No matter the individual or the school, the high school years can be challenging. That’s why when it came time for Ray and Peggy Marsh to send their two children, RJ and Clare Marsh, to high school, they knew they wanted to do what they could to better set them up for success.
“RJ and Clare went to the public schools through middle school, where they got a great education and made good friends,” said Peggy, who grew up attending Catholic schools. “But as high school was approaching, my husband and I liked the idea of a smaller school where learning more about their faith would be part of the everyday experience.”
Now, four years later, RJ is a senior at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy, Clare is in her sophomore year and Ray and Peggy are grateful for the impact that they have seen the school have on both of their children.
“I think they’ve grown a lot. With the smaller classrooms and the high expectations, they’ve been thriving,” said Peggy.
At SJCA, Clare and RJ have been able to participate in a number of sports and activities spanning their varied interests, and Peggy further credits those extracurriculars with the growth she has seen in her kids.
“RJ’s the captain of the basketball team this year,” said Peggy of her son, who is also a part of the school’s golf team. “We feel like he’s been able to grow as a player and as a person in a balanced atmosphere and still have good competitive sports.
“Clare participates in soccer, basketball, and track,” continued Peggy. “She likes to compete and enjoys the different teams, and, at SJCA, she has been able to do that. She serves on student council as well. Both kids have had a chance to lead in different ways.”
Those leadership opportunities are just one of the components that make up the four pillars—faith, scholarship, leadership and service—that Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy stands on and that the Marshes feel have made a significant difference for their family.
“I like that the four pillars are something that are in front of the students all the time,” said Peggy. “I think that’s a great part of the SJCA experience. SJCA attends to the whole person, and that has been valuable for our children.”
Q&A with the Marsh Siblings
Q: What do you like most about attending Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy?
RJ: I like that the small class sizes foster a great learning environment.
Clare: I really like that SJCA is truly a community and that everyone here is so dedicated to making it the best place it can be.
Q: What does getting a Catholic education mean to you?
RJ: Being able to get a quality education while growing closer to God and learning about your faith.
Clare: For me, a Catholic education means that we are encouraged to talk about our faith and to grow in it every day.
Q: What activities do you participate in?
RJ: I play golf and basketball, and I am a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Clare: I am a school ambassador, a member of student council, and I am on the soccer, basketball, and track and field teams.
Q: What are your future aspirations?
RJ: Graduating college and starting a family. I would like to work in a field I enjoy and be successful while making great friendships and connections along the way.
Clare: After high school, I plan to go to college and then see where life takes me from there.
Q: What advice do you have for future Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy students?
RJ: Take advantage of all the opportunities SJCA has to offer. Make sure that, with all things you chose to do, you work hard and give them your best effort.
Clare: My advice for future SJCA students is to really make an effort to buy into the school community; it will make a huge impact on your experience here.