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Success begins at St. Francis Saint Francis High School Athol Springs, New York

suc·cess | suhk-ses | noun 1. The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted. 2. a. The gaining of fame or prosperity. b. The extent of such gain. 3. One that is successful. Origin [Latin successus, from past participle of succïdere, to succeed; see succeed.]

St. Francis High School | noun 1. 4-year boys college-preparatory school located in Athol Springs, New York. 2. A place to learn the habits and values that contribute to lifelong success. 3. The best private, Catholic, boys’ high school in Western New York.

Letter from Father Michael: Success Stories

Dear Parents/Guardians, The world we live in today presents many challenges to our youth. Faced with these many challenges, the high school years become extremely important for a young man in developing the total person. These are the formative years which structure and mold him for a successful future. We at St. Francis will partner with you and help you to develop your son in an academically challenging and religious environment. Every parent wants their son to be successful, and success is based on the right choices in life. I hope this view book will help to answer your questions about why St. Francis High School will provide your son the best opportunity to realize his full potential and prepare him for success in life. St. Francis is a private, Catholic, college-preparatory high school operated by the Conventual Franciscan Friars, a religious order of men who blend the charism of St. Francis with the realities of the modern world. For over 80 years, we have been educating young men of various faiths and backgrounds throughout Western New York. We prepare young men to use their knowledge for the good of society and to see God in all people. We envision graduates who will live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and become leaders who are known by their faith, critical thinking, service to others, integrity, self-discipline, concern for the environment, and an openness to lifelong learning. Your son will discover and meet success as a student of St. Francis. The information presented in this view book will help you to become familiar with who we are and what we do here at St. Francis High School. I invite you to visit our beautiful 65 acre campus on the shores of Lake Erie. Learn about our extensive academic programs, including Advanced Placement, Honors courses and the Paduan Scholars program. Learn about our Fine Arts program and view student art in the Mary Schneider Visual Arts Center. See our on-campus athletic facilities, gymnasiums and weight training center. We also have extensive extra-curricular offerings that will provide opportunities beyond the classroom. I am convinced that once you consider all of the benefits of investing in a St. Francis education, you will feel confident that this is the place for your son, a place where he will receive a well-rounded education grounded in the long standing Franciscan tradition and spirit.


Fr. Michael Sajda, OFM Conv. President

Learn more at


The Saint Francis Family St. Francis High School is much more than just a school. While many speak about being a family, these values are lived out in the relationships that exist at St. Francis. Our dedicated faculty, staff, parents, alumni, alumni parents and administration strive to create an atmosphere that makes students feel comfortable while conferring the benefits of an outstanding holistic education.

A student’s relationship with his teachers will be one of the most important during his four years at St. Francis. Out of a true desire to do their best by each student, the faculty guides, inspires, corrects, challenges and regularly sacrifices for their students. If you choose to embrace what St. Francis High School stands for, our family will always be a part of your family. This is evidenced by the lifelong friendships that students develop with each other. Likewise, by parents who stay involved through the Alumni Parents’ Association well past their son’s graduation. Also, by students who return often after graduation to visit their teachers. As well as by a friar who is asked to witness a marriage, baptize an alum’s child or bury a loved one. Indeed, St. Francis High School is much more than just a school, it’s a family.


Proper Attire for Our Students Because a professional appearance promotes pride and respect, students are expected to report to homeroom properly attired in: a neat dress shirt and tie, neat dress pants or trousers, shoes, socks, belt, and a sportcoat or school sweater when applicable. Students must be clean shaven, wear no jewelry above the neck, and their hair must be neatly trimmed. The final decision as to what constitutes proper dress and grooming rests with

Applying To Saint Francis

the school’s administration.

Applicants from Catholic grammar schools may obtain an application


from their Principal’s office and submit it along with a transcript from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Students applying from public schools may obtain an application from our Admissions Office. Applicants then take the Admission and Scholarship Examination in late fall. Following a review of a student’s completed file by the school’s Board of Admissions,

Students living within 15 miles of St. Francis receive free bus service through their public school district. Students residing in the City of Buffalo receive free passes for ridership on

he will be informed of his acceptance decision in late January. the NFTA. Special NFTA runs through

Saint Francis employs a rolling admissions process. Eighth grade

South Buffalo come directly to the

students that miss the regular admissions process and transfer

school in the morning and afternoon.

students will be reviewed on an individual basis.

