The Foundation of St. Patrick Raises $75,000 for SPCHS

The Foundation of St. Patrick presented St. Patrick Catholic High School Principal Matt Buckley with a gift of $75,000 during the 2017 Homecoming Football Game. The Foundation was incorporated in 2016 as a tax-exempt entity under Section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The mission of the Foundation is to promote the interest, welfare, and success of St. Patrick Catholic High School.

While the school itself is less than 10 years old, St. Patrick continues the heritage of Catholic values and excellence in education on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since 1875. St. Patrick combines the proud traditions of St. John High School, Mercy Cross High School, Sacred Heart School for Girls, and Notre Dame School for Boys. Many of the students are second and third generation Catholic school scholars.

Combining the best from its past and present has resulted in tremendous achievements for St. Patrick and in opportunities for its students. The school offers an accelerated curriculum including AP classes; further dual enrollment is offered through local colleges. With an average class size of less than twenty students, the school provides an excellent environment conducive to learning. As a result, St. Patrick students have consistently earned ACT scores above the state and national averages, and the school has produced a number of National Merit Finalists and National Achievement Finalists and has maintained a 99% college matriculation rate.

Each student enjoys daily religious instruction and attends mass once per week. Pastors and associate pastors of local parishes participate in fostering the spiritual growth of all members of the St. Patrick community. As a result, St. Patrick students completed over 15,000 hours of community service in the past year.

Athletics and extracurricular activities are encouraged at the school with 94% of all students participating in at least one co-curricular activity. St. Patrick offers its students twenty-five different athletic teams and twenty-seven extracurricular activities. To date, St. Patrick has claimed over thirty statewide championships in both the athletic and nonathletic arenas.

Research has shown the various benefits to a community which provides Catholic education as an option to its families. The mean cost per pupil at Catholic schools is $5,847; the national per pupil average is 12,054. Catholic schools provide millions of dollars in savings locally and over 24 billion dollars a year for the nation (NCEA). The poorer and more at-risk a student is, the greater the relative achievement will be within a Catholic school environment (York, 1996). Studies have also shown that more disorder and less community cohesion exist upon the closing of a Catholic school. Therefore, St. Patrick and its continued success is important to the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a whole.

Providing quality education in the midst of nationwide shrinking enrollment among Catholic schools is a challenge all communities face. After much study and prayer, the Foundation feels that with your help, we can not only maintain the enriching experience St. Patrick affords its community but also increase its strength and outreach. More specifically, The Foundation is a vehicle used to solicit tax free contributions, manage and allocate these contributions, and ultimately distribute 75% of contributions to the school while reserving the remaining 25% in a perpetual fund, all for the benefit of the school.

Towards this end, the Foundation has enlisted the services of Hancock Whitney Bank to best advise and manage the perpetual fund. With respect to the working fund, the contributions will be held in an interest bearing account used to support the objectives of the Foundation in coordination with the administration at St. Patrick. By way of example, the objectives or goals of the Foundation for 2017 include end of the year teacher bonuses, laptop purchases for incoming freshmen, tuition assistance, and free transportation to and from the school.