2018 Innovation in Catholic Education “Promoting Catholic identity” Finalists


  • Location: Champaign, Illinois
  • Diocese: Champaign
  • Enrollment: 266
  • Grade levels: 9-12
  • Principal: Jason M Schreder
  • Website: hs-stm.org

At the High School of St. Thomas More, we created a Family System to bring the communal life of the Church into the school day. Within the Family System, students and staff have opportunities to form relationships and friendships with those they may not have otherwise. All students, along with teacher mentors, are part of a House that meets weekly for a time of faith, fellowship, fun, and food. Houses named for St. Peter, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and St. Michael the Archangel are led by student House Leaders along with a teacher House Mentor. The House Mentors and student House Leaders follow the model of Christ in demonstrating true friendship and love to their fellow students.

St Thomas More - Catholic Identity - Lands End


(Modeling Virtues One Month at a Time)

  • Location: Richmond, Virginia
  • Diocese: Richmond
  • Enrollment: 213
  • Grade levels: PK-8
  • Principal: Sean Cruess
  • Website: saintbenedictschool.org

As an alternative to the typical “student of the month” program, St. Benedict Catholic School created a program called “Virtue of the Month.” Designed to teach students about different virtues, this program allows students to practice positive habits and recognizes those who excel as models of each virtue. Students learn what it means to follow the example of Jesus and the saints. The entire school focuses on a different virtue each month. Before a month begins, the faculty receives Scripture verses that help to define that month’s particular virtue. Teachers integrate these virtues into their instruction. This program’s goal is to reinforce the words of St. Francis de Sales: “All of us can attain to Christian virtue and holiness, no matter in what condition of life we live and no matter what our life work may be.”


  • Location: Lewiston, Maine
  • Diocese: Lewiston
  • Enrollment: 265
  • Grade levels: PK-8
  • Principal: Marianne Pelletier
  • Website: stdomsmaine.org

At St. Dominic Academy we believe that a Catholic education should be accessible, affordable, and available to all. The traditional Catholic school model needed to be adjusted to meet the needs of the rural communities within Maine. St. Dominic Academy set out to create a new model to provide a Catholic education in Rumford, a rural area of just under 6,000 people, where the Faith is strong but Holy Savior School, which had served the area for over a century, was not large enough to be sustainable. A team of individuals who are passionate about Catholic education worked to create the St. Dominic Academy/Holy Savior School Initiative. This has not only allowed for the sustainability of Holy Savior, but it also serves as a model for how Catholic schools and Catholic educational centers can grow and thrive in rural communities.

St Dominic Academy - WINNER Catholic Identity - Lands End