In addition, regular NFTA routes from all other parts of the city come within

Scholarships and Financial Assistance Consistent with St. Francis of Assisi’s ability to see God in all people, St. Francis High School seeks to provide a quality Catholic Franciscan education to young men of all socio-economic backgrounds. To help

2 blocks of the school.

Textbooks Textbooks, excluding religion books and work books, are provided free

make this possible, the school offers 50 academic based scholarships

of charge through the student’s local

to incoming freshman, the majority of which are renewable for all four

public school district. Students

years. In addition, the school also offers financial assistance through a

receive their textbooks at the

work study program and tuition grants to families who demonstrate need.

beginning of each school year at St. Francis High School.

Success Story: Doug Worthington - Class of ’05 Former Defensive Tackle for The Ohio State University 2010 draft choice of the Pittsburgh Steelers “St. Francis was a stepping stone…it made me grow while it taught me the vital lessons in life a young man needs to learn – small things like following a dress code, finishing your homework, and the time management needed to play football and basketball. St. Francis also made me open to new things – it opened my eyes as a young boy and helped me grow to become a man.”


Eighty Years and Counting Saint Francis High School is a Roman Catholic college-preparatory school with a rich Franciscan tradition. Conducted by the Conventual Franciscan Friars, the school serves young men of diverse faiths and backgrounds from all areas of Western New York. The school’s tradition may be traced back to the founding of Saint Francis High School in December 1924, by the Very Reverend Justin Figas, OFM Conv. A group of Polish-American professionals and businessmen formed a committee, which came to be known as the “Fr. Justin Drivers,” to raise the funds necessary for the construction of the school. Ground breaking ceremonies were held and the cornerstone was laid on July 12, 1925, and Saint Francis High School was formally dedicated on November 25, 1926 as a college-preparatory school for young men. In 1927, the first class of the student body was officially enrolled. Friars’ Hall, which includes our beautiful school chapel and new science complex, is the original school building. Additions to the campus have included Justin Hall, a dormitory/gymnasium complex completed in 1957 now used as a classroom building and Alumni Hall which houses Ormsby Theatre and a Campus Store along with an instrumental music facility which was completed in 1995. In 2003, 11 acres of new playing fields were added. In 2005, an addition to Justin Hall and a quadrangle were completed. The addition includes a second gymnasium, three classrooms, locker rooms and training room facilities. In 2007, the Mary E. Schneider Visual Arts Center was completed in Friars’ Hall. As the school’s facilities have expanded, so has the student body. What was founded as a 125-student boarding school has evolved into our current state-of-the-art day school enrolling over 600 young men. What has stayed constant for more than 80 years has been the basic Franciscan philosophy of holistic education, the keystone of the tradition of success that is Saint Francis High School.


The Poor Man of Assisi Saint Francis of Assisi realized early in life that worldly power and glory would not lead him to true happiness. Through his loving example of poverty, humility and simplicity, he attracted thousands of followers who joined him in serving God and man. This spirit lives on in St. Francis High School’s desire to give young men an appreciation of all people and to serve God and one another in simplicity and love.

Campus Ministry During their high school years our students develop the capacity for a deeper relationship with God, and the realization of a responsibility to prayer and action. Campus Ministry animates and encourages the whole St. Francis family to grow in holiness through worship, retreats, community building and service. Like St. Francis of Assisi, Campus Ministry serves as a reminder to all of the importance of cultivating a mindfulness of the presence of God in our everyday lives.

Success Story: Jack Quinn - Class of ’96 Attorney “My time at St. Francis was filled with challenges and insights I doubt I could have experienced anywhere else. That call to better myself as a person and to attain my goals has stuck with me and continues to serve as my moral compass. I consider myself lucky and blessed to be able to call myself a member of the St. Francis family and to have the values of St. Francis and our school guide me every day.”


