St. Pius X Catholic High School (DeKalb County, Georgia)

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St. Pius X Catholic High School
2674 Johnson Road NE
Atlanta, (DeKalb County), Georgia 30345
United States
Coordinates33°51′51″N 84°17′33″W / 33.86417°N 84.29250°W / 33.86417; -84.29250Coordinates: 33°51′51″N 84°17′33″W / 33.86417°N 84.29250°W / 33.86417; -84.29250
TypePrivate, coeducational
MottoDomini Sumus
("We are the Lord's")
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
PresidentChad Barwick
PrincipalSteve Spellman
ChaplainFr. Michael Silloway
Color(s)White, Vegas gold and blue             
MascotGolden Lion
RivalMarist School
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools[1]
Average SAT scores2100
Average ACT scores29
NewspaperThe Golden Lines
YearbookGolden Echoes

St. Pius X Catholic High School is an Archdiocesan Roman Catholic high school in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States, near the city of Atlanta. It was founded by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1958.


In its mission, the school intends to provide "a college preparatory education for the formation of the mind, body and spirit of each student in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church" while forming "students of strong character and deep faith who complete college, serve others, and participate actively in the life of the Church."

The school motto is "Domini Sumus", or "We Are the Lord's".

The school's 2016-17 enrollment was 1,070, with a minority enrollment of 26%. Instruction occurs on three levels: College Prep, Honors, and AP (27 courses are offered). Two study support teachers assist qualifying students during one period each day.

Annual tuition is $12,670 for active Catholics and $14,170 for non-active or non-Catholics. Financial aid ranging from 20% to 50% is available on a need basis. 50% is the maximum given to any student.


The campus is located at 2674 Johnson Road NE, just outside Atlanta, in Chamblee, Georgia. The campus contains two main buildings: the original building (with a recently constructed fine arts wing) and a Math and Science building finished in the early 2000s. The two facilities combine for a total of 62 classrooms, five computer labs, eight science labs, two gyms, and a library housing nearly 20,000 volumes. The fine arts wing also houses an art studio, a band room, a dance studio, a drama rehearsal room, and the Monsignor Terry Young Auditorium, which hosts many fine arts performances throughout the year.

The school also has a softball field, a track, and a multipurpose field on campus, which is used for football in the fall and lacrosse and soccer in the spring. The Donnellan Center, located near the stadium's entrance, houses the weight room, locker rooms, and coaches' offices, as well as meeting space and the alumni office.

The school recently launched the $8 million Expanding Our Legacy capital campaign to secure land and construct buildings instrumental to St. Pius X's growth. Phase 1 of the plan, the so-called "Field of Dreams," comprises a baseball stadium and a multi-use practice field. Phases 2 and 3 of the plan include new administration and athletic office buildings, an expanded chapel, additional classrooms and locker rooms, a new bookstore, an addition to the batting cages, a sprawling new athletic facility to replace the Donnellan Center, and a parking deck to increase the school's limited number of spaces.


St. Pius X was recently recognized by Atlanta Magazine as one of the best high schools in the Atlanta metro area, achieving high rankings in English, math/science, fine arts, athletics, and several other arenas. The English department was singled out as one of the best in the area, with 41 students winning the prestigious NCTE Achievement in Writing Award since 1969, most recently in 2016.

St. Pius X has produced more than 100 National Merit Scholars since 1998, and many more Achievement Finalists, Hispanic Finalists, and Commended Scholars. The school has sent at least one student to the Governor's Honors program annually since 1998.

The school has 96 faculty members, with an average experience of 19.3 years and 81% hold a master's degree or higher.

The school upholds its Honor Code, forbidding academic dishonesty in all situations. The student-run Honor Council oversees violations.


St. Pius X currently has 24 sports competing at the AAAA level - 11 boys' teams and 13 girls' teams. The boys' teams are football, cross country, basketball, swimming and diving, wrestling, baseball, soccer, track and field, golf, tennis, and lacrosse. The girls' teams are competition cheerleading, spirit cheerleading, cross country, fastpitch softball, volleyball, basketball, swimming and diving, dance team, soccer, golf, tennis, and lacrosse. St. Pius X fields 62 teams at junior varsity and varsity levels in most sports, with the larger programs fielding freshman teams. 86% of students participate in athletics at some level. The school's colors are navy blue and Vegas gold, and their nickname is the Golden Lions.

The athletics department was honored with the GADA Directors' Cup in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014. The cup is given to those athletic departments in each GHSA classification who have excelled and shown superior performance based on a points system.

Fall sports[edit]

The Golden Lions football team was State Championship runner-up in 1965 and State Champions in 1968 under coach George B. Maloof. An extended period of under-performance followed. Since the hiring of new head coach Paul Standard before the 2001 season, the team has had more success. In 2002, Standard took the Golden Lions to the playoffs for only the second time in 21 years (previously in 1999 and 1981). Since then, the Golden Lions have reached the playoffs nearly every year, reaching the state quarterfinals in 2003, 2009, 2011, and 2013 and the state semifinals in 2006. In 2012 the football team repeated as region champions for the first time in school history on their way to the Georgia Dome where they ended as runners-up. They also finished as state runners-up in 2014 after capturing the Region 6-AAAA championship.

The St. Pius X Cheerleading program is divided into multiple teams. There are currently varsity and junior varsity teams for both basketball and football, and a freshman team for freshman football.

The Golden Lions have a competition cheer squad in addition to the spirit squads. The competition team has won six region championships (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2015) and finished in the top 16 teams of AAAA at the state finals in 2015.

