL
Team name Crusaders
Accreditation Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools[2]
Average SAT scores 676 Critical Reading
624 Math
643 Writing
Asst. Head of School Michael Burchill
Academic Dean Wendy Maglio
Admissions Director Juan Mata
Athletic Director Jim Richthammer

Aquinas Academy is a private, Roman Catholic K - 12 school in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, and consistently ranks in the top 5 schools in western Pennsylvania in its average SAT scores, in some years ranking first. The school also has consistently been named one of the Top Fifty Catholic Secondary Schools in the annual High School Honor Role published by the Acton Institute [1].


The Academy was founded in 1996 for the purpose of offering a rigorous classical curriculum covering all the major areas of the liberal arts in an intensive college preparatory program. It is the only independent K-12 Catholic school in the Pittsburgh area.[3] The campus is located in a residential suburb of Pittsburgh, and is situated on 14 acres (57,000 m2) consisting of a Lower/Middle School building, a High School building, a new Gymnasium/Multi-Purpose Building, a Pre-School/Kindergarten Building, a soccer field and a chapel.

The mission of Aquinas Academy is:

To serve parents in carrying out their fundamental responsibility to ensure the moral and intellectual formation of their children; To foster in the Academy's students a fuller understanding of, and deep appreciation for, their Catholic Faith in a manner completely loyal to the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church; To offer Academy students an intensive classical curriculum covering all the major areas of the liberal arts, in an academic program that is both rigorous and college preparatory; To give each of its students the intellectual tools required for success in higher education and professional life; To produce exceptionally well-formed and authentically Catholic leaders whose academic and professional accomplishments can give glory to God in the midst of the world; To form young men and women who are capable of seeing their family and professional duties as a means to serve society; and To offer such a program to qualified students from a wide range of socio-economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

Enrollment: 312 total. The student body is largely Roman Catholic, but from economically and ethnically diverse homes. Students commute to Aquinas Academy from 13 school districts. Admission: Students are admitted to Aquinas Academy on the basis of their successful performance on an entrance examination. Given the rigorous nature of the curriculum, students are not usually admitted after the 10th grade; however exceptions are possible for those who demonstrate sufficient aptitude. The Academy welcomes qualified applicants of all religions, races, creeds, and national and ethnic origins.

Faculty: 23 Full Time/10 Part Time

Graduation Requirements:

All students must complete the following courses for graduation. NB: Courses in parentheses are electives.


Ancient Medieval Literature

American Literature






Physics (AP)

Chemistry (AP)

(Anatomy & Physiology)


Latin I, II, (III), (IV)*

Spanish I, II, (III), (IV)*

(Ancient Greek)

*A 3rd year of Latin or Spanish is required







Algebra I, II



(AP Statistics)

(AP Calculus AB)


Ancient History

Western Civilization

European History (AP)

United States History (AP)


Intro to Philosophy



(JAVA Programming)

(Web Design)

(Mixed Media)

Class of 2010 Test Scores:


Middle 50% Critical Reading: 62-70. Average: 66

Middle 50% Math: 60-68. Average: 64

Middle 50% Writing: 65-73. Average: 68


Middle 50% Critical Reading: 670-750. Average: 706

Middle 50% Math: 620-710. Average: 670

Middle 50% Writing: 660-750. Average: 692

Advanced Placement Results:

In May, 2009, students took AP exams U.S. History, European History, U.S. Government and Politics, English Literature, Calculus AB, Physics C: Mechanics and Statistics. The average score of the 27 students taking 42 AP exams was 3.6 with a pass rate of 83%.

College Acceptances:

In the recent past, Aquinas Academy students have been offered admission to schools including:

Allegheny College; Boston University; Boston Conservatory of Music; Bucknell University; Carnegie Mellon University; Case Western Reserve University; Catholic University, Honors College; Christendom College; Cleveland Institute of Music; Colgate University; Cornell University; Davidson College; Denison University; Drexel University; Duke University; Duquesne University; Emerson College; Franciscan University; Hampden Sydney College; Hendrix College; Hillsdale College; Hobart and William Smith Colleges; John Carroll University; Lehigh University; Marquette University; Mercyhurst College; Miami University of Ohio; Mount St. Mary’s University; Mount Holyoke College; New York University; Northwestern University; Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins Music Conservatory); Penn State- Schreyers, Honors College; Pepperdine University; Providence College; Rochester Institute of Technology; Rosemont College; Seton Hall University; St. Bonaventure University; St. Francis University; St. John University; St. Mary’s College Notre Dame; St. Vincent College; Stanford University; University of Aberdeen (Scotland); University of Chicago; University of Dallas; University of Dayton; University of Navarre (Spain); University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Notre Dame; University of Pittsburgh, Honors College; University of Richmond; University of Rochester; University of Virginia; United States Marine Corps; United States Naval Academy; Vanderbilt University; Villanova University; Washington University, St. Louis; Washington & Jefferson College; Washington & Lee University; Yale University

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "School Profile 2008-2009" (PDF). Aquinas Academy. Retrieved 2009-05-21. [dead link]
  2. ^ MSA-CIWA. "MSA-Committee on Institution-Wide Accreditation". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  3. ^ Aquinas Academy. "School History". Aquinas Academy Website. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 

External links[edit]