Saint Thomas Academy

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Saint Thomas Academy
949 Mendota Heights Road


United States
Coordinates44°52′5″N 93°8′14″W / 44.86806°N 93.13722°W / 44.86806; -93.13722Coordinates: 44°52′5″N 93°8′14″W / 44.86806°N 93.13722°W / 44.86806; -93.13722
TypePrivate military high school
MottoEx Umbris In Veritatem
(Out of Darkness into Truth)
Religious affiliation(s)Catholic
Patron saint(s)Saint Thomas Aquinas
EstablishedSeptember 8, 1885; 137 years ago (September 8, 1885)
FounderJohn Ireland
Sister schoolConvent of the Visitation
OversightArchdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
HeadmasterKelby Woodard[1]
ChaplainFr. Mark Pavlak
Enrollment624 (2016)
Campus size88 acres (360,000 m2)
Color(s)Royal Blue and White   
Fight song"Kaydet Rouser"
Athletics conference
Sports15 sports[2]
Team nameCadets
  • $24,200 (grades 9-12)
  • $21,500 (grades 7-8)
  • $18,500 (grade 6)

Saint Thomas Academy (abbr. STA), originally known as St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary and formerly known as St. Thomas Military Academy, is the only all-male, Catholic, college-preparatory, military high school in Minnesota. It is located in Mendota Heights near Saint Paul. The Academy has a middle school (grades 6-8) and a high school (grades 9-12). The high school students are required to participate in military leadership classes, as the school was previously part of Army JROTC. Its sister school, Convent of the Visitation, is located across the street. Many classes and after-school activities involve both schools. It is located within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.


Saint Thomas Academy was first founded as Saint Thomas Seminary by Archbishop John Ireland on September 8, 1885.[6] STA became a U.S. Army school in 1905, and, in 1916, part of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC). In 1922, the Seminary's Academic Department separated into College of St. Thomas and St. Thomas Military Academy. Later, in 1965, the school moved to its current campus in Mendota Heights (though in a smaller iteration). A middle school was added in 1971, composing of seventh and eighth grades. STA closed its boarding school program in 1974. In 2015, the school separated from the JROTC, though it retained its military curriculum and required courses. The inaugural sixth grade class joined the Academy in 2017.


Each year, on the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving, one senior is awarded the rank of Cadet Colonel, the brigade commander, and is presented with the Fleming Saber, in honor of Richard E. Fleming.

The Corps of Cadets, as the high school students are sometimes referred to, is inspected by representatives from the National Guard in the springtime. This day is called the Brigade Formal Inspection, or BFI. In addition to checking their formal uniforms, the representative asks a few questions, most of which concern the school, its history, or U.S. Army. A score out of 600 is given to the school. If the score is high enough, the students get to remove their ties for the remainder of the year. Usually, this announcement is accompanied by a celebratory throwing-of-ties during the formation time.

In the spring, the high school student body dons their formal uniforms (Class A1) for the Archbishop's Review, in which the students march around the school's track while being watched by the Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Sports and activities[edit]

Saint Thomas Academy was a member of the Classic Suburban Conference (now Metro East). They participate in all 14 Minnesota State High School League sports as well as orienteering. Saint Thomas Academy also has various co-curricular activities such as band, a chess team, a debate team, VISTA Theater Company, a math team, Quiz Bowl, Knowledge Bowl, Table Tennis Club, Experimental Vehicle Team (2005 Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge Champions, 2006 Solar Bike Race champions, and two-time Shell Eco-marathon champions), Mock Trial, and rifle and drill teams. 83% of students participate in at least one sport.[2]

State Championships
Season Sport Number of Championships Year
Fall Football 3 1969, 1971, 1975
Fall Soccer 1 2016
Winter Alpine skiing, Boys 7 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011
Winter Hockey, Boys 8 1926, 1951, 1955, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013
Winter Swimming and Diving, Boys 26 1951, 1952, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Winter Basketball, Boys 11 1923, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1960, 1967, 1970, 1998, 2007
Winter Rifle team, Boys 5 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Spring Baseball, Boys 3 1952, 1960, 1969, 2019
Spring Golf, Boys 5 1957, 1958, 1959, 1969, 2014
Spring Tennis, Boys 4 1922, 1961, 1963, 1972
Spring Track and field, Boys 2 1958, 1972

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Headmaster Welcome". Saint Thomas Academy. Retrieved November 23, 2022.[self-published source]
  2. ^ a b "Athletics". Saint Thomas Academy. Retrieved November 23, 2022.[self-published source]
  3. ^ NCA-CASI. "NCA-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
  4. ^ "Membership Directory". Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS). Retrieved October 9, 2022 – via
  5. ^ "Metro East Conference". Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  6. ^ "History". Saint Thomas Academy. Retrieved November 23, 2022.[self-published source]
  7. ^ a b "Biographies of the Justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court" Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine. Minnesota State Library. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  8. ^ "Chris Thome Stats". Retrieved 2020-04-19.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
2004 Champion
Succeeded by