St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program

The 2021-22 St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars collected more than 500 turkeys and $13,000 in donations for their humanitarian effort to provide Thanksgiving dinners to those served by St. Mary's Food Bank.


What is the St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program?

“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe, to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do.”- St Thomas Aquinas

The St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program is named in honor of the saint Catholics believe to be the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher. This is a highly competitive, integrated program of study that provides a challenging, well-rounded education to Notre Dame Prep’s most gifted and motivated students. The program of study stimulates academic and personal development through rigorous courses, unique cultural and academic field experiences, and advanced research opportunities. All Aquinas Scholars receive a St. Thomas Aquinas Scholarship.

Aquinas Scholars must meet rigorous academic requirements. The Aquinas Scholars program will not deter a student from participating in the athletic, music, or extra-curricular programs. Mentorship and advising within the Capstone Experience includes personal contact with professional experts in their field, individualized support during the university discernment and application process, and analysis of potential career interests.  The St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program culminates with an independent, research-based project within a discipline of deep personal interest to the scholar to reflect the personal, spiritual, and academic growth students experience throughout their time at NDP. During their final semester, scholars offer an oral and visual presentation of their project to a large audience.

The Benefits:

  • A team of dedicated faculty members who act as mentors and advisers to the scholars on an ongoing basis 
  • A designated counselor is assigned to the scholars for all four years to bolster academic skills, social-emotional growth, and college & career planning 
  • Individualized support during the university discernment and application process, and an analysis of potential career interests
  • A curriculum that prepares scholars to succeed in the most rigorous institutions of higher learning 
  • Opportunities for field experiences and cultural enrichment during each academic year 
  • The substantial support of a peer group committed to similar goals of personal excellence and intellectual growth 
  • Designation as an Aquinas Scholar at Commencement and identification of the program and its requirements on all college applications 
  • Option to pursue AP Capstone Diploma  

How to Become a Scholar:

Enrollment in The St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program is limited and highly competitive. 

Admission is based on an evaluation of letters of recommendation, GPA, and HSPT scores submitted to Notre Dame. In addition, Scholars must submit a Statement of Purpose to the Directors of the St. Thomas Aquinas Scholars program to complete their application. Once applications have been reviewed, those considered for the St. Thomas Aquinas program will be asked to come for an additional interview. 

Below you will find your requirements for this application. The following requirements have already been submitted with your Notre Dame Preparatory application:

  • Letters of recommendation (included in your Notre Dame application)
  • Current GPA (suggested minimum 3.95 - included in your Notre Dame application)
  • HSPT Scores (generally our STA scholars score in the 80th percentile or higher – scores are sent directly to Notre Dame Preparatory) 

In addition to the above items, St. Thomas Aquinas Scholar Applicants must submit a Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose should describe the applicant’s education, experience, and interest in the St. Thomas Aquinas program. Statements of Purpose are reviewed for content, creativity, and interest in being in this highly competitive, integrated program of study that provides a challenging, well-rounded program. Your Statement of Purpose should not exceed four-hundred words and should be emailed to stthomasaquinas@ndpsaints.org

The application deadline for the St. Thomas Aquinas Program and scholarship is Monday, April 4, 2022. Once applications have been reviewed, those considered for the St. Thomas Aquinas program will be asked to come for an additional interview. Should you have any questions, please contact the Program Coordinators Mrs. Melissa Riordan and Mrs. Tracy McBride at stthomasaquinas@ndpsaints.org

Yearly Goals of the St Thomas Aquinas Scholars Program:

  • 9th Grade: The goal for freshman year is to expand students’ worldview. This will begin with World Geography and Cultures. Students will complete their first credit of Social Studies courses and will delve deep into the geography and cultures of the various world civilizations

  • 10th Grade: The goal for sophomore year is for students to develop a critical and personalized lens with which to view the world. This will develop the students’ abilities to think logically, analyze and solve problems, craft and assess arguments, and develop a personal moral and ethical compass

  • 11th Grade: The goal for junior year is to form students’ research and critical thinking skills. Students will also further develop their written and oral communication skills to prepare for their culminating research project

  • 12th Grade: The goal for senior year is for students to pursue a research project of their choosing. This is the culminating work of a student’s studies and it represents their ability to conduct research and write effectively. This is a “passion project” that provides students with the opportunity to showcase all of the skills they’ve built in their time at NDP

Program Requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 32 credit hours (30 Academic, 2 Christian Service) 
  • Maintaining a GPA of 3.95 or higher (weighted) 
  • Completion of 15 honors or AP level courses 
  • Completion of the 4th level of consecutive study in the same World Language 
  • Completion of AP Seminar & AP Research  
  • Participation in St. Thomas Aquinas Program meetings and activities 

Suggested Course of Study:

Mock 9th Grade Schedule

 

English

Math

Science

Social Studies

World Lang.

