News Releases

St. Michael Academy Announces New Lecture Series: “What is Classical Catholic Education?”, Featuring Mr. Dale Ahlquist


PETOSKEY – February 11, 2019 – St. Michael Academy (SMA), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, is pleased to announce the launch of a spring semester lecture series entitled, “What is Classical Catholic Education?”

The lecture series will occur over the next three successive months in conjunction with SMA’s new “20/20 Vision” Recruitment Campaign, designed to boost enrollment significantly by 2020.

The series will bring recognized leaders of this fast-growing educational movement to the Little Traverse Bay community to discuss the merits of the Classical curriculum.  The line-up features:

  • Dale Ahlquist, President of the Chesterton Institute and co-founder of Chesterton Academy of the Twin CitiesFriday, March 8 at 7:00pm at SMA in Petoskey.
  • Mark Salisbury, Director of Evangelization and Education for the Diocese of Marquette – Friday, April 12 at 7:00pm in Charlevoix (exact location TBD).
  • Sean Maltbie, Headmaster of Sacred Heart Academy in Grand Rapids – Saturday, May 4 at 7:00 pm in Harbor Springs (exact location TBD).

“I know that many folks in Northern Michigan, just as across our great nation, are worried about their teenagers and want to explore better educational options,” stated SMA Principal Dr. Richard Brake. “That’s why I’m so excited with the star-studded line-up of speakers we’ve assembled for this series.  They can help parents cut through the jargon and really understand how Faith and Reason (‘Fides et Ratio’) can be employed to inspire their teenagers, helping them into the college of their choice while, even more importantly, preparing them for adult life.”

Both kicking-off and headlining the lecture series on March 8 is Mr. Ahlquist, co-founder of the Chesterton Academy, one of the first and most successful Classical Catholic high schools in the country.  Mr. Ahlquist is a noted speaker, having appeared at the Vatican, Notre Dame, Yale, Oxford, and the British House of Lords.  His writings and interviews have appeared in The New York Times, BBC News, First Things, and Catholic News Agency.  He has been a featured guest in broadcasts by EWTN Radio, Relevant Radio, and Catholic Answers Live.

The April 12 event will feature Mr. Salisbury, Director of Evangelization and Education in the Diocese of Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  He is uniquely equipped to comment on the challenges at SMA as he leads a diocesan school district in which all grade-schools recently adopted a Classical curriculum.  He is also spearheading a recently-announced $10-million capital campaign to secure necessary funds for the establishment of a new Classical Catholic high school in Escanaba.  Prior to his arrival in Marquette a decade ago, Mr. Salisbury was Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Finally, the May 4 event will feature Mr. Sean Maltbie, Headmaster of Sacred Heart Academy in Grand Rapids, which experienced a tremendous increase in its student body after adopting a Classical curriculum.  Prior to taking the reins at Sacred Heart in 2014, he exceled in a wide variety of fields, including five years as a federal prosecutor and thirteen years as an Air Force Officer.  Mr. Maltbie is President of the Catholic Lawyers Association of Western Michigan.

For more information about St. Michael Academy, or to RSVP for this lecture series, please contact the SMA office at 231-881-9025.  SMA is located at 2225 Summit Park Drive, Petoskey, near the corner of Mitchell and Division.

Established in 2013, SMA is the first Catholic high school in the Little Traverse area since 1972, and Northern Michigan’s only high school offering a Classical Curriculum. SMA strives to develop the whole person, cultivating academic, moral, and all-around excellence in its students, from within a caring and attentive environment.

SMA is now accepting students for enrollment in the 2019-20 academic year.  Please contact the school at 231-881-9025 for more information or to schedule a tour.