|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.
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.
History of Dynamic Growth
|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.|
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.
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
building for the school’s international boarding program.
|Pope John Paul II blesses the cornerstone for the new facilities built in 1996.|
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.
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
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.|
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
in Dallas, and Gateway Academy
Louis. All three schools placed in the top 50 Catholic
schools competition sponsored by the Catholic High School Honor Roll.
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.|
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
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.|
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.
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.|
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
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.|
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
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 www.everestcatholic.org or
contact Mrs. Maura Plante at (248) 241-9012 to arrange a
To watch a video about the new high
school, click here or on the Everest crest below.