Theology

PE/Health

Elective or Free Period

Semester 1




 

-English 1
-English 1H

-Algebra 1
-Algebra 1H
-Geometry
-GeometryH

-Phys/Stem
-Biology
-BiologyH

 

 

-Frosh Seminar

-Spanish 1
-Spanish 1H
-Spanish 2
-Spanish 2H
-French 1
-ASL 1



 

-Theology 1

-Personal Health & Wellness

-Suggestion: required tech elective

Semester 2

-World Geo
-World GeoH




 

-Suggestion: required art elective
Mock 10th Grade Schedule

 

English

Math

Science

Social Studies

World Lang.

Theology

AP Capstone

Elective or Free Period

Semester 1
 

-English 2
-English 2H

-Geometry
-GeometryH
-Algebra 2
-Algebra 2H

-Chemistry
-ChemistryH
-Biology
-BiologyH

 

-World Hist
-World HistH
-World HistAP

 


 

-Spanish 2
-Spanish 2H
-Spanish 3
-Spanish 3H
-French 2
-French 2H
-ASL 2

 

-Theology 2
-Theology 2H

 

-AP Seminar

 

-Suggestion: required art elective

Semester 2
 

-Suggestion: required art elective
Mock 11th Grade Schedule

 

English

Math

Science

Social Studies

World Lang.

Theology

Elective

Elective or Free Period

Semester 1



 

-Eng 3
-Eng 3H DE
-Eng 3AP

-Algebra 2
-Algebra 2H
-PreCalc
-PreCalcH DE

-Engineer DE
-Astronomy
-Anatomy
-AnatomyH
-BioAP
-ChemAP
-Physics
-PhysicsH
-PhysicsAP
-Enviro SciAP


 

-US Hist
-US HistH DE
-US HistAP

-Spanish 3
-Spanish 3H
-Spanish 4H

-Span LangAP
-Fren 3H DE

 

-Theology 3
-Theology 3H 

-Suggestion: required art elective

-Elective of choice
-Free 1st or 8th period

Semester 2



 

-Suggestion: required PE elective

-Elective of choice
-Free 1st or 8th period
Mock 12th Grade Schedule

 

English

Math

Theology

Social Studies

AP Capstone

Science or Elective

World Lang., Elective or Free Period

Elective or Free Period

Semester 1

-Eng 4
-Eng 4H DE
-Eng 4AP

 

 

-PreCalc
-PreCalcH DE
-CalcH
-Calc AB AP
-Calc BC AP
-Prob&Stats
-StatsAP

 

-Theology 4
-Theology 4H

 

-US Gov
-US GovAP

-AP Research

-Engineer DE
-Astronomy
-Anatomy
-AnatomyH
-Bio AP
-ChemAP
-Physics
-PhysicsH
-PhysicsAP
-Enviro SciAP
-Elective of choice

-Spanish 4H
-Span LangAP
-Span LitAP
-Fren 4H DE
-Elective of choice
-Free 1st or 8th period
-Elective of choice
-Free 1st or 8th period

Semester 2

-Econ
-Econ DE

 

-Engineer DE
-Astronomy
-Anatomy
-AnatomyH
-BioAP
-ChemAP
-Physics
-PhysicsH
-PhysicsAP
-Enviro SciAP
-Elective of choice
-Spanish 4H
-Span LangAP
-Span LitAP
-Fren 4H DE
-Elective of choice
-Free 1st or 8th period
-Elective of choice
-Free 1st or 8th period

Eugene M. Sweeney, Ph.D.
Principal
gsweeeney@ndpsaints.org
(480) 634-8201 

Tracey Heisler, M.Ed.
Assistant Principal for Student Learning
theisler@ndpsaints.org
(480) 634-8362 

Lisa McMorrow, M.Ed.
Director of Counseling
St. George House
Class of 2023 (A - D)
STA Cohort 2026
lmcmorrow@ndpsaints.org 
(480) 634-8240 
calendly.com/lmcmorrow

Deanna (Duermit) Larson, M.Ed.
Counselor
St. Michael House
Class of 2023 (E - J)
STA Cohort 2024
dlarson@ndpsaints.org 
(480) 634-8242 
calendly.com/deanna_larson

Liz Barnes, M.A.Ed.
Counselor
St. Blaise House
Class of 2023 (R - Z)
STA Cohort 2025
ebarnes@ndpsaints.org 
(480) 634-8223
calendly.com/ebarnes2

Cal Beneze, M.Ed.
Counselor
St. Ignatius House
Class of 2023 (K - Q)
rbeneze@ndpsaints.org 
(480) 634-8215
calendly.com/rbeneze

Kelly Benitez, M.S.
Counselor
St. Teresa House 
St. Francis House (A - F)
kbenitez@ndpaints.org
(480) 634-8219
calendly.com/kbenitez1
 
Paige Peters, M.S.
Counselor
St. Maximilian Kolbe House 
St. Francis House (G - O)
ppeters@ndpaints.org
(480) 634-8220
calendly.com/pfpeters
 
Twila Walker, M.A., M.S.
Counselor
St. Patrick House 
St. Francis House (P - Z)
twalker@ndpsaints.org
(480) 634-8217
calendly.com/twalker2022
 

Lindsay Cusano
Administrative Assistant
College Visit Coordinator
lcusano@ndpsaints.org 
(480) 634-8239