Sep 21 23

Falcons Sweep CAC Match

The host Saint Stephen’s academic teams captured the top two spots on Tuesday night (Sept. 19) in competition against 14 other Manatee County high school teams. Of the 60 individual questions asked through three rounds, the Falcons were first to the buzzer with correct answers on 15. They showed their versatility, scoring on questions in humanities, science, social studies, math, Spanish, art, music, and English.

Four of the top five individual scorers in the county so far this season in the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge are from Saint Stephen’s: seniors Theo Frano and Patrick Van Eyck, and juniors Dylan Dam and Cooper Henry. The next meet is set for Oct. 17 at Parrish Community High School.

Saint Stephen’s is attempting to repeat its success of a year ago when the Green team took the first-place trophy and the Gold team finished runner-up. Elaina Bayard and Jackson Nealis, Class of 2023 graduates, qualified to represent Manatee County at the state-level competition.

The current Falcons also traveled to the first regional Quiz Bowl of the season, held Sept. 16-17 at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando. SSES finished fifth in the 22-team competition.

Sep 12 23

Catching Up with 2019

During the summer of 2023, in keeping with a Florida Council of Independent Schools mandate that member schools take stock of the success of their alumni, the Saint Stephen’s Alumni Office created and disseminated a survey to the class of 2019. The purpose of the survey was to determine how many members of the class completed higher education within four years or less after high school graduation, as well as to elicit alumni opinions on the effectiveness of the school’s college preparatory curriculum related to their higher education experiences. Alumni input in these areas is deemed essential to the process of continuous improvement at Saint Stephen’s. The bulk of the class was slated to graduate from college in 2023, however, the pandemic in 2020 impacted campus life, studies, and upended usual timelines for graduation for some. 

The SSES Class of 2019 included 71 graduates. As of August 21, 2023, 58 of those students have been accounted for in terms of their current status. To date, 44 class members (61-percent of the class) graduated from college in or before 2023. Four alumni graduated in just three years. Their alma maters include the University of South Florida (an honors college graduate now pursuing a master’s in Health Administration at USF); an alumna earning a bachelor’s in Health Management & Business Analytics from the University of Miami; an alumnus of Florida State now serving as a communications intern with the Tampa Bay Rays; and a second FSU graduate who is now a Program Manager/Producer Associate at Gallagher Affinity in Sarasota, Fla.

A few more highlights:

  • A graduate of the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Romance Languages and Italian Literature has accepted a job as an associate at Sotheby’s in New York City.
  • A USF graduate with a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering worked at NASA on the Orion Project and is now is an Integration and Ground Operations Engineer at ASRC Federal at Kennedy Space Center.
  • An alumnus of Wake Forest with a B.S. in Mathematical Economics has enrolled at DePaul Law School.
  • A Duke alumnus with dual majors in Mathematics and Computer Science is a trader at Citadel Securities.
  • A Northwestern alumnus in Economics and Computer Science is pursuing a master’s at Northwestern and is the CTO at Global Research & Consulting Group, Evanston, Ill.
  • A Vanderbilt grad – B.E. Civil Engineering – is now a transportation analyst with Kittelson & Associates in Orlando.
  • A University of Washington graduate in Physics is enrolled at Cal Tech.
  • An alumna of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s in Business Analytics has accepted a job as an E&J Gallo Winery Sales Leadership Development Program Sales Consultant for Johnson Brothers in Indianapolis.
  • A magna cum laude graduate of Davidson College now works as a software engineer at NVIDIA.
  • An alumna of Bucknell with a bachelor’s in Biochemistry is now pursuing her Ph.D. in the Biochemistry of Health and Disease program at Drexel.
  • A magna cum laude graduate of Bentley University in Massachusetts has accepted a position at Ernst & Young as an Enterprise Risk Consultant after interning at the company as an undergrad.

Six members of the Class of 2019 are known to have transferred from their original college destination. Among them are a former USF student who is now attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, a transfer from UMass to NYU, a transfer from Notre Dame to Miami, and an alumnus who left FSU for Boston College. There are 10 alumni who are known to still be pursuing their degrees. They attend Florida Atlantic, Marquette, State College of Florida, Unity College, Auburn, USF, the U.S.M.A. and Tulane.

