The Stockham Family (Taylor, Class of 2019)
Ugh, the decision of “what high school my child should attend”. I do not envy any parent trying to currently make this decision. You can give yourself a pat on the back, because you are already looking at a fabulous school, St. Anthony! I can honestly say that making this decision was a very stressful time in our lives. We were getting ready to embark on the teenage years, and we believe strongly that you become a product of your environment. With that being said, we made a list of family values that were important to us, and needs that we wanted met for our oldest daughter, Taylor, and then asked for her input as well (just to make her feel like she was part of the process!) We gathered as much information from all of the schools (private, public and charter) that we were willing to drive to and that were in our budget. After all was said and done, we narrowed it down to 3 schools, 1 public high school, 1 charter school, and St. Anthony.
Initially, we were sold on St. Anthony right away. Mr. Schabert was amazing. He took the time to talk to us, to know our names, and his energy about the school was contagious. After going to family information nights & open house we were impressed with the academics, technology, staff and future of St. Anthony. We felt the community environment among the students, and we also liked the diversity of the school. We felt like this would be a safe, “real world” educational experience for Taylor.
However, I am going to be completely honest here…St. Anthony was not our first choice, because it was a small school. She was accepted to the charter school she applied to, but her father and I did not think that was a great fit for her after all. Actually, we really wanted her to go to the public high school we had put an inter district transfer in for. We knew she would do really well there because she is not a kid you have to talk into getting involved in school or community activities. The school was close to home, academics and athletics were fantastic, the price was right, and we really felt like she would thrive there. HOWEVER, we didn’t get the transfer, and we (especially Taylor) thank God EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I cannot emphasize that enough…we truly are grateful she ended up at St. Anthony.
Without going into too much detail, Taylor had a rough freshman year. She had multiple surgeries, was unable to participate in a sport she loved (which was like losing her identity) and was in tremendous physical pain the majority of the time. She had an unbelievable amount of support from the St. Anthony staff. The teachers were understanding, encouraging, compassionate, and she enjoyed working with each and every one of them. She was challenged academically, and excelled beyond her own expectations. She credits all of it to the teachers at St. Anthony. She actually said one day, “I really feel like the teachers and Deans at school want me to succeed.” They encouraged critical thinking, and for her, that made academics exciting.
To have Taylor continue with a Catholic education proved to be healing for her and us as a family. She had an amazing religion teacher that helped support her faith before and after her surgeries. He even arranged for Taylor to receive the sacrament “anointing of the sick” with her class watching before her 2nd surgery. I really can’t put into words what this meant to her, but it shows that this school is a community looking out for each other and the teachers, Deans and staff are concerned about the child’s entire wellbeing.
Taylor looks forward to school each day. When she is not there for a week or more (because of summer vacation or school breaks) she is counting the days to go back. This alone speaks volumes to us as parents that she is attending the right school.
Although she easily adjusted to high school socially, Taylor was learning to deal with the new limits placed on her physically, and trying to figure out what to do with her spare time. She was able to join several clubs that St. Anthony’s offered, ASB, and the swim team; which was fun for us as parents to watch her explore different activities and find other interest that she may have never tried had her situation been different, or had she been at a different school where you have to commit so much time to one activity, sport or club. Taylor said it best when she said, “St. Anthony makes everything possible.” That statement says so much about the school, and as parents, we can vouch that that is the approach they take to all situations. It is refreshing. It is exciting. It is exactly the mindset we want our children to approach life with.
Kessler Family (Benjamin, Class of 2020)
My name is Eric Kessler and my son Benjamin Kessler attends SAHS as a freshman in the 2016 class. Ben attended St. Hedwig for 9 years. SAHS was not our first choice for high school as we reside close to Los Alamitos High School. So many parents whose sons and daughters attend Los Alamitos High School raved about the quality of education along with the sports programs. Thus it seemed to be a logical transition for Ben to enroll as a freshman at Los Alamitos upon graduation from St. Hedwig last June 2016.
As a father of an intelligent and talented athlete I wanted the best for my son. I was approached by other parents who had sons and daughters heading to SAHS and they urged me to explore my options. I visited both campuses and did a thorough assessment of the pros and cons of each institution and decided that SAHS is the better choice for my son.
