St. Xavier High School’s mission has always been to assist young men in becoming leaders and to be “Men for Others” through rigorous college preparation in the Jesuit tradition. But St. Xavier’s faculty goes above and beyond academics to care for students. It’s a reminder of the building blocks that faculty and staff implement to provide a healthy environment for the pursuits of its students.
Mike Dehring, Vice Principal for Enrollment, says, “There are innumerable opportunities to get excited about outside the classroom where students feel cared for, are given a sense of belonging, and allowed to explore pathways.”
Each student can find his niche with 80 different extracurricular activities, in addition to sports. The Career Connexions speaker series provides insights into career paths and what might be needed for a particular field. Internship programs allow for an inside learning experience, working in an area of interest. Students may decide to join the triathlon club, where they hone their physical skills and sharpen their mental acuity by preparing and competing in a demanding sport. Science Olympiad is a national competition that functions much like a football or soccer team, requiring preparation, commitment, coaching, and practice through the academic year. Many clubs are focused on community service, putting the concept of “Men for Others” into action.
The academics at St. X take students to a higher level of learning to send them into the world equipped for success. For this reason, the school employs six devoted guidance counselors. These counselors address the difficulties a student may have and coordinate support from all facets of learning to help them feel more at home in their academic careers. Five college advisers are also employed at the school and work with the guidance staff to identify and solve issues. It’s a two-part partnership on the lookout for problems that may arise. Two staff members are MindPeace counselors, a program designed to support schools in their mental health efforts. They work on a day-to-day basis aiding students in cultivating self-assurance.
One faculty member has gained a level of Instagram stardom — Evan, Facility Dog for Therapy. This adorable Golden Retriever comes from Circle Tail Dog Training in Pleasant Plain, Ohio, which trains highly skilled dogs in various forms of service. Circle Tail chose Evan to work at St. X because, according to a representative, “He is so focused on going where there is someone in need. He has a crazy sixth sense and incredible empathy.”
In the truest spirit of the Jesuit tradition, Evan walks the halls with one mission in mind: to comfort others.
There are even more support services provided, such as tutoring on a peer-to-peer basis and adult professional tutors. Groups to deepen and enrich a young man’s faith are at every turn. The Campus Ministry Director works with the guidance team to lead and facilitate grief support groups such as Companion on the Journey. For students that struggle with loss, these supports can help them cope.
St. X provides a foundation of support to address whatever life throws at them to build strong men who leave a legacy in the world. Opportunities abound for students to feel loved in a very structured way. Mike Dehring says it best. “In and out of the classroom, we strive to promote a sense of feeling at home and taken care of as part of the St. Xavier family.”
St. Xavier High School is located at 600 W North Bend Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45224. For more information, please call 513-761-7600 or visit www.stxavier.org. Evan, the Facility Dog for Therapy, can be found on Instagram @evan_the_stx_dog.