Sep 8 23

Welcome New 2023-24 Faculty

Saint Stephen’s welcomes an incredible group of new faculty members for the 2023-24 school year. Meet these accomplished teachers (L-R):

Luke Valadie (Upper School English)

Luke is a proud Saint Stephen’s alumnus, Class of 2018, and a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts with degrees in computer science and religion. He has most recently served as a freelance writer and content creator for Launch House, a prominent startup incubator.

Frazer Campbell (Upper School Visual Arts)

Frazer is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and comes to Saint Stephen’s from Hutchinson School in Memphis, Tenn., where she taught Advanced Placement 3D design, as well as lower and middle school. She’s a practicing artist who is active in modern art and portraiture.

Faith Lipton (Pre-K Assistant)

Faith has a bachelor’s from UCF and a master’s in elementary education from the University of South Florida. She has previously taught Pre-K and third grade in public schools in Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton and Palmetto, and was a founding faculty member of a charter school in Raleigh, N.C. Faith is the former assistant manager of the Fruitville Library, where she partnered with area schools and taught community outreach programs for Teen Partners and the First Step recovery program.

Beth Sutton (First Grade)

Beth has more than 25 years of independent school teaching experience, most recently at Saint Paul’s in Clearwater. She has a bachelor’s in elementary education from Towson State and a master’s from Graceland University in Iowa. Beth has received multiple Teacher of the Year awards and was a nominee for Disney’s American Teacher Award in 2003.

Sharon Galligan (Upper School Spanish)

Sharon has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of St. Joseph in Connecticut, where she also played collegiate volleyball. Prior to joining Saint Stephen’s, Sharon taught all levels of Spanish at South Windsor (Conn.) High and coached freshman girls volleyball. She grew up in Venezuela and studied abroad in Spain.

Lee Trampleasure (Upper School Physics)

Lee comes to SSES from Grant Union High in Sacramento, Calif., where he taught physics and chemistry. A graduate of Cal State University East Bay, Lee is a recipient of the Homer L. Dodge Citation for distinguished service to the American Association of Physics Teachers, and received a $10,000 grant from BP for algebra/physics collaboration.

America Espinal (Intermediate and Middle School Spanish – not pictured)

A native Spanish speaker with proficiency in French and German, America comes to Saint Stephen’s from the Unity School in Delray, Fla. She earned her undergraduate degree from Penn State and a master’s in Student Personnel / Counseling from Widener. A global educator and learner who has extensive experience with DEI work and overseas student programming, America has also done cross-disciplinary work with middle school science faculty on sustainable gardening.

Sep 1 23

Rock the MAC 2024

Saint Stephen’s will be the site of an exciting, new community event when “Rock the MAC” comes to the Moore Athletic Complex on March 2, 2024. Open to the public, Rock the MAC is designed as a night of high-energy music, featuring tributes to two of classic rock’s greatest bands – Boston and Heart. The event is an alcohol-free, non-smoking, family friendly concert highlighted by regional tribute acts “Amanda” and “Brigade.” Food trucks will be available on site and there are general admission and VIP ticket options. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Sep 1 23

STEAM Groundbreaking Set

An official groundbreaking ceremony for the Saint Stephen’s S.T.E.A.M. Center has been scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 8-9 a.m. at the site on the corner of 41st Street W. and 4th Avenue W., Bradenton. Construction on the facility is expected to begin in December.

The Center will be a transformational hub for the school’s science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics programs. It will provide a home base that is easily accessible to faculty and students in every division, providing the next generation of scientists and engineers with cutting-edge resources and transformative spaces to learn, collaborate, problem-solve, and create. The building will house an academic maker space, computer science, engineering and robotics design lab, media production studio and more.

The performance area and backstage spaces of the Center will uplift our Fine & Performing Arts program, establishing a dedicated location for budding singers, actors, musicians, and dancers of all ages to develop and showcase their talents. The central area will include seating for up to 600 people for auditorium-style events, and up to 400 for sit-down dinners. Moveable walls allow for different room configurations where multiple programs can be held simultaneously.

Generous donors have helped Saint Stephen’s raise nearly $9-million for the project, and the fundraising drive continues. You can make a gift online here.