The education and the high moral standards and athletic programs are exceptional and my son is very happy and accomplishing well in his studies. I am impressed with the quality of his curriculum and the professionalism of his instructors. In addition, I value the religion portion of his studies and his regular attendance at church each month while on campus.
SAHS is a tight community as there are fewer students attending than at the public high school. The benefit of this is that class sizes are smaller and there is greater one on one classroom instruction for each student.
The counselors have great success in placing graduating students into fine colleges throughout the country. My son is an athlete and a solid student and will have the assistance of the counselors when placing him into a top college in four years.
I could not be any happier with my decision to enroll my son at SAHS and I strongly recommend this superb institution to your son or daughter.
The Smith Family (Brandon, Class of 2018)
When asked to share our thoughts regarding our decision to have Brandon attend St. Anthony High School, I read through a number of testimonials by other families. All of our stories and paths are different, but we all agree that finding a home and community for our children like St. Anthony High School has been a blessing. As others have said, it truly is a family at St. Anthony, and a community we are all happy to be part of.
Our story begins way back…when Brandon had just started attending elementary school. I grew up in Long Beach, and was aware of St. Anthony’s outstanding reputation in the community over the years. It was with great interest that I watched the revitalization of St. Anthony High School, with hope that it would once again shine as it had in the past, and be a viable option for our children’s high school experience.
As the time got closer to make a high school decision for Brandon, we were essentially making a decision as to where to send not only him, but his sister as well. We knew we wanted a co-ed high school, and we preferred a smaller school environment, strong academics, a strong faith community, as well as the traditional high school activities.
We were beginning to hear amazing things that were happening at St. Anthony. Previous families were finding that it was getting firmly back on the path to greatness; its enrollment was significantly increasing, it was proving to be academically strong, and it had an amazing president and principal to support the staff in achieving these goals. It sounded ideal for Brandon, especially the smaller environment, where he could thrive and become involved in student activities and sports, while receiving top notch college prep instruction and faith formation.
Brandon's father, on the other hand, took more convincing that this was the place for Brandon, and that St. Anthony was truly on its way to regain its previous reputation. He did a lot of research; on the financial viability of the school, and which colleges and universities St. Anthony graduates were being accepted to. He was extremely impressed with the direction and values that St. Anthony High School represented, of how academically prepared the graduates were, and the sense of community. The vision that Mr. Schabert has for the school, and his amazing dedication and commitment to the Saint community was the clincher for him.
Brandon participated in Saint for a Day, and we toured the school at Open House. He spoke to previous students about their experiences at St. Anthony. The personal attention and interest among the staff with the students is part of what makes St. Anthony so special.
Today, Brandon is extremely happy being part of the St. Anthony community! He is thriving academically in the smaller size classes, where collaborative interaction with students and teachers occur daily. He is involved in a number of clubs, participates in student government, and is playing soccer. He has met friends from all grades and backgrounds and he is looking forward to the next few years when he will be eligible to participate in even more activities!
David and I have found the teachers to be engaging, thought provoking, and a few are even short of amazing in how they have connected with Brandon and his classmates. We are very pleased with the quality of instruction Brandon is receiving at St. Anthony. David and I are also impressed with Mr. Schabert and Ms. Maguire’s dedication to the school and St. Anthony community, and where they envision taking this institution in the coming years. While nothing is perfect, and St. Anthony continues to be a work in progress as it grows and expands, we would have to say that our experience of being part of the St. Anthony community has been very positive. And most importantly, Brandon could not be happier!
We are all looking forward to experiencing St. Anthony High School as it continues to grow and evolve, as our children continue their education at this long time Long Beach institution.
Jennifer and David Smith
Mehus Family (Emma, Class of 2019 & Bailey, Class of 2015- Oregon State University, Class of 2019)
Our story may be a little different…We actually were not considering private HS at all for Bailey. He heard the presentation at his school and brought the folder home to us. After looking at the material we set it aside, but Bailey kept bringing it up. He attended the Saint for Day and was very enthused with the teachers and class size. What impressed him most was the technology in the classrooms. Finally, David and I attended an informational meeting at the school and we were very impressed with the student ambassadors (their poise and confidence), the Principals’ talk about the values and commitment to prepare the students for college. Bailey continued to push for St. Anthony as his favorite option. He looked at the public school options in our home district – Marina and Westminster High. Bailey remained steadfast that he felt more comfortable going to St. Anthony’s.
