Our vision for St. Andrew’s students is that they be thoughtfully virtuous: not “dandies” whose goodness comes from lack of courage to do wrong, but rather who intentionally use all their capability and character to do positive good, and have the intellect and articulation to recognize and defend their actions. This demands that education at St. Andrew’s has as its first priority the transformation of the student’s heart. Without this heart transformation, intellectual pursuits become self-centered.
For the Christian, virtue is the degree to which we reflect God’s character, and consistent exposure to worship undeniably bends the heart toward God. This is why we bracket each day with traditional Anglican morning and evening prayer. Our every effort, both as students and faculty, is subject to God’s mercy and grace so it is only fitting that we place the Alpha and Omega truly at the start of end of the day. Participation in the Daily Offices effectively trains our hearts through beautiful reiteration.
Humanity does not naturally seek God, and we are therefore conscientiously training our students in the grammar of worship just as we train them in the grammar of language. Consistent corporate worship, deep and rich, doesn’t end with the heart. It trains our minds to understand the elements of worship.
Our daily worship of our Creator emphasizes 5 elements:
St. Andrew’s students, from kindergarten up, are encouraged to bring their best to worship. We pour ourselves out to God with song and prayer, as Mary poured out her best perfume to the Lord. God has blessed our commitment to full and excellent worship both in the character of our students and of our school, and we are confident that, as we continue daily to honor God, He will continue to bless us.
ABOUT ST ANDREWS CHOIR –
The St. Andrew’s Academy Choir sings every day of school and has been doing so since the founding of St. Andrew’s Academy. The choir sings choral matins to begin the school day every morning and evensong every afternoon to close the day. Choir rehearsal happens just before lunch, and students are even caught singing in the hallways.
Perhaps the best explanation of the St. Andrew’s Academy Choir and the success they’ve had is not found in the great musical accomplishment of the individual students, nor in their profound training, nor in the amazing sound they produce. The best explanation may be the oft-repeated phrase of those who hear them sing: “It’s so obvious that they love to sing!”
Singing is foundational to St. Andrew’s Academy, and the students have always worked hard to be better at it, day after day. The choir has sung up and down California, in the Pacific Northwest, in the Chicago area, on the East Coast and throughout the South East. Our Choristers have filled Churches and halls with music in Canada and in Italy, in Germany and throughout England and Scotland; in England in the early summer of 2010, they not only sang services and concerts, but sang live on BBC Radio.
The Choir has produced four CDs over the years:
In 2007, the St. Andrew’s Academy Choir was invited to join the festivities and to perform at Pepperdine University’s “Ascending Voice International A Cappella Music Festival.” The Choir was the only representative of the Anglican choral tradition and the youngest choir by far at the festival. To hear the choir’s performance, please follow this link.
The choir continues to tour regionally and internationally. The music has helped to shape the students—and the faculty—and the memories are grand. See the stories in the side bar for more information.
PHYSICAL DIMENSION –
St. Andrew’s Academy has always placed a high value on the physical dimension of the education her students receive. The Outings Club has been a part of the curriculum at the academy almost from the beginning. One to two times a trimester, the whole school goes on an outing. The favorite outings tend to be the snow ski/snow board trip to Shasta Ski Park. Other outings have included numerous hikes (usually at least one in Lassen National Park, and others in different parts of the local geography where the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade mountain ranges meet), biking adventures, sailing, snow-shoeing, and others.
Mr. Robert Montavon started the fencing program in the Fall of 2005. It was covered by former student, fencer, and monk Peter Bartel when Mr. Montavon left the area. Miss Paula Shaklee came on in the winter of 2016 and continues to coach our fencers today. The student fencers continue to work hard at learning this ancient western martial art and in applying the principles of honor, combat and competition with “discipline, courage, and courtesy.”
As students’ interests vary so often do the clubs available at St. Andrew’s Academy. One very successful club of the past is The Rocket Club. The second year’s club scored high enough in the Team America Rocketry Challenge to compete at the national level in Virginia. Mr. Kent Bartel, former Assistant Headmaster and St. Andrew’s Academy Rocket Scientist acted as faculty advisor.
Another successful club at St. Andrew’s Academy has been the Media Club featuring student publication.
The Outings Club has, for years, taken St. Andrew’s students all around the local area. They have walked, hiked, biked, sailed, skied show-shoed and otherwise played in the big outdoors of Northern California.
Students gain great experience for life and leisure in the St. Andrew’s Drama class. The class is half a year long and culminates in the Spring Drama Production. Facing the fear of getting up and acting in front of an audience as well as looking the fool during practices helps our students to face fears, particularly in the realm of public speaking. Drama experience also opens up our students’ eyes to storytelling, narrative, dialogue and the arts in general. Students are often involved not just in acting, but in leading the charge in costuming, set design, and even adapting short stories for the stage.
Student Theatrical Productions:
Summer programs like Choir Camp, Science Camp, and Writing Camp are great ways to gain valuable skills and get a chance to see what we’re about here at St Andrew’s.
Travel (in addition to being enjoyable!) has great value in education, because it expands the mind and sensibilities as few other things can. For this reason St. Andrew’s Academy has a robust travel program. St. Andrew’s Academy students have toured the Southeast and the west coast of our own country, and visited Canada, Italy, France, England, Scotland, Wales, and Germany. These trips have given students the privilege of seeing up close the monuments, paintings, buildings, documents they have studied in class. They visit and stay at local Churches and interact with their communities, and often stay with local families all over the world. They have begun understanding the different cultures, both of today and of years gone by, which have gone into creating the civilization we now inhabit.