St. Vincent de Paul’s Board of Regents | A Focus on Growth

More families are choosing St. Vincent de Paul High School. In 2017 and 2018, St. Vincent’s enjoyed the highest number of transfers into the school over its 102-year history.

In 2019, we experienced a 26% increase in first year enrollment.

In fact, this year SVHS was the only Catholic High School in Sonoma or Napa counties that experienced increased enrollment in their incoming freshman class.

To make the opportunity of a St. Vincent’s education possible for more families, 46% of our current students receive some form of financial assistance.

Guiding the School to Greater Transparency and Financial Controls

The Board of Regents for St. Vincent de Paul High School has engaged outside professional financial management and independent financial oversight.  We have substantial operating reserves with projections of enhanced financial flexibility over the next 2-3 years. Our strategic plan features additional sources of revenue, increasing enrollment, growing operating surpluses and growing reserves for long term sustainability.

Through generous private donations, St. Vincent’s is able to offer increased financial aid, tuition assistance and scholarships. More families benefit from financial support with increasing amounts of aid awarded year after year.

Increasing the Diversity of the Student Body

With a renewed focus on making the opportunity of a St. Vincent’s education available to more families, the diversity of our student body has increased with every incoming class for the last three years.

The 2019 freshman class included students from 21 different middle schools including four “Vincentian Scholars” –who enjoy a four-year scholarship reducing their tuition by 50%. To qualify as a Vincentian Scholar, applicants have earned straight A’s in 7th and 8th grade and score in the top 10% of the high school placement test.

St. Vincent’s has a long tradition of exceptional teachers, including one alumnus and former teacher who was awarded the Gores Award for Teaching Excellence by Stanford University for ‘generating a level of enthusiasm for Great Works that students spoke of with awe four years later.’  With the recent retirement of key long-time teachers, the administration affirms its historical commitment to superior instructional quality in the recruitment of highly-motivated teachers who value the unique advantages of teaching in a private, student-centered school.  Today, 65% of our enthusiastic, instructional staff hold advanced degrees (MA, MS, MBA, JD or PhD) and 15% are alums.

A Strong Emphasis on High Graduation Outcomes

St. Vincent de Paul High School delivers some of the best graduation outcomes, preparing students for acceptance in the universities of their choice.  Every year, there are students admitted to the most highly selective universities nationwide.  An investment in a St. Vincent education often means more school choice and more scholarship opportunities upon graduation.  Exceptional teacher quality, high expectations, academic rigor and the small school atmosphere contribute to our tradition of excellence.  In 2019, we raised the bar once more and now have the highest graduation requirements among all high schools in the Northbay.

At the same time, we have added five new class offerings including AP Computer Science, AP Art History, Engineering, Recording Arts and Business Management & Ethics.

We are investing in our future by making strategic investments into our physical facilities.

In an effort to improve the student experience, we have created a senior lounge and enhanced our courtyards (with more on the way).

A complete renovation of our weight room to a state-of-the-art facility to support student health and our athletics programs. And as of this writing, the construction of the “Linda Gonzalez Arts Building” continues and completion is projected for summer 2020.

These significant improvements were funded 100% through private donations. One residual strength of St. Vincent de Paul High School is the confidence and generosity of current families, alumni and benefactors.

In 2019, St. Vincent de Paul High School added a Resource Service Program to support students who have 504 plans or IEPs. We now provide individualized services to meet a student’s unique needs and facilitate changes to the learning environment to enable students to learn alongside their peers. Additional support is also provided to our families and school staff.

A Broad Focus on Excellence throughout the Institution

The leadership is committed to excellence across all areas of the institution. Beginning in 2017, the athletics programs were identified as an area that required more attention and investment. It was addressed by focusing on expanding programs, investing in new facilities & equipment and elevating expectations for the highest quality coaching.

Through dedicated fundraising, a state-of-the-art weight room was completed, a staff member for Strength & Conditioning was added and new coaches were recruited to the program. The football program at St. Vincent’s is just one example of early success. Coach Trent Herzog inherited a program of one team, with four coaches and just 18 student-athletes.

By his second year (2019), St. Vincent’s fielded two competitive teams, with 16 coaches and 44 student-athletes. We expect to see similar growth across all boys and girls athletics programs.

A strong academic reputation has always attracted accomplished students to St. Vincent’s… increasingly, the most aspirational student-athletes are seeking admission.

New Leadership Brings Renewed Focus and Enthusiasm

New leadership has sparked a renewed focus and enthusiasm within our school community. Pastor and President, William P. Donahue, an alum from the Class of ‘76, has directed deliberate and sweeping change.

Our Principal Patrick W. Daly brings 20+ years of experience in Catholic Schools. As a teacher at Cardinal Newman (Santa Rosa), the Athletic Director of Marin Catholic (Kentfield), the Principal of St. Bernard’s Academy (Eureka) and President of Riordan High School (San Francisco), he delivered successful outcomes in times of change at each school. As the Head of School at St. Bernard’s and Riordan, he drove a 40%+ increase in enrollment which is consistent with our plan for St. Vincent’s over the next 3-5 years.

This is only the beginning of another growth phase at St. Vincent de Paul High School. The five-year plan includes additional enhancements, new offerings and larger investments to improve the opportunities for our students and the financial sustainability of the school.

Are you seeking a college preparatory program with high expectations in a small school atmosphere? Looking for the opportunity to “do it all” in high school while developing lifelong friendships? We hope to hear from you.

St. Vincent de Paul High School is striving for excellence and making a difference. Contact us to learn more…

The Board of Regents
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Schools
Rafael Velez, Lynne Gilles and Russ Ferreira

December 3, 2019

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