We are pleased with our decision. He is challenged through his Honor Studies and has tried sports he may not have tried otherwise, namely boys Volleyball. He continues to pursue clubs he enjoys and the marine science option. He worked over 90 hours at the Aquarium through their Volunteen Program on his own last fall which I’m sure he would not have done if he was attending Marina or Westminster.
He has made good friends at St. Anthony’s and is a better person for attending this close knit community school.
Fanning Family (Caitlin, Class of 2015-University of San Diego, Alcala Scholar, Class of 2019)
We considered several schools in the area and while a few appeared decent enough, they were just too big and impersonal for us. Our daughter is very bright but somewhat timid and being small physically, she is easily overlooked.
We were looking for a school where our daughter would not get lost in a crowd of other students - just one more kid to push through the system, whose talents and abilities go unrecognized by the staff and left to sink or swim. We were looking for a school with high academic standards - a place where she would receive a quality, well-rounded education with a spiritual component, fully prepared for college. We were looking for a school where the student body was competitive, enthusiastic about learning, and motivated to succeed.
We found all these things and more at St. Anthony High. The teachers are vibrant, enthusiastic, and dedicated. We found them to be responsive to concerns and issues that arise and are quick in correcting any deficiencies before they become problems. They take an interest in each and every student. No child goes unnoticed. They seek out their skills and build upon them and dedicate additional time and training in areas where a deficiency may exist. This is done not only on an individual basis but for an entire class if needed. Recently our child’s AP World History instructor was not satisfied with the overall results of a recent exam. He felt the student’s writing skills did not “measure up” and he has offered an opportunity to spend time with them after school to provide added instruction to ensure the students meet the tough standards of this class. We’ve also found many of the teachers willing to take the time to get to know of our child’s activities outside the classroom. They’ve gone out of their way to express a personal interest, offering support and guidance in those areas. Recently an instructor noticed my daughter attending a football game with her friends. He made it a point to stop what he was doing and ask how she did in her cross-country meet. He talked to her about her progress and offered her congratulations and encouragement in future events.
We a found a school with a high number of devoted parents engaged in the progress of their children and taking an active role in assisting the school in attaining its goals. The PEP meetings are always well attended. Arrive late and you won’t find a seat at the table. We have attended functions, such as the one you will be attending at the Hooper’s, organized by parents to provide an opportunity for people to get to know each other and discuss issues, concerns, and achievements at St. Anthony High. And it is common to participate in school fund raising events or building maintenance projects and find more volunteers than are necessary.
We have also found that the students, while very competitive, are willing to help one another succeed. Several donate their time as tutors, assisting others with challenging subjects. In my daughter’s classes, many exchange phone numbers and email addresses so that they can reach to each other after hours with questions or concerns. Recently we experienced a problem with our printer and our child was able to email her project to a classmate who gladly printed it out and brought it to school for her the next day.
Most importantly, we’ve found ourselves part of a team - a team of parents, teachers, and administrators each working hard and doing their part to ensure our children are provided with every opportunity to become successful students and productive member s of society.
Teague Family (Cori, Class of 2015-Texas A & M University Class of 2019)
Written in 2012
Prior to choosing St. Anthony High School for our daughter’s education, we were sure that an all girl school would be the best environment for her to attend. Her older sister attended an all girls Catholic High School and it would have been easy to make the same choice again. We were familiar with the school, it was a convenient commute and for us as parents, it just felt familiar and comfortable.
We attended open houses at numerous local Catholic all-girls and co-ed schools. Our daughter narrowed it down to two small schools, one co-ed and one all girls. After making lists of pros and cons and heart to heart discussions, our family chose St. Anthony.
