News Releases

St. Michael Academy Successfully Perseveres through COVID Closure, Completes 2019-20 School Year with “Live” Graduation!

The 2020 Graduates!

PETOSKEY – July 10, 2020 – St. Michael Academy (SMA), Northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, is pleased to announce the successful completion of its 2019-20 school year, culminating with a “live” outdoor graduation, providing a proper send-off to its fourth graduating class!

“Through the rapid implementation of our Online Learning Initiative in mid-March, we not only persevered but thrived in completing our course objectives,” stated SMA Headmaster Dr. Richard Brake.  “Perhaps even more importantly, our outstanding faculty led our student body to experience and appreciate the value of hard work and a ‘can-do, never give up’ attitude that will serve them well in life!”

“Furthermore,” Dr. Brake continued, “our on-line efforts have provided the basis for an excellent pilot project, allowing us to explore and develop hybrid ‘in-person/distance learning’ delivery methods, allowing both the ability to continue operations during future temporary shut-downs and, perhaps, expanding our reach to surrounding communities that currently lack a Catholic high school.”

Dozens of class sessions from SMA’s Online learning Initiative can be viewed on the SMA website.

SMA held its fourth graduation on June 15th at a beautiful ceremony at Petoskey’s Grand Unity Hall, honoring its seniors:  Charles Keefe, Colleen Cesario, Seamus Nolan, and Isabel Bartelli.

As with past graduating classes at SMA, this year’s seniors will continue with their education at their respective schools of choice, bolstered by abundant scholarships and financial aid.  Mr. Keefe, the SMA Valedictorian, will attend North Central Michigan College on a “full ride” Presidential scholarship, while Ms. Cesario, Mr. Nolan, and Ms. Bartelli will attend Michigan State University, the Industrial Arts Institute, and the University of Mary, respectively.

Photos of the SMA Graduation can be viewed at the SMA website at and also at

SMA is enrolling rising 7th through 12th grade students for the 2020-21 academic year.  Please contact Dr. Brake at for more information.  SMA offers tuition assistance to qualifying families.  No student is denied enrollment because of financial reasons.

For more information about SMA, please visit the school website at

Established in 2013, St. Michael Academy is the first Catholic high school in the Little Traverse area since 1972, and the region’s only Classical high school.  SMA strives to develop the next generation of American leaders by promoting a culture of excellence and instilling its students with the classical virtues of wisdom, temperance, courage, and justice, along with the Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love.