Why I Chose Saint Patrick: Mason Kim
The Kim Family never considered a private school or a Catholic School. Parents Annrena and Dan did not stress over the daunting high school application process because their children were happy at their grade school, a PK-12 program. In their eyes, there was no reason to leave. However, everywhere they went people would ask their son, Mason, the same question: “Where are you going for high school?” One of those people was his golf coach, who mentioned the golf team at St. Pat’s. This piqued Mason’s interest since golf is his passion. So they connected with another golf coach, who also suggested he check out St. Pat’s. After two trusted sources pointed them toward the same school, they thought it prudent to explore St. Pat’s – and they have never looked back.
Here is why the Kim family chose Saint Patrick in their own words.
We attended Open House, where we had the opportunity to see classrooms, meet teachers, and learn about the curriculum. We were impressed with the honors program, the list of AP/PACC classes, as well as the vast array of class electives, sports, and clubs. By the end of our tour, it was clear there was something special about St. Pat’s, its unique environment for young men and its close-knit community. To say we were impressed would be an understatement. There were so many opportunities offered at St. Pat’s.
Despite a successful Open House, we were not convinced it was worth moving schools. We prayed for discernment and clarity, then waited for direction from God. We signed up for a Shadow Day, so Mason could experience first-hand a day in the life of a Shamrock. After his Shadow Day, Mason walked out confident, with a huge smirk on his face, got in the car and, without hesitation, announced, “I’m going to St. Pat’s!”
At this point, we really liked St. Pat’s, but still didn’t feel we had enough reason to leave our current school. We formulated a list of questions and connected with the Admissions Team. Brian O’Connor and Mike Fabrizio are both alums and it was clear they had a genuine love for the school. They answered every one of our (many) questions with enthusiasm, passion and honesty. Knowing we wanted the best fit for Mason, Brian offered to set up a meeting with the principal, Mr. Baffico. During this meeting, we asked another extensive list of questions. Every answer was what we wanted, and needed, to hear.
Saint Patrick knows the equation for success: Jesus, service, academics, athletics and Brotherhood & community. St. Pat’s begins every day – every class, event, game or meeting – with prayer. Knowing every good and perfect gift comes from God, they give honor to Him. The students connect through service, while solidifying the foundation of Brotherhood. There is no separation between the Freshmen and Seniors at St. Pat’s. There is respect for all students, which is exemplified in the Brotherhood both in, and outside, the classroom. There is a genuine camaraderie and friendship.
Academics is also top-notch at St. Pat’s. The school offers various levels of learning, including College Prep Phoenix, College Prep De LaSalle, and the Honors program (AP and PACC). The school has a 99 percent graduation rate, with 95 percent of the students attending college. The Honors Program has an average ACT score of 29.5. Further, 76% of St. Pat’s staff hold advanced degrees.
What is really telling about Mason’s experience at St. Pat’s is when you ask him to name his favorite teacher, he’s stumped. He likes all of his teachers and has connected with each one. We love that the teachers encourage him, challenge him, and call him out when they know he can do better. They give him opportunities to make mistakes, and learn from those mistakes. The entire St. Pat’s faculty and staff is supportive whether it’s with academics, time management, college advice, or just simple life advice.
Mason continues to be challenged in the Honors Program his sophomore year, including AP/PACC offerings, and again hopes to be a three-sport athlete (Golf, Swim, Track & Field). He is a Mentor for Freshmen, serves on Student Council and is a member of the Spanish and Chess Clubs. As parents, we are thrilled to be part of the Shamrock Family. Not only does St. Pat’s offer opportunities for our son to get involved, but there are many ways for parents to connect and support the school.
Despite our initial hesitations, it is clear God had a different plan for Mason and our family. We can say with complete confidence that Mason is exactly where he’s meant to be, at the best school and most caring, well-structured environment for him, surrounded by pretty spectacular kids, and even more amazing teachers, coaches and mentors.
To learn more about Saint Patrick High School, visit us at our Fall Open Houses on Thursday, October 24 and Thursday, November 14 from 6-8 pm. There are also opportunities to be a Shamrock for a Day by scheduling a Shadow Day.
To read more Why I Chose Saint Patrick stories from current Shamrock families, go to: Why I Chose Saint Patrick and scroll down to the bottom of the page.