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Saint Thomas Academy

Saint Thomas Academy (abbr. STA), originally known as St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, and formerly known as St. Thomas Military Academy is the only all male, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory, military high school in Minnesota. It is located in Mendota Heights near Saint Paul. The Academy has a middle school (grades 6-8) and a high school (grades 9-12). The high school students are required to participate in military leadership classes, as the school was previously part of Army JROTC. Its sister school, Convent of the Visitation, is located down the street. Many classes and after school activities involve both schools. It is located within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Saint Thomas Academy
949 Mendota Heights Road
Mendota Heights, (Dakota County), Minnesota 55120
United States
Coordinates 44°52′5″N 93°8′14″W / 44.86806°N 93.13722°W / 44.86806; -93.13722Coordinates: 44°52′5″N 93°8′14″W / 44.86806°N 93.13722°W / 44.86806; -93.13722
Type Private, Military
Motto Ex Umbris In Veritatem
(Out of Darkness into Truth)
Religious affiliation(s) Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s) Saint Thomas Aquinas
Established September 8, 1885
Founder Archbishop John Ireland
Sister school Convent of the Visitation
Oversight Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Headmaster Matthew Mohs[1]
Chaplain Fr. Mark Pavlak
Faculty 60
Grades 612
Gender Boys
Enrollment 618 (2016)
Campus size 88 acres (360,000 m2)
Color(s) Royal Blue and White         
Fight song "Kaydet Rouser"
Athletics conference MSHSL Metro East
(formerly Classic Suburban)
Sports 15 sports
Mascot Cadet
Team name Cadets
Rival Cretin-Derham Hall
Henry Sibley High
Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools,[2]
Independent Schools Association of the Central States
Newspaper Citation
Yearbook Kaydet
Tuition $21,100 (grades 7-12) $17,500 (grade 6)
Director of Academic Life Michelle Mechtel
Dean of Students Erick Rome
Commandant of Cadets COL Neil Hetherington (U.S. Army, ret.)
Admissions Director Rick Stevson
Athletics & Activities Director Robert Slater



Saint Thomas Academy was first founded as Saint Thomas Seminary by Archbishop John Ireland on September 8, 1885.[3] STA became an U.S. Army school in 1905, and, in 1916, part of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC). In 1922, the Seminary's Academic Department separated into College of St. Thomas and St. Thomas Military Academy. Later, in 1965, the school moved to its current campus in Mendota Heights (though in a smaller iteration). A middle school was added in 1971, composing of seventh and eight grades. STA closed its boarding school program in 1974. In 2015, the school separated from the JROTC, though it retained its military curriculum and required courses. The inaugural sixth grade class joined the Academy in 2017.


  • Every morning, all students assemble in the court, in the brigade formation, to pray, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, hear 1-2 Senior Speeches, read announcements, present awards, etc.
  • Each year, on the Wednesday preceding Thanksgiving, one senior is awarded the rank of Cadet Colonel, the brigade commander, and is presented with the Fleming Saber, in honor of Richard E. Fleming, and attains the utmost respect from the general student body.
  • In the spring and fall, students wear their blue Class B1 shirts with sleeves rolled up and without ties.[4] In the winter, the students wear their Class B uniform - essentially the same, but with sleeves rolled down and a black tie. In the spring, the uniform switches back to B1, so long as the school scores high enough on BFI (see below), which it almost always does.
  • The Corps of Cadets, as the highschool students are sometimes referred to, is inspected by representatives from the National Guard in the springtime. This day is called the Brigade Formal Inspection, or BFI. In addition to checking their formal uniforms, the representative asks a few questions, most of which concern the school, its history, or U.S. Army. A score out of 600 is given to the school. If the score is high enough, the students get to remove their ties for the remainder of the year. Usually, this announcement is accompanied by a celebratory throwing-of-ties during the formation time.
  • In the spring, the highschool student body dons their formal uniforms (Class A1) for the Archbishop's Review, in which the students march around the school's track while being watched by the Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
  • Many students at STA commonly refer to each other by their last names, partially due to the uniform's nametag, which bears one's last name.

Sports and activitiesEdit

Saint Thomas Academy was a member of the Classic Suburban Conference (now Metro East). They participate in all 14 Minnesota State High School League sports as well as Orienteering. Saint Thomas Academy also has various co-curricular activities such as Band, Chess Team, Debate Team, VISTA Theater Company, Math Team, Quiz Bowl (2004, 2007, and 2012 Quiz Bowl National Champions), Knowledge Bowl, Table Tennis Club, Experimental Vehicle Team (2005 Dell-Winston School Solar Car Challenge Champions, 2006 Solar Bike Race Champions, and two time Shell Eco-marathon Champions), Mock Trial, The Rifle Team and The Crack Drill Squad. More than 90% of students participate in co-curricular athletics or activities.[5]

State Championships
Season Sport Number of Championships Year
Fall Football 3 1969, 1971, 1975
Fall Soccer 1 2016
Winter Alpine Skiing, Boys 7 1993, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011
Winter Hockey, Boys 8 1926, 1951, 1955, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013
Winter Swimming and Diving, Boys 26 1951, 1952, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Winter Basketball, Boys 11 1923, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1960, 1967, 1970, 1998, 2007
Winter Rifle Team, Boys 5 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Spring Baseball, Boys 3 1952, 1960, 1969
Spring Golf, Boys 5 1957, 1958, 1959, 1969, 2014
Spring Tennis, Boys 4 1922, 1961, 1963, 1972
Spring Track and Field, Boys 2 1958, 1972

Notable alumniEdit

  • Al Markert '46, University of Minnesota football player, selected by Chicago Bears in 1950 NFL draft; federal judge for Minnesota, twin of John Markert[citation needed]
  • John Markert '46, University of Minnesota football player, selected by New York Bulldogs 1950 NFL draft; chief lawyer and lobbyist for catholic charities, twin of Al Markert[citation needed]
  • Joesph Harrington, Vice President of Creighton Ski Club
  • Flecther Dean Johnson-Dirkers, hockey player


External linksEdit