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
In the past, Magee has served as assistant principal of
He came to
“Basically, the reputation of
He says he hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the school.
“I think [
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.
The Children’s Center relocated just off
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
Magee also says that with all the change involving the new site, there is just as much going on at the longtime
“Lots of shuffling,” he says. “Lots of progress coupled with trying to maintain tradition.”
But Magee is looking forward to being a leader at
“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.