Preparing for College priority is academics. With a student-to-teacher

Advanced Placement Courses

ratio of 14 to 1 and an average class size of 23, our

AP English

students are guaranteed personal attention from

AP US History

the entire faculty, more than 75% of whom possess

AP Economics Micro/Macro

As a college-preparatory school, Saint Francis’ first

one or more master’s or doctoral degrees. The

AP Calculus

personal commitment and dedication of both the

AP Biology

Friars and lay faculty provide the best possible

AP Chemistry

kind of education – one that develops the whole

AP Physics

person: mind, body and spirit.

AP World History

Any student who is experiencing difficulty in any course can seek help from the teacher of that course. All teachers are available to the students for at least 40 minutes after dismissal to offer extra help, review study problems, make-up work missed or address other difficulties. The success of St. Francis High School’s educational program is obvious at every graduation, where 98% or better of all students move on to post-secondary education. In addition, scholarships worth millions of dollars are awarded to our graduates each year.

Paduan Scholars Program The Paduan Scholars Program was created for academically and otherwise gifted students who have the potential to work at a very high standard. The program is named for St. Anthony of Padua, a Conventual Franciscan Friar, renowned for his intellect, strength of character and sure faith. In the tradition of St. Anthony, the Paduan Scholars Program provides talented young men the opportunity to challenge themselves academically and to enrich their lives through the quest for knowledge and understanding. This curriculum involves innovative instruction, including inter-disciplinary and independent study projects, with the goal of helping the student reach his full potential. The Paduan scholars are provided with special enriching activities outside the classroom designed to complement and enhance classroom learning. These activities include: Honors Seminars, Guest Speakers, Field Trips, Independent Study and Internships. One of the goals of the Paduan Scholars Program is to prepare students for entrance into the most prestigious and demanding colleges and universities. In an effort to reach that goal, the program provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their skills and talents by participating in college level courses through the Advanced Placement Program. These courses will be available during their Junior and Senior years. Paduan scholars are able to earn college credit that can be applied to their college degree requirements. The Internship Program allows them to gain valuable hands-on experience in choosing a college major or career track.


Academic Program Graduation Requirements Religious Studies

4 Units*


4 Units

Social Studies

4 Units

Natural Sciences

3 Units


3 Units


3 Units

Physical Education

2 Units

Second Language

2 Units

Fine Arts

1 Unit



Tracking Academic Progress

Computer Science


St. Francis issues academic progress reports every five weeks, whether

Studies Management/ Honors Seminar


reports are issued by all teachers and are posted online. Parents are

Total Credits

27 Units

issued a username and password which are used to access the reports.

* Successful completion of the Social Justice Outreach Program is also required for graduation.

it is a mid-quarter report or an end of quarter report card. Mid-quarter

Report cards are distributed to students directly in homeroom.

⁄2 Unit ⁄4 Unit ⁄4 Unit

If needed, weekly, or even daily progress reports can be utilized. In September of each year the school conducts a Mini-Class Evening to

Passing Grade


allow parents to meet their son’s teachers and learn about the content

NYS Regents Exams


of his courses. In addition, the school, in cooperation with the Parents’ Guild, sponsors quarterly Parent-Teacher Conferences. Each teacher is


also equipped with voicemail and a web page so they are only a phone call or an email away should parents need to be in contact with them.

Middle State Association of Schools & Colleges

All of these means are intended to facilitate communication between New York State Board of Regents

teachers, parents and students so as to enhance the likelihood of the student’s academic progress and ultimate success.

Success Story: Dr. Brian Mata - Class of ’99 Orthopedic Surgeon “St. Francis High School provided a great education that has served as the foundation for my success in college, medical school and now in my future career endeavors. However, more importantly, the mentorship, great friends and family that I first established at St. Francis and still maintain today have provided a support system that has helped me continue to grow as a man, a friend and a husband.”


