St Matthias School – Huntington Park
St. Matthias in Huntington Park is a school that has heart. Students and families find a committed, faith-filled, reliable force at the center of the administration. The principal is dedicated to building a community within the Catholic school and to helping students reach their full potential. The school recently underwent a rebirth, committing themselves to “Bringing Back Tradition.” For the teachers and the administrators, this means focusing on creating a tight knit, family-centered, safe environment that nurtures and supports the students. The school also recently introduced a Spanish-English Dual Language Immersion program, which – with a primarily Latino student body – ties into the mission of celebrating tradition.
While St. Matthias has experienced significant growth in recent years – mainly due to the focus on strengthening the internal community – the leadership remains committed to maintaining small class sizes. A more intimate class setting ensures that students have ample one-on-one time with their teachers, those teachers tailor their approach and instruction to the students, and the students develop more meaningful and long lasting relationships with one another. Andy, an eighth grader at St. Matthias, who was previously enrolled at a local public school, shared, “My favorite thing about going to school here is the small classes. My teachers are able to answer my questions. If I need more information, the teachers will spend the time to help me. At my old school, everything was on a tight schedule. Once the bell rang, you had to go to your next class. If you didn’t get a question answered in class, you couldn’t stay after to talk to the teacher.” At St. Matthias, teachers dedicate the time and resources to assisting students, whether that be during class, between classes, or after school.
In an era where bullying and cyber bullying are at an all-time high, it is imperative to create a safe space in our schools. At St. Matthias, students and families will find a supportive place where kindness, morality, and the importance of respect are taught and modeled. Julie, an eighth grader who has been at the school since pre-school, shared, “You can really make friends with everybody. People are kind and supportive. It’s very welcoming and warm.” Olga, the mother of four students at St. Matthias echoed, “My children don’t experience the bullying that they did in public school. They want to come to here every day. Here, I find strong family dynamics and a sense of community.”
From small classes to a safe environment to a growing internal community, St. Matthias provides a place where students can flourish both academically and spiritually. With a strong leadership team and committed staff, the school is taking Catholic education to new heights.