I am pleased to share with you this joint edition of the Communique and the Academy of Holy Angels 2016-17 Annual Report. The past school year was an exciting one full of a multitude of reasons to be grateful.
- We are grateful for our students. Holy Angels exists to help young people develop their God-given gifts to their full potential. We are grateful for our students’ talents, energy, spirit and effort. Last year, the senior class earned $11.5 million in college scholarship offers. They also collectively completed over 17,000 hours of community service.
- We are grateful for our faculty and staff. One of the biggest reasons our students thrive at AHA is due to the work of our talented and committed teachers. This success comes from more than what they teach them: it comes from how they teach — and care — for them. In a survey when asked “Did your teachers hold high expectations for you and help you to succeed in school, even if you fell behind?” a remarkable 100% of the graduating class of 2017 responded ‘yes.’
- We are grateful for our community and culture. For many years, our school has used an original program called AHA Way in order to intentionally create a caring, welcoming, inclusive, and respectful school environment. The entire community uses the AHA Way guidelines in the way we communicate and in how we approach problems. This year, AHA Way was recognized by the Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) with the 2017 Best Program Award. Additionally, Academy of Holy Angels was named a 2017 Star Tribune Top Workplace. What makes this award truly special is the fact that the recognition of our school’s high quality work environment came from one of our most precious assets — our employees.
- We are grateful for our donors. Once again, more than 2,000 AHA community members chose to support Holy Angels this year. What was unique was that donors invested even more in the school — AHA received 28% more gifts in 2016-17 than the previous year and we experienced a 10% increase in gifts of $1,000 or more. In turn, we were able to increase student financial aid and teacher salaries, refurbish and restore the second floor classrooms and hallway, resurface the St. Peter’s parking lot, and begin installation of a new turf athletic field. All of these upgrades will improve the everyday academic and athletic opportunities for our students, and for that, we are grateful.
We are pleased to pause in our work to say thank you, once again, for supporting Academy of Holy Angels’ mission. Together, we can continue to educate and nurture a diverse student population so that each student, as a whole person, may achieve full potential to excel intellectually, to live spiritually, to lead responsibly, to act justly, and to serve selflessly.
Thomas E. Shipley