A New Bourbon County School: St. Martin’s Academy

One of the St. Martin’s Academy boys rappeling at Looking Glass Arch, near Moab, Utah. Courtesy photo.

St. Martin’s Academy,  a new Catholic boys boarding school started its inaugural school term in Moab, Utah in September.

The staff and students spent six days canoeing, technical rock climbing and exploring, during the first days of the school year.

” It was a time of intense bonding and camaraderie, and life-long friendships were born,” Daniel Kerr, founder of the school said in a newsletter.

St. Martins’ Academy, Oct. 2018, is still in the construction stage.

The school campus is still under construction, with a tentative completion date for the first building, Theotokos Hall,  by late spring 2019, according to Patrick Whelan, headmaster of the academy.

Meanwhile the students/faculty are staying in the Levine House on South National until the facility is complete.

“We have 18 students this year, eight freshmen and ten sophomores,” Whelan said. “We have students from all over the country including Virginia, Georgia, Texas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, etc.”
” We have a relatively large staff (12) due to the 24 hours per day supervision requirements,” Whelan said. ” We have four residential staff that we call House Fathers. They live in the same building as the students and are responsible for supervising all daily activities.”
“St. Martin’s is unique in that it is neither a prep school for the socio-economic elite nor is it a reform school for young men with behavioral problems,” Kerr noted in a recent newsletter.
The platform-tent at Camp Kapaun on the campus of St. Martin’s Academy, located on Indian Road, serves as a classroom each morning for Natural History, Liturgy, Ancient History and Latin lessons. Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.  Coach Simon Webster said many of the St.Martin’s Academy freshmen and sophomore boys had never played soccer. The school ended with a winning record and had competed against varsity level teams.
Courtesy photo. Two St. Martin’s students take a turn milking Sweet Molly Brown, a Jersey cow. St. Martin’s Academy students participate in daily chores. The first two weeks of work, students butchered rabbits, castrated hogs, bucked two fields of alfalfa hay and milked cows.
These are the faculty and staff of the school:
Chris DeCleen age 24 is from Indiana and earned a degree in philosophy from Ave Maria University in 2017. He teaches Freshman History.
Joseph Free, age 23, is from Massachusetts and earned a degree in the Humanities and Liberal Studies from Ave Maria University in 2018. He teaches music and is assistant rugby coach.
Joshua Mincio, 20, is from California and interned at a monastery in Oklahoma before joining us this fall. He teaches advanced Latin.
Simon Webster, 20, is from Texas and comes from the University of Houston Business College. Simon is the head soccer and rugby coach and athletic director.
Travis Dziad and his wife Margi come from Ave Maria University where Travis is ABD in a Ph.D. in Theology. He serves as the Residential Dean and teaches Algebra and History.
Daniel Kerr is from Fort Scott and is the owner and co-founder of Adjuster Pro. Dan is the president and co-founder of St. Martin’s Academy; he leads development efforts and teaches Natural History.
Kenneth Klassen is from Fort Scott. He holds a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Kansas and has taught a variety of subjects for over 30 years. He teaches Literature and Geometry.
Ronald Klassen is from Fort Scott, holds a Masters degree in Classics, and has taught in public and private schools for over 30 years. He is the head Latin teacher.
Sebastion Macik and his wife Erin come from Dallas, TX where Seb taught and served as an EMT. He is the chef.
Fr. Bob McElwee is from Pittsburg, KS holds several Masters degrees and is a retired priest in the diocese of Wichita. Fr. McElwee is the Chaplain and teaches all Religion classes at the academy.
Michael Taylor and his wife, Jenna, recently moved to Fort Scott from Mound City, KS. Mike has worked as a hunting guide in Alaska and in various dairies for over a decade. Mike is the Farm Foreman and teaches leather-working and pottery.
Patrick Whalen and his wife, Kristi, moved to Fort Scott last year from St. Louis. Patrick is the headmaster and co-founder of the academy. He is a Marine veteran, a reserve officer in the Marines, and a Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis. Whelan teaches literature at the academy.

Whelan provided the following information about the school:

The curriculum taught at the academy for freshmen: Mythos, Greek Literature, Roman Literature, Pre-History to the Hebrews, Greek Civilization, Roman Civilization, Basic Catechism (The Problem of Evil), Natural History, Algebra 1/Applied Mathematics, Latin 1.
The curriculum for sophomores: Rome and the Incarnation, Medieval Literature 1 and 2, Roman Empire to Late Antiquity, Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, The Liturgy, Earth Science, Biology, Geometry/Euclidean Geometry, Latin Advanced.
” In addition to their academics, the boys play soccer in the fall and rugby in the spring,” Whelan said. ” We are currently engaged in the FORT (Functional Outdoor Resilience Training) program which is an outdoorsmanship, fitness, and leadership development program we designed.  In their free time, the boys learn folk music, juggle, and enjoy the parks and trails around Fort Scott.”
“All students participate in athletics and a series of Practica that include Leatherworking, Pottery, Drawing, Painting, Cartography, and Gregorian Chant,” according to Whelan.
 School is in session from Sept 3 to May 25.


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