When our daughter attended “Saint for a Day”, she fell in love with the feel at St. Anthony - not too big, not too small… just right. She felt a very welcoming and caring atmosphere. She was impressed by the teachers that she met and said they seemed genuinely interested and enthusiastic about being teachers at St. Anthony. It also helped that purple was her favorite color at that time.
From the perspective of a parent, we attended open house, met some teachers and walked the halls at school. We sensed a nurturing and safe environment. At St. Anthony, the faculty is truly interested in the religious, moral and academic success of every student. During our eighth grade year, we attended the SA homecoming basketball game. I loved seeing teachers in the stands supporting the team. In time, I have come to find out that it’s not uncommon to see teachers at the various sporting events, supporting the teams whether in victory or defeat.
Now that our family is part of the SAHS community, we could not be more pleased with our decision. First and foremost, our daughter is genuinely happy at St. Anthony. No doubt, she is getting an excellent education that will prepare her for a four year university after high school. There are programs that provide students the opportunity to serve and give back to the community. The families at St. Anthony are supportive of each other and strong supporters of St. Anthony. It is not uncommon to run into St. Anthony alumni in the community. And always, there is the pride of being a Saint. We feel truly blessed to be part of the SA family.
Written in 2014-
From freshman year 2011-2012 we fast forward to senior year 2014-2015. The time at St. Anthony High School has gone by too fast. It has been a ton of fun for us as parents to get involved with the many activities like the Saints Run, the annual golf tournament, Long Beach Grand Prix, Athletic Boosters and PEP to name a few. Being involved has given us a chance to meet new people and to work together to achieve what we all want… to make SAHS the best experience for our kids.
St. Anthony has fully prepared Cori for the next step. While at SAHS she’s had the opportunity to participate in multiple sports and clubs. The result is that she has a well-rounded perspective of student life. Participation in the various extracurricular activities has taught Cori the value of time management. She learned that there are choices to be made and consequences to those choices. The discipline learned at SAHS will be critical to succeed in college and in life.
Extracurricular events are made possible because of the SAHS staff that is often willing to go beyond the daily work duties and give extra time to make events happen. There are teachers that also coach sports and attend sporting events to staff that serve as advisors for campus clubs. The staff and teachers at SAHS are genuinely interested in helping the students succeed. My observation is that teachers don’t just go through the motions and get through the day. Teachers really care and hold students responsible and accountable for their work.
Four years later I can honestly say that if we had the choice all over again, we would choose St. Anthony for our daughter. It has been a great four years and I believe the best is yet to come because there are many great things happening at St. Anthony High School.
Mizraji Family (Madison, Class of 2017- Univ. of Notre Dame Class of 2021 & Claire, Class of 2016- Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Class of 2020)
Written during Claire's freshmen year..
Our oldest daughter is a very quiet, shy person and was a little anxious during the first few days (mostly relative to mastering the locker) but acclimated quickly. She will tell you that she "loves school". We (her parents) would tell you that we love that she has been welcomed with open arms by any kid or adult she comes across. She will tell you that the workload is tough, but the I-pads are awesome! We would tell you that we are grateful for the high academic standards and especially grateful for the adult supervision/monitoring of all things related to using the I-pads. She will tell you that she is currently playing volleyball and is not sure about her next activity - the emphasis being on the fact that there is definitely going to be a next activity because school is fun and she has made lots of new friends. We would tell you how appreciative we are that her confidence as grown and she is much less afraid to try new things, including new friendships. We are happy to report that our daughter is challenged and happy - a good combination.
We want our kids to be academically challenged, to learn to explore new things, and to learn the value of hard work. Our experience at St. Anthony has been remarkable. We have been continually impressed by the hard work and dedication of the faculty and staff. There is an environment here that teaches the things that I want my child to learn. It's a small enough place that the kids don't get lost, but big enough to mix it up a little. Some things that really touched me - in the big scheme of things they seem small, but I wanted to include them: the pre-game prayer at football games that includes the phrase "let us not be boastful", the sense of humor many of the faculty have, the camaraderie that exists because people (faculty, staff, students, and parents) are working hard to get various projects done for the school, and the encouragement given and the will to do new things, like the marching band! I could go on, but you get the idea. Is St. Anthony a perfect place? No, but we have also been impressed by the will to address and fix any problems that come up.