Music, Theatre and Art Advanced Chorus Concert Band Dramatics Fall Drama General Art General Music Instrumental Music Introduction to Theatre Jazz Ensemble Male Chorus Percussion Ensemble Pit Orchestra Spring Musical St. Francis Players Stage Crew Studio Art

Fine Arts Whether created, listened to, or viewed, art is a means for a person to more fully express their humanness. It is also in keeping with the Franciscan ideal of promoting all that develops the whole person, especially those realities which mirror the perfection and beauty of God. Consequently, Saint Francis considers study of the Fine Arts an integral part of the educational process and curriculum. The art and design student or student musician, guided by an active, well-trained faculty, participates in a variety of required and elective course offerings. He can expect to become critically aware of the rich cultural and artistic past, and at the same time challenged to become a thoughtful contributor to the beauty of contemporary culture and society. And the form that contribution takes can be as varied as playing the lead in the Spring Musical, playing trombone in our award-winning Jazz Ensemble, or crafting a piece of fine jewelry. Fine Arts program facilities in Alumni Hall include an 800-seat auditorium, dressing rooms, Instrumental Music instruction and rehearsal rooms as well as the new Mary E. Schneider Visual Arts Center.


Something For Everyone Alverna Art Club Banner (school newspaper) Booster Club Chess Club Cinema Club Computer Club Crusader (school yearbook) Dances Environmental Science Club Franciscan Youth Ministry French Club Historical Society

Clubs and Activities School spirit and involvement in school-sponsored activities are essential elements to a student’s success at Saint Francis High School. Numerous clubs and activities are available to satisfy the interests of our diverse student body. It is through these clubs and activities that school spirit comes alive, truly making Saint Francis a “home away from home.”

Intramural Athletics (basketball, bowling, ping pong, volleyball) Latin Club Liturgical Ensemble Math Club Mock Trial Model United Nations National Honor Society The Odyssey (literary magazine) Performing and Visual Arts Society (includes all musical groups as well as performances and literary publications) Role Playing Club Science Olympiad Ski and Snowboard Club Spanish Club Speech and Debate Club Students Against Destructive Decisions Student Council

Success Story: Andrew Maisano - Class of ’06 West Point Class of 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Winner for Lacrosse “St. Francis provided an incredible high school experience that I will always remember. The strong bonds formed between my friends and I will most definitely last a lifetime. This institution helped to instill the values that led to my success in college. Integrity is a key value that West Point demands of its cadets and graduates. St. Francis helped me reach my goals both in the classroom and on the lacrosse field through the nurturing of that value as well as challenging me to give my best in everything that I do.”


The Red Raiders Tradition Physical activity, athletics and competition are important aspects of the overall development of young men. To address these needs and to promote the well-rounded development of its students, Saint Francis High School offers an extensive program of interscholastic athletics and intramural sports. Student-athletes represent Saint Francis on 34 school-sponsored teams in 15 different sports, competing in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association in all sports except ice hockey and lacrosse. Our ice hockey teams compete in the Midwest Prep Hockey League, the Western New York Varsity Hockey Federation and the Southtowns Club Hockey League, while our lacrosse teams are members of the Western New York Lacrosse League. To enhance competition, our Red Raiders compete against teams from other parts of New York State and other Eastern and Mid-Western states as well as Canada. Some of our teams also travel to warmer climates for spring training. All of Saint Francis’ teams are equipped by the school and benefit from the dedication and skills of a veteran coaching staff. Our fully certified staff of Athletic Trainers ensures that Saint Francis athletes can maintain peak physical condition. Saint Francis boasts some of Western New York’s finest athletic facilities: two gymnasiums, training room, fitness center, all- weather track, lighted football stadium, two baseball fields, three soccer/lacrosse fields, tennis courts and spacious state-of-the-art locker room facilities.


Interscholastic Athletic Program Fall Cross Country (Varsity & Frosh) Golf Football (Varsity, JV & Frosh) Soccer (Varsity, JV & Frosh) Volleyball (Varsity & JV)

Winter Basketball (Varsity, JV & Frosh) Bowling (Varsity & JV) The Saint Francis family is justifiably proud of the team and individual

Ice Hockey (Varsity & JV Club,

accolades garnered yearly by our Red Raider athletes. Our athletes and

Prep Scholastic Varsity &

teams regularly win championships at the conference, regional and

Scholastic Varsity)

state levels. Each year, an impressive number of student-athletes go


on to successfully compete at the collegiate level, many winning


athletic scholarships.

