Saint Thomas students learn to care for others, seek leadership opportunities, and provide service to others. Saint Thomas’ student leadership model ensures that our 8th graders are prepared to be leaders at Saint Thomas and later, in their future schools and communities. 

Students know to greet and assist visitors, notice and respond to others’ needs, and take ownership for words and actions. Pairing older students with younger ones is an experience we find successfully builds leadership and a sense of community. Older students assist younger ones in Math, Reading and Science classes. Practices such as this combined with our targeted instruction ensure our students act and lead in an honorable way.

The transformation of students to leaders is purposeful and powerful. The journey includes several community milestones that Saint Thomas is known for such as our leadership retreat and anointing ceremony. We invite you and your child to learn more about our Servant Leader Formation.

Service Learning: Our dynamic educational experience is enhanced with rich opportunities for community service. Students make cards for and visit our Holland Home Raybrook senior friends, volunteer at Kids’ Food Basket, and adopt local families from Kings’ Table, Family Promise and/or Family Haven for Christmas. Our students and families also make blankets, collect food and serve meals to the homeless. We participate in Giving Tuesday and contribute needed supplies for non-profits organizations like Children’s Healing Center and Artists Creating Together. We annually raise funds for Special Olympics Area 11 in our “Rumble with the Rams” basketball game. Our 8th grade leaders complete service hours by helping with parish and school events as well as performing hours of community service.

Peer Mentoring: Saint Thomas students are known for their servant leadership. This is, in part, due to the multifaceted pairing of older students to younger. Middle school students help guide elementary students in learning and prayer. They serve as reading buddies, math buddies, science partners, classroom helpers and Mass mentors – gently coaching, confidently guiding. Our students feel connected to each other in service to the learning community.

8th Grade Retreat: One of our hallmark experiences is developing our student leaders. In partnership with Edgeline, a Christian team building partner, our 8th grade class gathers on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan at Camp Blodgett for an intense two-day retreat. They focus on class unity and servant leadership. Every moment is filled with lessons, testimonials, activities and prayer. The focus on unity and leadership and the undivided attention of key adults gives these students the confidence to rise up and become Saint Thomas School leaders and community servants. Our 8th grade retreat prepares our students for leadership at Saint Thomas and beyond. 

Anointing Ceremony: Our school annually gathers in the Spring for one of the most beautiful and significant masses to witness the transfer of student leadership. Outgoing 8th grade leaders are acknowledged for their heroic love and leadership as they anoint the hands of the 7th graders, the school’s new leaders. This powerful ceremony completes the circle of Christ-centered leadership, joining outgoing leaders with new, each drawing strength and guidance from God and their faith community.

Vocations Awareness: Saint Thomas students learn to put their trust in God and listen for what He is calling them to do. Our school annually hosts Vocations Awareness week, featuring guest speakers and interviews with seminarians, sisters, priests, brothers, and single and married adults.

Our Vocations Awareness experience builds confidence in our students that through faith and prayer, their future will unfold as God intended. The rich traditions of our faith are lived out in our vocation. 

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