Quinonez Family (Brianna, Class of 2021 & Elizabeth, Class of 2015- Cal State Long Beach, Class of 2019)
The reason my wife and I chose the elementary school as the school to enroll our children in, was that it wasn’t just a school or a parish. It felt like a family. We were a very tight knit family that was willing to help each other out in various ways if need be. The parents and siblings were part of the school family together with their children/students.
When looking for a high school to send our oldest child to, we looked at the local public schools, Catholic schools, and even other Christian schools. However, what we found was that high schools did not have the family environment up front. It was more of a business that was intent on getting to your child, and not to the parents. Information requests and questions were often met with standard answers or form letters. I felt like I was a burden to some of the schools when they wouldn’t accept my requests for meetings and simply stated that we could just address that after the school year started, because registration time was too hectic!
St. Anthony was TOTALLY DIFFERENT!!! When we first went to our first information meeting, we were greeted by the Principal, who was willing to discuss and address why the school was structured the way it was, as well as his vision for the future of St. Anthony. He wasn’t afraid to discuss the issues at the school, but was instead looking at them as opportunities for growth and partnership. When I began asking questions, answers were readily available. I wasn’t pushed off on a staff member, because registration time was to hectic. I was made to feel important. As I parent, I have been made to feel like I am the customer, and the school is truly providing me a service by providing my child with the best education in the area, at an affordable cost.
Now in our second year, our daughter has not only excelled academically, but is also a 2 sport varsity athlete. She is being challenged by teachers who are wise enough to know that what worked in education back in the 20th century, is not adequate for today.
St. Anthony is not a parish or a high school. St. Anthony is a community and a family where we all belong, and work together, to form our children into responsible and productive young adults with a strong set of roots in who they are, and a high vision of who they aspire to be.
Phair Family (Kate, Class of 2016 - University of Missouri, Class of 2020)
Written during Kate's freshman year...
I am glad you are considering St. Anthony's High School. My name is Kathleen Phair and my daughter, Kate, is a freshman this year at St. Anthony's. And she is SO VERY happy being a St. Anthony's SAINT! In fact, our family is thrilled to be part of the Saints community.
During her first week of school (after she figured out how to work the lockers) she would tell me how glad she was about her high school decision. She would comment on how all the kids were "so into being a St. Anthony's Saint". Its been a couple months now and she feels right at home there. She has made many new friends, she is in all Honors classes - which she finds challenging but she is doing well, She participates on the Girls Cross Country team, has made the Girls JV Soccer Team, is on the Yearbook Club, Helping Hands service club and a Creative Writing Club. She REALLY ENJOYS having the ability to be so involved with the school. It is definitely "her" school now. She is a St Anthony's Saint thru n thru!
As we had no ties to any High Schools in the areas, when we started looking, Kate had her choice. And we visited all the high schools. I asked her what were the key things that influenced her SAHS decision. Her first comment was when Mr. Schabert visited her school! - because he was saying everything she wanted to hear!
- She liked hearing that the school was focused on the individual student and your personal high school experience.
- That they were very focused on college preparation and getting you into the college you wanted. This is a very big deal for Kate.
- She liked that she would be able to participate in all different types of extracurricular activities. And she is really enjoying this aspect of high school life. Even more than she thought she would!
- and at Saint for A Day she talked about how cool and dedicated teachers were. They seemed really passionate about the school.
As a parent, the SAHS community - from the Administrators, teachers, coaches, and other parents - is so welcoming. It is a "family". That is cliche but very true. I feel so positive about the all around High School education that Kate is receiving at St. Anthony's. It is so comforting to see your child thriving in a high school environment. SAHS is challenging Kate academically and she feels involved in "her school". I encourage you to have your child attend Saint for A Day.
Curtin Family (Emily, Class of 2019)
The decision to have our daughter attend SAHS was like a puzzle with the pieces all fitting seamlessly together… Many of Emily’s close friends have older siblings that are either currently attending or had recently graduated from the school. As a result, since most of her friends were headed there to continue with family traditions she had a strong desire to join them. Unfortunately, we didn’t know much about SAHS because when our older two children graduated from Catholic elementary school not a single classmate went on to high school at SAHS. What a difference a few years makes. Last year 15 8th graders at St. Hedwigs decided to move on to SAHS.
