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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Everest Academy in Michigan to Open High School
The first group of 9th grade students will arrive in September of 2008.

The boys school building, built in 1991.
The boys' school building, built in 1991.

May 15, 2008. Clarkston, MI. Opening a new high school is a huge undertaking, and definitely not for the faint of heart. It requires courage, persistence, prayer, and a long list of human and material resources to make it happen.

For Everest Academy in Clarkston, Michigan, the dream is crystallizing into reality: the long-awaited high school will welcome its first group of 9th grade students in the fall of 2008, and plans for brand new facilities on its 90-acre campus are already underway.

This latest step is just one more milestone in what has been a steady path of growth for this private, independent Catholic school offering the Integral FormationSM method of education developed by the Legionaries of Christ.

Fr Lorenzo Gomez LC and Br Joseph Burtka LC present the first plans to Pope John Paul II in 1991.
Fr Lorenzo Gomez LC and Br Joseph Burtka LC present the first plans for Everest Academy to Pope John Paul II in 1991. The school opened its doors that year and steadily grew.
History of Dynamic Growth

Everest Academy was founded in 1991 with the blessing of Pope John Paul II, who personally saw the plans and blessed the cornerstone of the future school. That same year, the school’s newly constructed 30,000 square foot building (now the boys´ school building) opened for classes.

In 1996, expanding student enrollment called for new facilities, so 52,000 square feet of facilities were added, including a high school caliber gym, additional classrooms, a spacious kitchen, and a new
Pope John Paul II blesses the cornerstone for the new facilities built in 1996.
Pope John Paul II blesses the cornerstone for the new facilities built in 1996.
building for the school’s international boarding program.

In 2002, the elementary and girls´ school moved into a brand new 53,000 square foot facility with 22 new classrooms, a well-equipped computer lab, two large multi-purpose rooms, and an enclosed courtyard.

From its beginnings with 32 students in rented facilities to its current enrollment of 425 students, Everest Academy has already come a long way. The high school is the next logical phase of growth.

A Specific Style of Education

The school currently provides co-ed education for preschool through grade 2, and gender-specific education for grades 3 to 8.

When the new high school facilities
The girls school was built in 2002.
The girls' school was built in 2002.
open this fall, Everest will continue to offer gender-specific education to its upper grade students, using a proven college-preparatory curriculum that is already in place and accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement at Everest’s three sister schools: Pinecrest Academy in Atlanta, The Highlands School in Dallas, and Gateway Academy in St Louis. All three schools placed in the top 50 Catholic schools competition sponsored by the Catholic High School Honor Roll.

In addition to the challenging academic curriculum, Everest Academy also places a special emphasis on a Christ-centered formation.

Director of Formation, Fr Daniel Pajerski LC, said, “I think what is unique at Everest is the emphasis we put on achieving excellence as a result of a friendship with Christ.  I imagine that most people desire to achieve excellence, but we explicitly promote among our students the ideal that this excellence should spring from wanting to please Christ and build a better society based on Christian love.”

With eight religious on site, Everest
Lower school students enjoying a Dr Seuss moment.
Lower school students enjoying a Dr Seuss moment.
offers students a rich Catholic sacramental life, including daily communion service, the availability of daily Mass, monthly spiritual guidance, and the opportunity for frequent confession.

When asked what this new high school will offer that no other high school in Oakland County gives, Fr Lorenzo Gomez LC singled out “integral formation with its after-school activities.” He added that the most important element of this integral formation program is that it teaches children and youth the central virtue of love for Christ.

State-of-the-Art Classrooms

In addition to their solid spiritual formation, the ten girls and ten boys currently enrolled for the first 9th grade class will be getting a head start on some
Greg Reichert, a teacher at the Everest Boys School, meets with a student.
Greg Reichert, a teacher at the Everest Boys School, meets with a student.
sharp technology in their state-of-the-art classrooms.

The new classrooms will have a projector suspended from the ceiling, connected by wireless to the laptop computer on the teacher’s desk. Each student will have a “mobile lab”: his or her own laptop Apple computer for school use with a CD/ DVD drive, a connection to the teacher’s laptop, and controlled Internet access.

All of the class textbooks are on the Internet as well. Using a remote mouse, the teacher can project a page of the students’ history textbook and highlight a paragraph of particular interest, analyze a poem line by line from their literature book, or walk the students through a Calculus problem in their math book. An additional advantage of the online textbooks is that the students don’t have to take their books home with them after school.

Another special perk of the new classrooms is the Elmo Document Reader, which can take any piece of paper and project it on the wall as if it were a transparency. This means that a student’s math homework could be placed on the reader and immediately be projected on the wall for the entire class
The boys high school classrooms will be located in this building.
The boys' high school classrooms will be located in this building.
to see. As the teacher corrects the student’s work, the corrections would appear projected on the wall.

These techno-smart classrooms are currently located in temporary facilities: what was formerly the Boys’ International Boarding Program building is now the Everest Boys´ High School, fully equipped and ready for classes in the fall. The Girls’ High School, temporarily located on the second floor of the current Girls’ School building, will be fully equipped with the same technology this summer.

Beyond the Classroom

As the high school grows, the sports program will grow with it. For now, Everest High School has established a partnership with Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School in Waterford for
Everest students engaged in a service project.
Everest students engaged in a service project.
its main sports teams: boys’ football, cross country, soccer, basketball, club hockey, golf, baseball, and track; and girls’ volleyball, cross country, basketball, track, softball, soccer, and tennis. Students will play on the varsity and junior varsity teams, earning an Everest letter.

The boys and girls at the separate high schools will also trailblaze some of the co-ed activities that come with the high school territory: dances, homecoming, and extracurricular activities like drama, student government, and student publications.

In addition, the booming K4J, Challenge, and ConQuest programs on campus are another opportunity for students to go beyond the classroom by giving of themselves, exercising positive leadership among their peers, and sharing their faith with others. Challenge is particularly strong at Everest, with over 80% of the girls ages 11 and up participating in its weekly activities.

For more information about the new high school and its academic program and extracurricular activities, visit the web site at or contact Mrs. Maura Plante at (248) 241-9012 to arrange a private appointment.

To watch a video about the new high school, click here or on the Everest crest below.



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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