A new school year on the horizon, a second campus and a new principal — things are definitely moving at St. Thomas Aquinas School.


Patrick Magee became the school’s new principal in June and is learning the ropes in time for the start of the new school year, which begins August 19.


Magee holds a Master’s Degree in Education from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in accounting from Western New England College in Springfield, Mass.


In the past, Magee has served as assistant principal of Bishop Dunne High School and as an English and theology teacher at Bishop Lynch High School .


He came to St. Thomas from St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic School in Dallas , where he served as principal for the seven years.


“Basically, the reputation of St. Thomas School in the city of Dallas was a great opportunity,” Magee says.


He says he hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the school.


“I think [St. Thomas] is going to continue to excel and grow and offer an option in East Dallas for Catholic education.”


Although he’s excited about his new post, it doesn’t come without challenges.


In addition to managing a student body almost double the size of his last post, Magee also has to oversee the school’s second campus, which is nearing completion just west of the Mockingbird and Abrams intersection.


St. Thomas Aquinas Church and School bought the property last year; it had previously housed the buildings for First Community Church and the Children’s Center.


The Children’s Center relocated just off Garland and Oldgate, while First Community Church continues to meet in a small sanctuary on the property. In the fall, that sanctuary will be used for the students’ church.


The new North Campus houses classrooms for kindergarten through second grade, with four sections of each grade — about 300 kids in all.


“It’s pretty state of the art,” Magee says. “Everything is age-appropriate there — a science lab geared toward that age level, art room, computer lab. It will have all the extra-curriculars as the main campus does, just on a smaller level.”


Other humanities, such as music, art and physical education, also will be in place at the North Campus, as well as the “optimal match program,” which Magee explains is a program that works with children who are either “talented and gifted” or “at risk.”


“The biggest challenge will be to take two distinct campuses — one that’s been there for 50 years and the other that’s brand new — and make sure they have the same climate. That you can walk into the North Campus and know you are at St. Thomas … making sure they have the same identity,” Magee says.


Magee also says that with all the change involving the new site, there is just as much going on at the longtime

Abrams Road



“Lots of shuffling,” he says. “Lots of progress coupled with trying to maintain tradition.”


But Magee is looking forward to being a leader at St. Thomas and working with his new six-person administrative team.


“I’m looking forward to really taking this school at this new breaking point and running with it,” he says. 


Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.