I have never felt so accepted and part of a community before; St. Jude’s Academy has provided that feeling for me! When I first came to the school in grade eleven I was scared about not fitting in and starting at a new school. However, I felt very accepted and welcomed by the warm, smiling faces from teachers and students. I was worried about not being able to catch up to the academic level all the students were already at but the teachers seemed more than happy to help me get there. St. Jude’s has a very diverse, bilingual environment. For a student like me that has never been exposed to such things, it was a very fun learning experience. Walking into the school on the first day of school, I looked around and all the teachers were smiling and saying hello and good morning, asking how I was doing. Students were coming up to me welcoming me to St. Jude’s. I felt like I already belonged. I remember thinking to myself “Why didn’t I come here before?”
At St. Jude’s Academy the teachers, head of school and administrative team are inspirational. When students see that they have the right leadership skills it only makes us want to be like them –leaders. They are always ready to help and to be there for students in need. They are kind, educated, and much more. These are qualities that a good leader has, and from what I have seen these past two years, all St. Jude’s teachers have these qualities within them. They each express it in a different way, which is great to see because we learn in different ways to lead and how to lead the right way. Parents are also part of helping students build their leadership skills; they have made a parents guild which allows parents to plan events for the students and get involved in school events.
The teachers at St. Jude’s Academy are very supportive and kind, you can really feel that they are helping you from their heart and only want what’s best for their students. I definitely feel that the teachers want what’s best for me and that they try to push all their students to the extent of their abilities. They have qualities such as kindness, organization, preparedness at all times, humor and much more. These are qualities that students will need to take with them to university. The teachers at St. Jude’s prepare us for university regardless of how hard it will be. They treat us all as equals and make us feel that we are all important, this allows us to create appropriate relationships between the student and the teacher.
St. Jude’s academic level is very high, which was one of the reasons why my parents and I were very interested in the school. They have the IB Programme at the school, and even though grade eleven and twelve did not have the IB Diploma Programme when I joined, however, teachers still incorporated IB teaching methods in class. IB teaches us to be, inquirers, communicators, knowledgeable and much more. Teachers teach in a fun and informative way, with each teacher teaching differently. They take hard concepts and break them down one by one into a fun, hands-on way. This is very useful because teachers show us that the things we are learning now can and will be used in real life. One example of this from physics class: the students were tasked with making an object that will protect an egg from breaking when the physics teacher drops it off the school’s roof. The teacher explained that this is what scientists have to do to ensure that when they are building planes or roller coasters, humans won’t get injured. It’s a fun and new way to connect what we’re learning with real life. Due to our classes being small, teachers can focus on each student individually. This decreases the chances of any student not understanding a concept due to there being too many students in a classroom. The school also provides study hall, where if students need help with anything the teachers allow them to ask questions and make sure that the student understands.
At St. Jude’s they want to make sure their students are learning but having fun as well. So they have provided extracurricular activities for students to join. Some of the things we have for the upper school include Mock trial, Newsletter, Wellness Club, DECA, etc. For sports, we have Volleyball, Soccer (boys and girls), football and others. For the younger kids, they have piano lessons, yoga, reading and more. These help students improve their social skills, discover new interests, and experience something new and fun.
The students at St. Jude’s Academy are very kind and smart. They made me feel very welcome when I first came to St. Jude’s, I had many people come up to me and introduce themselves and welcome me to St. Jude’s. As time passed I noticed how everyone encourages everyone to do their best and pushes one another to do their best. The students look out for each other, which is something I have learned to do from the other students here. I met friends from different backgrounds and cultures and that only opened me up to learning about different cultures and different types of people. Everyone at St. Jude’s is unique and expresses their uniqueness differently. Since the upper school is small, all of the students in the upper school know each other, and every single one of them has impacted my life in some aspect. Because of that, it will be really hard to forget my schoolmates, even after I leave for university.
St. Jude’s has made a fun and interactive environment for the students by putting us each in a house at the beginning of the year. You’re in this house for as long as you’re at St. Jude’s, this helps us build friendships with the other students in the school. Every Friday, a house leader has to come up with a game for all us for play and compete against each other. It’s a fun way to end the week and it helps us come together as a school.
Everyone at St. Jude’s is supportive of one another. The accepting and affable teachers and students interact a lot with each other to increase the school’s spirit. The small community makes everyone closer to each other no matter what grade or age. Everyone has something to contribute to the school. In return, respect is given to all of us as well. Everyone is heard, appreciated, and loved. We grow as a family at SJA and we make friends that last a lifetime, which is what high school is all about. Everyone I know that has left the school has looked back with gratitude for being a place where positive energy, excellent education, and a comfortable environment was offered.
Students tend to stay on campus at St. Jude's Academy, and have the option of having their food delivered instead of going out to eat. It is located in a calm surrounding area where restaurants and different stores are around. The school has two playgrounds that are outdoors for anyone that wants a change of scenery from the typical atmosphere inside the school. I find that the small and bright hallways are comforting and I tend to stay in during breaks.
Students are greeted by the admissions officers and are given a tour around the school where they can become familiar with the delightful atmosphere and cozy classrooms. A meeting can also be held to process application forms and where an assessment may be required for some students depending on how the meeting goes. I personally felt nervous before going to the school, but as soon as I arrived and was greeted by friendly students there, I knew that I had chosen the right place to enroll. From the beginning, I felt at home and I am proud to represent my school with all the advantages it has to offer.