Mona and I were more and more impressed with SAHS with each interaction that we had with the school employees and community. We were very intrigued with the model of having a Principal and a President each with areas that they concentrated on. During the various functions at the school that we attended we had to the opportunity to spend time with both Mrs. Maguire and Mr. Schabert. If a more driven, enthusiastic and charismatic duo exists at another Catholic High School I would be very surprised. As I said earlier, the pieces fell into place. We spoke with the parents of current students and recent graduates and were comforted by the answers to all of our concerns. We were assured that the level of instruction was rigorous and challenging. The opportunities afforded to those attending a smaller school far outweigh any of the advantages of attending a large school in our opinion. The school community is vibrant and growing and the investment of time and energy by teachers, administrators and parents and families is evident on a daily basis.
As we head into only the second month of Emily’s high school journey, we continue to be assured that SAHS is the place for her. People have asked me how SAHS is working out for her and I tell them I can’t imagine it starting any better. She has already got to participate in Student Government, sports and school clubs. Through these activities she has quickly made many new friends.
As a final note, I went to pick her up from SAHS Golf practice one evening in September and I started talking to a young gentleman who worked in the shop at Rec Park. He had a purple SAHS shirt on. I can’t remember the last time I met a more polite, engaging and helpful teenager. If he is an example of the quality of student that attends or graduates from our school then I absolutely know that the decision puzzle worked out in our favor.
Castro Family (Natalia, Class of 2019)
The choice of a high school to attend is an important decision for the next four years of education, as well as preparation for college. In finding a school that provides the education and formation we expected, Saint Anthony High School made it easy. My daughter, Natalia was seeking something similar to her school of the last 9 years at Saint Hedwig in Los Alamitos where we experienced a community we love. Natalia was very excited to find this kind of community at Saint Anthony High School. She attended "Saint for Day" and came home with a purpose in mind.
Saint Anthony High School brought us the choice of a continued education in a faith inspired environment, a place that would not disrupt my daughter’s path and would cement the foundations of her future. The options of diversity, the benefit of many of her long-time friends staying together to support each other in this new phase of life, made it very clear that SAHS was the school to choose.
There were many points of support to our decision, I remember Cory Teague spoke to us at a meeting (a Saint Hedwig graduate) and I was not only impressed with her speech but with her growth and preparedness for things to come. This gave me a sense of how my daughter could transform after four years at SAHS. A solid curriculum focused on college preparation, a great faculty, the President Ambassadors program, Mr. Schabert and his involvement in all that takes place, the elements of community, the values and sense of belonging made our choice clear: Saint Anthony High School.
It has barely been two months since we began to wear purple and we are extremely happy with the school. The faculty is engaged, prepared and devoted to give our children the tools they need for their future. The school programs, the parent community and the students are all geared in one direction: success.
It is amazing to watch Natalia as she has easily adjusted to her new school; she has already experienced the amazing difference of high school life and we look forward to many more great things at Saint Anthony High School.
Rose Family (Brody, Class of 2019)
We were choosing between a new, small Long Beach high school and Saint Anthony. It was a hard decision for us in the beginning. We called the new public school the "Shiny Penny". Brody was inclined to choose the new public school and we wanted him to look at both. This was difficult because we financially knew it would be a stretch for our family but we wanted to go into the decision making process without the money aspect and really look at what was best for our son. We knew we wanted a small school and they both offered the small feel. Ultimately we decided on Saint Anthony. We decided it was the size and it offered a well-rounded curriculum and sports and we wanted both options for Brody. Leaving the public school system seemed scary to us as we have never been in a private school setting. Our initial concerns were the quality of teachers and expectations. After going to back to school night, our minds were put at ease and we feel very strongly that this is the right place for our son. He is very happy and we are as well. We originally thought that we were leaving the Long Beach Promise and shortly after arriving at SA we found out the CSULB offers this program to SA students. Without out a doubt we believe all of our children will go to this school. It has been a wonderful experience thus far.