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MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Oct. 9, 2018 -- Shooting its highest score of the season, Saint Thomas Academy Rifle Team defeated Warrenton Rifles 1,053 to 987 last week in the National Air Rifle League (Box Score). With the win, Saint Thomas Academy is in 13th place overall and first place within the Junior Rifle Club conference. The team currently has a 1-1 record. Saint Thomas Academy was led by Michael Driscoll, who shot a 266. The remaining contributing members were Daniel Staelgraeve, Kaleb Rutgers and John Copeland. The team is coached by Chief Warrant Officer 3 Paul Preblich, US Army (ret).

Warrenton Rifles currently has a 0-2 record. After the loss, Warrenton is in 23rd place overall and second place within the Junior Rifle Club conference. Warrenton Rifles was led by Seth Carver who shot a 262. The remaining contributing members were Jacob Schoonenberg, Ryan Roeber, and Hunter Brown. Warrenton Rifles is from Warrenton, Va., and is coached by Claude Davenport.

Saint Thomas Academy will compete next against Ramona NJROTC from Ramona, Calif. Ramona NJROTC currently has a 0-2 record.

These two teams are competing in the Champions Division of the Orion National Air Rifle League. Sponsored by the Orion Scoring System, the league is a national team league for high school teams and junior rifle clubs. The Champions Divisions is the most difficult division in the league. The league has two parts. An 8-week regular season, in which teams compete for their conference's title, followed by the post-season, comprised of two single-elimination tournaments. Only the top 16 teams across all conferences advance to the post-season, to compete for the league title.

In each match, the teams compete in a Three-Position Air Rifle match, which is modeled after Olympic Rifle competitions but adapted to high school age athletes. Each athlete  shoots 10 shots in three different shooting positions: prone, standing and kneeling. Each shot is worth a maximum of 10 points. The sum of points scored in the 30 shots is the athlete's total. The team score is comprised of the best four athletes from each team.

Saint Thomas Academy offers an educational experience unlike any other school in Minnesota. The college-prep, military leadership, Catholic school for boys in 6-12 grades will host an Admissions Showcase for prospective students and their parents on Monday, Oct. 29 that will include:

  • An academics, athletics and activities fair highlighting the spectrum of co-curricular offerings. Coaches and team members will be available to talk with guests.
  • Campus tours led by current students.
  • A short program providing an overview of the Academy and the cadet experience, and the admissions process

Guests will have an opportunity to talk with faculty, admissions and financial aid staff, current students and parents.

WHEN:  Monday, Oct. 29, 6 p.m. 

WHERE:  Vincent J. Flynn Hall at Saint Thomas Academy

949 Mendota Heights Road
Mendota Heights, Minn.

RSVP: (under “Admissions Showcase”)

Follow-up opportunity
Families unable to attend the Admissions Showcase are invited to attend one of the Academy’s “Tuesday Tours,” held on the first Tuesday of every month from 9:30-11 a.m. The first Tuesday Tour will be Tuesday, Nov. 6, 9:30-11 a.m. The parent/guardian morning visit featuring an information session, parent-led tours and class visits. RSVP under “Tuesday Tours” at:

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Sept. 26, 2018 – Saint Thomas Academy has named Francie Reding to the position of associate director of admissions, responsible for introducing prospective families and students to the all-boys, college-prep, Catholic, military leadership school. Reding will apply her previous human-resources management and recruiting experience to help support the Academy’s enrollment growth.

“Francie’s unique perspective as a former corporate HR manager will bring creative thinking to our outreach to prospective families,” said Deborah Edwards, director of marketing and admissions for the Academy. “As a parent of two current students, Francie appreciates how Saint Thomas Academy develops boys into young men of character, and knows first-hand the factors families take into consideration when evaluating schools for their sons.”

Reding was previously the people development manager at Rustica Bakery, where she was tasked with overall human resources and operational support, overseeing recruiting, onboarding and HR infrastructure. Other previous positions included market manager, followed by national recruiting manager, for Caribou Coffee Company. For three years, she was the majority managing partner of Francicorp, a joint venture with Caribou Coffee Company that operated two retail coffee houses in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where she supervised all operations and helped develop it into a $2.4 million venture with 23 percent profitability.

"I am thrilled to be working with the current and future students and their families of Saint Thomas Academy,” Reding said. “The values of faith, academic rigor, leadership, and men of character are reinforced daily by the faculty and administration, propelling students to reach their full potential as leaders, spouses and fathers in our communities."

In between her corporate management and HR positions, Reding devoted four years to supporting cancer research and treatment as the race director for the Komen for the Cure Lowcountry Affiliate Race for the Cure, and as the affiliate’s board member for fund development. Reding received her bachelor’s degree from Marquette University.

MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn., Sept. 12, 2018 – Saint Thomas Academy announced today that seniors Luke Kolar and Peter Holmes, were named semifinalists in the 64thannual National Merit Scholarship Program. They are among the approximately 16,000 semifinalists named today by officials of National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). The semifinalists have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring. To be considered for a Merit Scholarship® award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title. 

NMSC, a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 410 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC's goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

Steps in the 2019 Competition 
Over 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-­scoring entrants in each state. The number of semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state's percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. 

To become a finalist, the semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the semifinalist's academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record through­out high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student's earlier performance on the qualifying test. 

From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected based on their skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin or religious preference. 

National Merit Scholarships 
Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2019. Every finalist will compete for one of 2,500 National Merit® $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 1,000 corporate-sponsored merit scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 230 corporations and business organizations for finalists who meet specified criteria, such as children of the grantor's employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 180 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 4,000 college-sponsored merit scholarship awards for finalists who will attend the sponsor institution. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2019 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join some 338,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.