St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Dover, New Hampshire)
|St. Thomas Aquinas High School|
|197 Dover Point Road
Dover, New Hampshire, 03820
|Motto||Lux In Tenebris
(Light in Darkness)
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|Founder||School Sisters of Notre Dame|
|Oversight||Diocese of Manchester|
|Average class size||18|
|Student to teacher ratio||14:1|
|Color(s)||Navy and White|
|Athletics conference||NHIAA Division II (Ice hockey- Division I, Football- Division II)|
|Accreditation(s)||New England Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Average SAT scores||565 (Reading)
|Associate Principal - Student Life||Gordon Quimby|
|Associate Principal - Academic Program||Jason Strniste|
|Admissions Director||Keith Adams|
|Athletic Director||Ryan Brown|
|Asst. Athletic Directors||Marc Schoff, Eric Cumba|
|Head Athletic Trainer||Ashley Haggenmiller|
St. Thomas Aquinas High School is a coeducational Catholic high school in Dover, New Hampshire, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester. It has a student population of approximately 650, and a faculty of 55.
In August 1959, His Excellency Matthew F. Brady, Bishop of Manchester, opened the fundraising drive for St. Thomas Aquinas High School. When Bishop Brady suddenly died, Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston kept his last project alive. Cardinal Cushing greeted the new bishop, His Excellency Ernest J. Primeau, with the advice, "Go on with St. Thomas Aquinas."
The diocesan co-educational school opened in 1960 with a freshman class only. Serving seventeen parishes in southeastern New Hampshire, the school was staffed by two diocesan priests, seven School Sisters of Notre Dame and one layman. When STA graduated its class of 219 in 1964, the faculty had grown to six priests, twenty-one sisters (requiring a new convent) and four lay teachers.
By the late 1960s, enrollment topped nine hundred students, making St. Thomas a Class L power in athletics. A nationwide trend toward declining enrollments, combined with the higher cost of salaries as the number of teaching sisters fell, brought St. Thomas through a series of challenges throughout the 1970s.
Beginning in the mid-1980s through the 1990s St. Thomas showed a steady and dramatic increase in enrollment. During this period the school enhanced and expanded the academic and extracurricular programs available to students. The convent, named Notre Dame Hall, was converted to provide additional classroom space and to house the Guidance Department, which includes offices, a library, and a conference area. Today the school is at its maximum enrollment. Admission has become competitive and many classes have waiting lists.
The school's sports teams compete as the "Saints". Teams of note include football, soccer, swimming and diving, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, wrestling, tennis, track, alpine skiing, cross country, and baseball. The Ice Hockey team competes as one of the four catholic schools in the state in the NHIAA Division 1, consistently in the top 6, and sending numerous players to highly competitive junior teams, prep school and Division I and III universities. Coached by former UNH forward Andrew Leach and assisted by Lake Forest Alum Stuart Frye, both of which played professionally in the ECHL.
In 2011-12, STA was State Champion in Football (Div IV), Girls Swimming, Baseball (Div II), and Girls Tennis (Div II). The school was a finalist in Girls Volleyball and Boys Lacrosse. Tennis player Julia Keenan became the first high school athlete in the history of NH to win four straight individual titles in any sport.
In 2012-13, the Girls Volleyball team repeated as state finalists and the Girls Tennis team repeated as State Champions.
Overall, St. Thomas has won 30 state team championships in the last 16 years, along with dozens of individual titles.
Among St. Thomas' graduates are Ron Fortier, comic book and pulp writer best known for his work on The Green Hornet, Brendan DuBois, author of numerous novels including Resurrection Day and Craig Theisen, co-owner, Peak Organic Brewery.
The mission of St. Thomas Aquinas High School is to transform the lives of our students through a rigorous Catholic education guided by the light of the Gospel... Offering them the opportunity to develop their unique gifts; Strengthening their personal faith and integrity; Fostering within them a commitment to justice, service, and moral leadership.
Notes and references
- NEASC-CIS. "NEASC-Commission on Independent Schools". Retrieved 2009-07-28.