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Know Truth, Serve God and Love Others

St. Michael the Archangel strives for academic excellence for all.

Catholic high schools have long been recognized for their academic excellence. As many area families recognize, they also prepare well-rounded students for successful lives after graduation.

St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School in Lee’s Summit has experienced impressive growth since it was founded in 2017 on the legacy of Archbishop O’Hara and St. Mary’s high schools. More than 400 students from 47 zip codes now attend the co-ed school.

“From the inception of St. Michael, growth has been steadily increasing,” Principal Mary Korening said. “Parents and students desiring a strong academic curriculum, while growing deeper in their relationship with God, have found that in St. Michael the Archangel. Our faculty and staff focus on the whole student and challenge their students beyond what they ever thought they could accomplish. We provide opportunities for students to achieve success in athletics, grow in positions of leadership, provide service to those in need and deepen their faith.”

Developing the whole student begins with the school’s Community System, the very heart of the school. On day one, each student becomes a member of one of the four communities, and within that community they are a part of a house. Each house provides the unique opportunity for students to interact socially with others across all grade levels. Community activities, led by elected Community Captains, supplement academic pursuits and provide students with opportunities for fun, fellowship and faith.

The school’s theme for this school year, ‘Walk Together,’ reflects how students are all walking together on their journey of growing closer with Christ and each other. Regular faith formation activities include retreats, Adoration, Encounter and Mass. A full-time chaplain and four Dominican sisters offer support and guidance in a student’s faith formation.

“St. Michael is proud of our Catholic faith and puts that at the forefront of all we do,” said Father Paul Sappington, Chaplain and Director of Faith Formation. “While never compromising on our mission, we are happy to welcome students of other faiths -- or no faith -- if they are willing to follow our guidelines. We hope that their experience at our school strengthens them not only for their future academic success but also to help come to know and love Jesus Christ more.”

Although the academic curriculum is rigorous, St. Michael offers specific programs to help every student succeed at every level from trade schools to inclusive education. Partnering with several area career and technology centers, students can experience a potential career field while earning college credits or advanced certifications. The St. Michael Inclusive Learning Enhancement (SMILE) Zone is serving students with exceptional needs supported through the MOScholars fund. In addition, 50 junior and senior student peer mentors offer guidance under the supervision of certified special education teachers. They assist not only in the classroom, but also with field trips, social activities, and serve in the Guardian Grind coffee shop on site.

Success has not only been achieved in the classroom for St. Michael, but this emerging school has also been setting records and claiming titles in 23 different sports for boys and girls. Just this fall season, St. Michael claimed the conference championship titles in cross country, football, volleyball and boys soccer; district championship titles in cross country and volleyball, along with 77 individual post-season honors including seven Guardians with all-state honors. In addition to claiming recognition in sports, the theater department performed to a sold out crowd all three nights of their production. There was a total of 57 cast members involved in producing, set design, costumes and performing.

Giving back to the community is a fundamental piece of Catholicism and supports the school mission to Know Truth, Love God, and Serve Others. Each student at St. Michael completes 25 hours for their Christian Service Project each school year, giving students an opportunity to serve the poor, the oppressed, and marginalized groups of people. As part of their theology final at the end of the year, students present about their experience, challenges, lessons learned, and how they grew in virtue. Along with the individual service hours, extracurricular groups are also called to serve in the community. In December, the St. Michael drumline and chamber choir were invited to take part in community activities such as the Mayor’s Tree Lighting event and a Thanksgiving senior luncheon through the Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation.

Nearly all St. Michael graduates go on to college, and the 2022 graduates earned an impressive $3 million in scholarships. Even more importantly, students leave with a commitment to serve God and others. “The goal is for every student to reach his or her full God-given potential,” said Lamar Hunt Jr., President of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School.

Parents are invited to learn more about whether a St. Michael education is right for their child through private tours, Guardian for a Day (shadow with a Student Ambassador) and free middle school nights. Two upcoming admission events include: Basketball Middle School Night where any middle school student will be admitted free to both boys and girls’ varsity basketball games on January 6, and the High School Placement Test on January 21, for all incoming freshmen who want to be considered for acceptance in the next school year.

“A high school experience is about discovering your gifts and how to share those gifts with others,” Hunt said. “We desire for our students to become the best version of themselves. They do that by engaging with others and learning how to manage their schedule, interacting with others with courtesy and kindness (e.g. seeing the good in others) and by inviting others, through friendship, to become a part of something that builds character and sincerity.”

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