St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Florida)

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St. Thomas Aquinas High School
Aquinas updated logo, 2015.jpg
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
Motto Vita ∙ Deo ∙ Veritas
(Life ∙ God ∙ Truth)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Established 1936
Oversight Archdiocese of Miami
Dean Robert Biasotti
Principal Denise Aloma
Supervising Principal Vincent T. Kelly
Faculty 130
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment 2,136 (2016)
Student to teacher ratio 17:1
Campus size 25 acres (10 ha)
Campus type Urban
Color(s) Blue and Gold          
Team name Raiders
Accreditation Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
Average SAT scores 550 Critical Reading
550 Mathematics
554 Writing
Average ACT scores 23.3 (mean composite score)
Publication Spectrum (Literary Magazine)

Raider Review
Yearbook Veritas
Tuition $12,250
$10,200 for students and families participating and contributing in a Catholic Parish
The school logo

St. Thomas Aquinas High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States. The school was founded in 1936 as part of St. Anthony School and moved to its current location in southwest Fort Lauderdale in 1952. It is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school currently enrolls 2,136 students on its 25-acre (100,000 m2) campus and is the largest Catholic high school in the country by enrollment.

The Raiders athletic teams have won over 100 state championships and have achieved a national profile. Graduates of St. Thomas Aquinas include numerous professional athletes, ten Olympians, prominent state politicians, and award-winning authors and actors.


St. Anthony High School was founded by the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Michigan in 1936. The school grew to a student body of 42 in four years, boasting nine graduates who comprised the Class of 1940.

The school was renamed Central Catholic High School and moved to its present location in 1952. The original Central Catholic campus consisted of the main office wing, library, 15 classrooms, patio, cafeteria, kitchen, coaches’ office, and locker room facilities. The school erected a statue of Mary in 1957 that still graces the campus today.

In September 1961, due to the opening of a second Catholic school in Fort Lauderdale, the school chose St. Thomas Aquinas as its patron and official name.[1]


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. This was the second time St. Thomas Aquinas received recognition by the U.S. Department of Education. During the 1984-1985 school year, the school was first recognized as a "School of Excellence".

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.[2]


St. Thomas Aquinas accepts students from 105 feeder schools, 46 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.[4] Prospective transfer students must submit an application along with a copy of their current high school transcript and two academic letters of recommendation from current school officials.[5]

Faculty and curriculum[edit]

The St. Thomas Aquinas faculty consists of three religious and 127 laypersons, with 74 teachers holding advanced degrees. The ratio of students to teaching faculty stands at 17 to 1. The faculty averages 20 years of teaching experience and 12 years of experience at the school.[2]

The school offers 195 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.


In 2005, St. Thomas Aquinas was recognized by Sports Illustrated as the third best high school athletic program in the nation.[6] 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.[7]

The Raiders have won 106 FHSAA state championships and have graduated such student athletes as Chris Evert, Michael Irvin and Sanya Richards-Ross. The school has been awarded the Broward County all-sports trophy by the Sun-Sentinel for 35 consecutive years. The athletic department has also won the FHSAA Dodge Sunshine Cup every year since the awards inception in 1995.[8]

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, 2015, 2017
  • Softball - 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, 2015
  • Volleyball - 1995, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2016

Notable alumni[edit]


Arts, entertainment, and civil service[edit]


  1. ^ "History of the school", 
  2. ^ a b "Academic profile", 
  3. ^ History of Thomas Aquinas High School
  4. ^ "Freshmen admissions", 
  5. ^ "Upperclassmen admissions", 
  6. ^ Menez, Gene; Woo, Andrea (May 11, 2005), "Best High School Athletic Programs", Sports Illustrated 
  7. ^ St. Thomas Aquinas named nation's top athletic program 
  8. ^ "Tradition of Excellence", 
  9. ^ Newton, Michael. "Gerard Schaefer". Retrieved 17 October 2014. 

External links[edit]