My daughter is in her second year at St. Catherines and is flourishing. We looked at the 3 private schools and we are so glad we selected St. Catherines. We were and still are very impressed with the administration and how present themselves on a daily basis. Our daughter has made many friends and so have my husband and I. I continued to be impressed with the diversity of the students and staff. My second child will be attending next year and we can't wait to watch her grow into a well rounded, self confident member of society.
I am sorry but St. Catherines was not for me. The girls there were disrespectful and completely mean. I of course was not the perfect blonde with a family that made over 1 million dollars a year, so I was not that popular. The teachers were even crazy and quite insane. My sister even had an incident where her friend got pushed into a locker by some of the popular girls, and she was the one that got in trouble, not the popular girls because their parents had payed enough money for her to get ahead in life and not get in trouble. I am sorry but this is true, St. Catherines is a school for girls that just lets girls get ahead in life with money and popularity rather than actually intelligence.
St. Catherine's was the best decision my parents ever made for me. After being on the waiting list for six years, I was extremely resistant to the idea of leaving public school, so they told me if I didn't like it after a year I could leave. After one day at STC there was no turning back! I loved every moment of my four years there and wish I had been able to attend for 13 years. My writing abilities were praised, my math abilities were helped, and my biology teacher made up a song to teach us the human body. I received an invaluable education, had access to passionate teachers and college counselors, played new sports, pursued my love of dance, and made some of the best friends I could ever ask for. STC staff told my class we had the biggest 5-year reunion in over 10 years. St. Catherine's and its traditions will always have a special place in my heart.
We chose St. Catherine's for our daughter after concern over the large class sizes in the Chesterfield Cty. school she attended. It was absolutely the right decision for our daughter and the school is everything we hoped it would be. They are equally focused on a building important academic foundations in math, reading and writing - with appropriate individualized attention - as well on layering on enrichment activities to keep the girls engaged on every level. Great community and great experience!
Love the philosphy of St. Catherine's. Extremely nurturing environment focussed on academic excellence. Wonderful school community. Great opportnutiy for girls of any ethnicity and religion. Impressive technology and well rounded curriculum.
We had been considering St. Catherines for my daughter for a few years, but the lack of diversity was making us a bit hesitant. I'm so glad we decided to give it a shot. We are of middle eastern descent, and have been amazed at how well she has fit in. She has been welcomed with open arms. The academics are outstanding, the teachers are nurturing and attentive. Cutting edge technology available to parents and students. She has made more friends than we can keep track of. We pick up a thoroughly happy child from school every day and we couldnt be happier. We made a great choice and would advise prospective parents not to let the lack of diversity hold them back.
St. Catherine's is a truly wonderful place! I started as a new 5th grader two years ago. I was amazed how friendly everyone was as they welcomed me to the St. Catherine's community. I feel I am now a smart, confident girl with my supportive teachers and peers to keep me balanced. I recommend it for every girl who wants to have fun while creating a very bright future. It might just be the best choice my family has ever made.
St. Catherines has been the best decision we've made for our daughter. The JK program is amazing and Pam Oken-Wright is the reason why. I have no complaints about the school, teachers or facilities.
I hated going to St. Cathrines for the 2 years I went there for High School. I finally switched over to St. Gertrude which was so much better. Also St. Gertrude's class sizes are a lot smaller then St. Cathrines.
I am a former student who did not fit some of the stereotypes mentioned. I entered in ninth grade, stood out a bit socio-economically, and I was awkward in some ways (as are many teenage girls). However, I thrived at St. Catherine's and was never afraid to give my opinion. I was part of student leadership and went up against parents, other student leaders, and teachers more than once. Although sometimes controversial, my opinions were valued and encouraged. I think the comment posted on Jan. 13 makes a great point about it being a tough place to thrive if you get caught up in certain aspects of the school. However, my family's attitude was also to take advantage of a great education, and it was a wonderful experience. What is the Eleanor Roosevelt quote? 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.'
My daughter is currently a 5th grader at St. Catherine's and has attended since JK. Despite the fact that we are a minority family, my daughter has thrived at this school for seven years. Although she is not the 'typical' student attending St. Catherine's, she has had nothing but positive experiences there. Yes STC is an old-fashion private school but I have to disagree with the poster who stated the girls were 'judged' more on neatness, family lineage,and politeness. STC in my experience has never judged its students. It can be a very tough place to thrive in if you get caught up in the fact that most of the students come from wealthy families. But if you as a family, attend STC to get the best education available in Richmond, your daughter will enjoy her experience. My son also attends St. Christopher's and is a 2nd grader, he loves it!!!
I am sad to see that some parents have a few negative things to say about St.C. I too am a former student and I went to St.C for over ten years. I am can assure you I am not a typical blonde popular southern girl. Typically young girls will have tough times while struggling to find themselves, especially in middle school. Some of the things that helped me through those hard times were my friends from school and faculty members that supported me tremendously. St.C prepared me very well for the real world. I went to a good, highly rated private college where I was clearly equipped way beyond my peers. I still today have St. C to thank for my best friends, and the best education a girl can receive. St. C encourages young women to feel empowered and be inspired. They offer more than just an excellent education.
It is a very old-fashioned traditional school where girls are judged more on their neatness , family lineage,and politeness, and less on their achievement. We are very disappointed. It may have been a better experience if we had started in JK. Academically, I can't see how it is any better than Hanover,Henrico or Chesterfield public schools. It is probably better than Richmond city public schools. -- A Parent
My daughter is a first grader at St. Catherine's and after attending an exceptional private school in Chicago. Our St. Catherine's experience has exceeded our expectations. The teachers, children, and parents are terrific. We were not familiar with same-sex only education before St. C's but now I think it's the greatest idea since sliced bread. The girls are confident and not afraid to speak up and participate. There's a wonderful sense of community. Unfortunately we will be moving out of state now. I wish that my daughter could continue at St. C's. We will miss this wonderful school.
I'm sorry 'May 8, 2007' had a negative experience, but I respectfully disagree. I attended 13 years at St. Catherine's and graduated with an exceptional education. Allow me to address the social concerns parents may have when considering any private school. I didn't fit in to 'May 8th's' stereotypical description, but I served as the head of the Honor Council, and was well liked and respected by students and teachers. I wasn't 'Most Popular', but self-esteem should be based on an internal sense of self-worth rather than measured or swayed by external judgements or popularity. Some leadership positions are essentially popularity contests. This is true in private school, public school, business, religion and politics! Prioritize education and trust that, socially, your child will be the person you raised her to be. 'Teach us to look, in all our ends, on Thee for judge and not our friends.' St. Catherine's School Hymn
Unfortunately L'Leadership' applys only to blonde, blue-eyed students, with the Stepford Student stare. To achieve in this school one cannot express a different opinion than that of the school's leadership. My daughter enjoyed and thrived K-5, but 6-8 were simply awful. We ppulled her out before she suffered permanent self-esteem issues. Therapy has helped to resolve them as well.
This is the best all girl K-12 school in the region. It allows girls to be in all leadership positions, yet in upper school (high school) there is some integration with St. Christopher's boy's school. This is a demanding school with support from families with strong educational values and a positive sense of themselves and their daughters. The education stands up well in college.
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