Indoor Track & Field

As much as we take pride in our athletes for their successes on the field, we are even more proud that our athletes learn values reinforced


through fair competition: discipline, honor, courage, teamwork, and

Baseball (Varsity, JV & Frosh)

respect – important assets in living a fuller life.

Lacrosse (Varsity & JV) Tennis Track & Field (Varsity & JV)

Success Story: Lee Stempniak - Class of ’01 Dartmouth College Graduate and NHL Player “St. Francis High School’s strong academic curriculum, competitive athletics, challenging teachers, and sense of community helped shape me into the person I am today. I am very appreciative of how St. Francis prepared me for college and life after graduation.”


Learning to Go Out Into the World With the solid foundation of a holistic, college-preparatory education, Saint Francis alumni are prepared to meet the challenges of the collegiate world and everyday society. Every year, Saint Francis High School graduates are accepted to America’s top colleges and universities, where they establish and distinguish themselves as men of scholarship and character. Each year the graduates earn several million dollars in scholarships as well. Even more importantly, Saint Francis men go on to be valuable and productive members of society.


Recent graduates of Saint Francis High School have been accepted to the following Colleges and Universities:

Albany School of Pharmacy Alfred University Alleghany College American International College American University Amherst College Ball State Becker College Berklee College of Music Boston College Boston University Bowling Green University Bucknell University Cal State San Marcos Canisius College Case Western Reserve University Catholic University Central Washington University Clarkson University Cleveland State University Coastal Carolina University Colgate University College of the Holy Cross Columbia University Cornell University Culinary Institute of America Daemen College Daniel Webster College Dartmouth College Delhi University DePaul University Drexel University Duquesne University D’Youville College Edinboro University Elmira College Elon University Embry Riddell University Erie Community College Florida Gulf Coast University Florida Institute of Technology Fordham University Franklin Pierce College Gannon University Georgetown University Gordon College Grand Canyon University Hartwick College Hilbert College Hobart College Hofstra University Hope College Illinois Institute of Technology Illinois State University Indiana University of Pennsylvania Iona College Ithaca College John Carroll University

Johns Hopkins University Kansas State University Kent State University Kettering University LaSalle University Lehigh University LeMoyne College Lock Haven University Long Island University Loyola College of Maryland Manhattan School of Music Mansfield University Marietta College Marist College Marquette University Medaille College Mercyhurst College Merrimack College Michigan State University Monmouth University Mount St. Mary’s College Mount Union College Nazareth College New York University Niagara University North Carolina State University Northeastern University Northwestern University Norwich University Oberlin University Ontario Institute of Technology Paul Smith College Penn State University Pennsylvania Culinary Institute Philadelphia University Providence College Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Rochester Institute of Technology Rutgers University St. Bonaventure University St. Francis University St. John Fisher College St. John’s University St. Joseph’s University St. Lawrence University St. Leo’s University St. Louis University St. Peter’s College SUNY Albany SUNY Binghamton SUNY Brockport SUNY Canton College of Technology SUNY College of Environmental Science SUNY Cortland SUNY Fredonia

SUNY Geneseo SUNY Morrisville SUNY Oneonta SUNY Oswego SUNY Plattsburgh SUNY Potsdam SUNY Purchase SUNY Stony Brook Susquehanna University Syracuse University The Citadel The Ohio State University Tri-County Technical College Trocaire College Union College United States Air Force Academy United States Coast Guard United States Military Academy at West Point United States Naval Academy Universal Technical Institute University at Buffalo University of Akron University of Alabama University of Central Florida University of Chicago University of Connecticut University of Dallas University of Delaware University of Detroit Mercy University of Kansas University of Maine University of Maryland University of Miami University of Miami (Ohio) University of Michigan University of New Hampshire University of New Haven University of Notre Dame University of Pittsburgh University of Rochester University of San Diego University of Tampa University of Vermont University of West Virginia Utica College Villanova Virginia Tech Washington & Jefferson College Wells College Wesleyan University Western New England College Wilkes University Wyotech California Yale University

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Information for prospective students and their parents