The St. Pius X men's cross country team most recently took the state title in class AAAA in 2016. The team won five straight titles from 2010 to 2014. The women's cross country team also performs well, finishing as state runners-up in 2014 in AAAA. The most recent state title for the ladies was 2012. Both teams host a high school 5K invitational annually.

The fast pitch softball team has finished as region runners-up in 2013 and 2015 after winning region titles for four straight seasons (2008-2011).

The volleyball team continues the trend of athletic excellence, taking the 2013 state championship after being state runners-up in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2015. The team also won area titles from 2008–11, 2013 and 2015.

The St. Pius X Ice Hockey team, founded by religion teacher Dennis Ruggiero, started its first in 2017.

Winter sports[edit]

The men's basketball team won the region championship and reached the State Elite Eight in 2006,2013 and 2016. The 2015 squad finished with the most wins in program history.

The women's basketball team has also enjoyed success, garnering state championships in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2013 and 2014. The team also won region championships in 1989, 2002-2007, 2011, 2013 and 2014

Both boys' and girls' swimming routinely reach the State Championships, with the girls' team becoming State Runners-Up in 2009 and the boys' team state champions in 2014 and 2017.

The dance team performs at halftime during basketball games and practices during the week.

The wrestling team finished second in the Area Traditionals and one a match at the state traditionals for the first time in school history in 2015. The grapplers sent all 13 participants to the state sectionals for the first time in school history as well.

Spring sports[edit]

The men's soccer program has been known as one of the best high school programs in the state, the southeast and the nation. In 2015, the squad was named National Champions by SIMA this spring for the second time in the past four seasons finishing 22-0-0. The team won the 2016 AAAA state title and have captured the state crown 12 times, including six of the last eight seasons.

The team produced US World Cup player Ricardo Clark, who currently plays for Eintracht Frankfurt in addition to the U.S. National Team, and Andrew Wolverton, who currently plays for LA Galaxy and was a part of the 2011 FAB 50 National Championship team.

The women's soccer program has enjoyed success equaling that of the men's program. They were named national champions in 2009, in addition to their state championship win. The ladies have won ten state titles, including seven of the last eight campaigns.

The baseball team reached the state playoffs in 2004, and 2007-2015, winning the region championship in 2010 and 2015. The 2015 squad set a school record with 29 wins and a trip to the state quarterfinals for the third time in school history. In 2007, an indoor batting facility was built on campus; it is also used by the softball and wrestling teams. Construction of a new on-campus baseball field began in 2011 and was completed by the start of the 2012 season. It is the first all sprint turf baseball field in the state of Georgia.

Both golf teams perform well at the state level, having won both region and state awards within the past five years. Boys' golf finished as state runners-up in 2015.

Both the boys' and gorls' tennis teams excel at the state level. The boys' team has won the state title five times, most recently in 2014 and have finished runners-up eight times including 2015. The lady netters have won the state championship three times and have been state runners-up eight times as well, most recently 2017.

The men's lacrosse team won the area crown in 2015 and advanced to the second round of the state tournament. The women's lacrosse team advanced to the semi-finals of the 2015 state playoffs after finishing as area champions.

The boys' track & field team has captured three state titles, including back-to-back crowns in 2013 and 2014. The girls' team has one state championship in 2006 and has been runners-up seven times, most recently in 2014.

Fine arts[edit]

The school has seven fine arts groups: band, chorus, dance, drama, guitar, music technology, and visual arts. 58% of students participate in some sort of fine arts in their time at St. Pius X.

The marching band performs at halftime of all home football games and also performs in competition. They make a biannual trip to perform at Walt Disney World. Other band ensembles perform concerts throughout the year. The guitar program also holds an annual concert.

The chorus performs an annual concert and can also be seen at the Morning of the Arts, held every year for current students at archdiocesean middle schools.

The dance company performs an annual show featuring acts from every dance class from Dance I up to Dance Company. They also hold NOVO, a show whose proceeds go to charity.

The drama program presents 2–4 plays each year, most commonly a fall play, a children's show, and a spring musical. They have put on Oklahoma!, Les Miserables, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in recent years.[when?]

The visual arts program holds a juried arts exhibition every year, awarding prizes in painting, drawing, mixed media, sculpture, photography, and design in addition to the overall awards. Pieces from classes are also exhibited in the hallways throughout the school year.

The guitar program is the largest of its type in the state.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school has more than 50 clubs and activities, with students devoting time before, during, and after school to their passions. Academically, the school offers Math, Science, French, and Latin Clubs, in addition to many others, as well as an Academic Quiz Bowl team, which recently competed on the local show Hi-Q.

The school releases two publications each year: the yearbook Golden Echoes and the literary magazine Carpe Diem. The newspaper Golden Lines is distributed monthly.

Service is also popular at St. Pius X, with religion classes requiring at least 10 hours of service per year. The Green Club assists in environmental causes and heads up campus recycling and cleanups of nearby Dresden Park. Mission trips over spring and summer breaks are also popular.

Instituted in 2007, the school selects Lion Leaders, outstanding seniors chosen by faculty and staff to assist incoming freshmen with their transition to high school.

Post–secondary education[edit]

As a college preparatory school, St. Pius X intends for all its students to attend a post-secondary institution. The class of 2014 has 98% of its graduates currently enrolled in four-year colleges, with the largest matriculation (58) going to the University of Georgia.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 29, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
  2. ^ "Gunnar Bentz". National Team. USA Swimming. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-11-25.

External links[edit]