Jul 25 23

Whelan is Florida’s Best

When school opens in a few weeks, we’ll do so with Florida’s 2023 History Teacher of the Year on the Saint Stephen’s campus! Patrick Whelan has been selected by a panel of teachers, administrators, and scholars for the honor presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Whelan receives a $1,000 award, an archive of books and historical resources, and will be recognized at a statewide ceremony this fall. Entering his 36th year at SSES, Whelan is now one of 53 finalists for the institute’s National History Teacher of the Year Award. In the coming weeks, submissions will be reviewed by a national panel of judges and 10 finalists will be revealed in September. The selection of the winner will be announced in October.

May 9 23

Miller Honored by Museum

Saint Stephen’s student Cassidy Miller has been chosen to receive a 2023 Anne Frank Humanitarian Award presented by the Florida Holocaust Museum. She will be recognized at a ceremony on May 17 at the museum in St. Petersburg. Established in 2001, this award honors outstanding humanitarian efforts by high school juniors in public and private schools in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Manatee counties. Schools recommend students who have made a conscious decision to better the lives of other individuals or groups both inside and outside of school activities. The award is endorsed by the Anne Frank House in New York. Cassidy was nominated by SSES faculty member Patrick Whelan, who wrote: “Cassidy may be the most intentionally kind student I have ever taught – and I have taught 35 years at a school known for its emotional intelligence. The ideas in Anne Frank’s diary match closely with Cassidy’s outlook on life.” An outstanding student, Cassidy is also active in community theater and volunteers by reading to poor and underserved children.

May 5 23

FHSAA Ranks SSES No. 1

Saint Stephen’s continues to be an example of a school that successfully balances outstanding academics and championship-level athletics. On May 4, the Florida High School Athletic Association announced its Academic Team Champions in all classifications for the 2022-23 school year, and Saint Stephen’s ranks No. 1 overall in Class 2A. Schools receive points based on the cumulative grade point averages of each team they sponsor. SSES finished three points in front of second-place Naples St. John Neumann Catholic School and 23 points ahead of third-place Vero Beach St. Edwards School. In the spring alone, SSES had six teams rank in the top 10 academically in the state: baseball (1), boys lacrosse (2), boys track (2), boys weightlifting (2), girls track (5) and boys tennis (9). That success in the classroom was matched on the fields and courts. Of the 21 varsity teams fielded, Saint Stephen’s won nine district titles (girls weightlifting: traditional & olympic, boys golf, boys basketball, boys soccer, girls soccer, boys tennis, girls tennis, girls lacrosse) and four others were runners-up.

May 4 23

Browns Chosen in NFL Draft

Twin brothers Sydney and Chase Brown have taken the next step on the way to their childhood dream of playing in the National Football League. The 2018 Saint Stephen’s graduates were selected in the three-day NFL Draft, held April 27-29 in Kansas City, Mo. Sydney, a defensive back, was chosen in the third round, 66th overall, by the Philadelphia Eagles. Chase, a running back, was the Cincinnati Bengals’ fifth-round selection, 163rd overall. They became the first brothers since Tiki and Ronde Barber in 1997 to be selected in the opening five rounds of the NFL Draft, and just the sixth set of twins ever chosen in the same draft. Natives of Canada, the Browns put together star-studded careers as student-athletes and graduates of the University of Illinois. They were members of back-to-back independent state championship teams at Saint Stephen’s in 2016 and 2017. The Falcons never lost a game during the time the twins were members of the football roster. Both were also key contributors on the SSES state championship boys’ track and field team in 2017.

One of the Browns’ former teammates, Josh Stevens, is also vying for a professional football career. The 2017 Saint Stephen’s graduate has been invited to participate as an undrafted free agent in the rookie minicamp of the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Stevens played four seasons on the offensive line at Georgetown University and then spent his final year of eligibility as a grad transfer at the University of Delaware.

May 1 23

Nealis 4th at U.S. History Bee

Senior Jackson Nealis finished in fourth place in the Varsity Division at the U.S. History Bee nationals in Arlington, Vir. on Saturday, April 29. The Bee is a buzzer-based quiz tournament competition focusing exclusively on American history for primary and secondary school students across the U.S. Nealis, who qualified for nationals earlier this school year by scoring high on the qualifying exam, will attend Georgetown University in the fall.

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