Welcome

FROM THE HEADMASTER, DR. RICHARD A. BRAKE

It is my honor to welcome you to St. Michael Academy, northern Michigan’s only Classical Catholic high school, where we work to cultivate a new generation of smart saints formed in the classical tradition and the truth of the Catholic Church.  Thank you for your interest in our exceptional school.  Please let us know what we can do to make “SMA” the academic and spiritual home for your family!

As both a “college prep” and, more importantly, a “heaven prep” school, we foster development of the whole child – mind, body, and soul – ever mindful that education and career are simply means to the ultimate end: spreading the Gospel and achieving salvation!

Our Catholic faith is central to our educational vision, permeating all that we do throughout the school day and beyond.  Whether at church, in the classroom, on retreats or mission trips, on the athletic fields, at pro-life prayer vigils, or during any other activity, our faith principles – from sacred scripture and sacred tradition – form the core of all we profess.  Our Catholic faith is the central reality from which all academic disciplines flow and derive their meaning, an insight that makes our approach unique and powerful at a time when many educators question the existence of transcendent truth.

The coherence that marks our educational vision flows simply from our insistence on the unity of faith and reason – FIDES ET RATIO – which is so instrumental in teaching students how to think and how to learn.  Rather than rush to the latest educational fad or innovation (such as Common Core), we believe that the lost skills of learning can be rediscovered in the “tried and true” tradition of reading the Great Books of Western Culture, pursuing rigorous mathematical and scientific study, and embracing the fine arts – while seeing within all of it, the grand design and intention of our Creator.

We seek to elevate a new generation of joyful students, filled with awe and wonder for God’s creation, encouraged to look beyond the temporal and mundane and towards the eternal and transcendent.  We challenge our students to contemplate the “permanent things,” as found in the master works of Western Civilization.  We take them on an intellectual trip through Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem with, as our ultimate destination, a greater understanding of the Author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: God.

With such clear purpose, SMA is the perfect place for families seeking a formative climate for their teenager that is both intimate and nurturing while also rigorous and challenging.  During these turbulent (though not unprecedented) times, the value of the constancy and permanence of an authentically Catholic education, delivered in a rigorously Classical format, cannot be understated.  With our outstanding faculty, innovative curriculum, small class sizes, and the nimbleness to rapidly adjust to a host of uncertainties, we provide the education and faith formation that is so desperately needed today.

I invite you to contact us and stop by our Petoskey campus to see for yourself what Classical Catholic education is all about!  We look forward to meeting you, and to acquainting you with the fastest growing educational movement in the nation, one that promises to bring correction and healing from that which ails our sick and tired world!

St. Michael, pray for us!
Dr. Richard Brake, Headmaster

December 2020