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Aquinas Catholic Schools System Takes Our Next Step Forward

LA CROSSE, WI – Aquinas Catholic Schools has raised more than $4.3 million in commitments and pledges for its Our Next Step Forward Capital Campaign. Funds raised by this campaign will be used to establish need-based elementary & middle school tuition aid scholarships, expand its wireless technology infrastructure and make facility improvements.

Coulee Region families have had the opportunity to send their children to quality Catholic schools since 1863, when a congregation dedicated to St. Joseph started building a new school at 6th Street, near Main. Throughout the 20th century, dedicated teachers, both lay and religious, carried forward the tradition of Catholic school excellence. In 2000, a consolidated Catholic school system was inaugurated. In 2009, this school system was renamed to honor the patron saint of Catholic schools, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Today, the Aquinas Catholic School System delivers its pre-school, elementary and high school students the highest level of academic achievement in a Christ-centered, disciplined environment.

On Thursday, September 28, it was announced that Blessed Sacrament elementary school in La Crosse, one of three elementary schools in the Aquinas Catholic Schools system, was awarded a national Blue Ribbon award of excellence for its academic achievement. This is the third of five Aquinas schools that have received this award in the last 10 years. Aquinas Catholic High School earned this distinction in 2008 and Aquinas Catholic Middle School in 2013.

Mark Hansen, President of the Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation Board, which is sponsoring this capital campaign, attributes its success to the life-changing experience the Aquinas Catholic Schools provide in delivering both academic excellence and strong character formation in a family-like environment. “Nothing is more important than helping families provide the best education available for their children.”

Ted Knutson, President of Aquinas Catholic Schools System, agrees wholeheartedly. His passion for Aquinas schools comes from first-hand experience. Ted is a graduate of St. Patrick Elementary School in Onalaska, Aquinas Middle School and Aquinas Catholic High School. Prior to taking the helm as president, Ted served as teacher, coach, finance manager and athletic director. His parents graduated from schools that are now part of the Aquinas Catholic School system, and his three children graduated from Aquinas Catholic High School.

What is the primary goal of Our Next Step Forward Capital Campaign? According to Ted, the Coulee Region provides many excellent education options. However, many families that desire an Aquinas education cannot afford it. Private funds from Aquinas supporters will help level the playing field for working families who desire a faith-based education, but need assistance. “This campaign will provide long-term elementary tuition relief to Coulee Region families for many decades to come,” says Ted.

Ted credits the board of the Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation for its wisdom in setting a course that will have a long-term positive impact on the school system and the greater Coulee Region.

The Aquinas Catholic Schools System continues its capital campaign until the end of this calendar year.
Visit the www.aquinasschools.org website and click on the Capital Campaign button for more information or to contribute to this important cause. You will find campaign video, faq’s, and more.

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