St. Paul Academy and Summit School

St. Paul Academy and Summit School

Infobox Private School
background = #f0f6fa
border = #ccd2d9
name = St. Paul Academy and Summit School

motto =
established = SPA: 1900, Summit School: 1917, Merger: 1969
type = Private, day
head_name = Head of School
head = Bryn Roberts
city = St. Paul
state = MN
country = USA
campus = Two campuses in residential neighborhoods
enrollment = 910 total 290 K–5 (Lower School) 240 6–8 (Middle School) 380 9–12 (Upper School)
faculty = 55 for upper school
class = 14 students
ratio = 7:1
year = mid 50% ranges for 2007
SAT = 590–710 cr. reading
600–700 math
590–700 writing
athletics = 9 sports, 34 teams
colors = Navy Blue and Vegas gold
mascot = Spartan
homepage = []

St. Paul Academy and Summit School (commonly known as SPA) is a college preparatory independent school in St. Paul, Minnesota for students in grades K–12.

The school was established through a merger in 1969 of St. Paul Academy, a school for boys, and Summit School, a school for girls. St. Paul Academy was founded in 1900 and Summit School in 1917. The school celebrated its centennial in 2000. [ [ Official St. Paul Academy and Summit School Website] ] Accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, SPA is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, the Cum Laude Society, and The College Board.

Recent commencement speakers have included Al Franken, Coretta Scott King, and Garrison Keillor.


Recent Academic Accomplishments []
*Two SPA seniors have been named Presidential Scholars in the past two years (2006 and 2007)
*In 2007, SPA's Science Bowl and Science Olympiad teams placed first place in regional and state competitions, and both competed at their respective national tournaments
*SPA's Math League team has competed on the state level for 21 years running and consistently places first in the Tri-Metro division
*" [The Rubicon] [] ", SPA's student newspaper, earned All-State Gold in 2005 and 2006, First Place and Best in Show awards from the Minnesota High School Press Association in 2006, and First Place in the Star Tribune / Minnesota State High School League competition in 2005 and 2006
*SPA's theatre program received the Minnesota State High School League Award of Excellence for its One-Act Play performances in 2006
*SPA's Art & Literature magazine won All-State Gold Award in 2006, and the yearbook, IBID, received an honorable mention
*National Forensics League honors were earned by 31 seniors as well as 23 juniors and sophomores in 2007, which was the highest percentage of any high school in Minnesota

In the Upper School (grades 9–12), SPA has a college-preparatory liberal arts curriculum. [ [ 2006 SPA Profile] ] Despite being college preparatory, SPA teaches an independent curriculum that does not follow either the AP or IB curriculum models though individual students may opt to take AP tests. Courses have been taught using Harkness tables, distinctive elliptical wooden tables that seat 12–15 students, since 2005. [ [ SPA's Upper School program] ] Each year, the school sends several juniors to semester-away programs including CITYterm in New York, Oxbow School in California, Maine Coast Semester in Maine, and Rocky Mountain Semester in Colorado.

One of the main drawing features of SPA is its English department, which offers students strong individual attention, helping them to develop their analytical reading and writing skills. General courses are offered during freshman and sophomore years, while semester-long electives are offered during junior and senior years.

The language department offers instruction in French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese (simplified characters) and has optional international exchange programs for students in grades 10–12 with partner schools in France, Germany, Spain, and China. For freshmen through junior year, the history department has required courses that include two years of World History and one year of American history. In senior year, all history courses are electives.

SPA's math department offers a variety of courses that take most students through a study of Calculus as a senior.

The science department at SPA offers earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics for freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years, respectively. In senior year, semester long electives are offered, including genetics, space science, marine biology, and field biology.

The music offerings include two jazz bands, one orchestra, a string ensemble, a large choir, and a choral group. The ensembles all offer a fall concert ("Pops Concert") where contemporary music is played as well as a spring concert where more traditional music is featured. SPA also hosts a free music competition every spring for singers and musicians from SPA and the surrounding area.

SPA has a laptop program in its Middle and Upper Schools whereby the school provides each student in 7th grade with a laptop and students in grades 8 through 10 must purchase one from the school. [ [ SPA Laptop Program] ]

Graduation requirements include that seniors complete 5–8 minute speech in front of the Upper School on a topic of their choosing, as well as a month-long internship in May.


The schools consists of two campuses: the Goodrich Campus and the Randolph Campus.
*The Goodrich Campus, site of the old Summit School for girls, is the current home of the Lower School (grades K–5, ~290 students) and contains the Sarah Converse Auditorium, home of SPA theater productions. It is located at 1150 Goodrich Avenue.
*The Randolph Campus, site of the old St. Paul Academy for boys, is the current home of the Middle School (grades 6–8, ~240 students) as well as the Upper School (grades 9–12, ~380 students) and contains SPA's Drake hockey arena. It is located at 1712 Randolph Avenue.School hours are from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, with exceptions for after-school activities.The school has art programs as well as sports.

Notable alumni

*F. Scott Fitzgerald attended the school from 1908–1911 until he was expelled for poor work and cheating. He was more interested in football than in academics. Later, he went on to become regarded as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. His works include "The Great Gatsby" and "This Side of Paradise".
*Steven Levitt ('85) is the author of 2005 New York Times bestseller book "Freakonomics" and led the SPA Quiz Bowl team to nationals two years in a row.
*William Pedersen ('56), partner in Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, is the lead architect on the Shanghai World Financial Center, which, when completed in 2007, will be one of the world's tallest buildings.
*Reynolds Guyer ('53) invented the Nerf children's toys.
*Tony Sanneh ('90) is a professional soccer player who has won two Major League Soccer Cups and also played every minute for the United States in the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.
*Rebecca Jarvis ('99) is a financial reporter and was a finalist on "The Apprentice (Season 4)"
*John Doar was a prominent civil rights attorney in the 1960s, who most notably defended James Meredith in his attempt to enroll in the then-segregated University of Mississippi.
*Ann Bancroft ('74) was the first woman to successfully complete expeditions across the Arctic and Antarctic.
*Roger G. Kennedy ('44) served as Director of the National Park Service and of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. He was also a Vice President of the Ford Foundation and has worked for the departments of Labor, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Education.
*Davidson Sommers ('22) was an international policy expert who served as general counsel to the World Bank, Vice Chairman of the Overseas Development Council, Chairman of the Board of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and as an advisor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
*Joan Mondale ('48) is the wife of former Vice-President Walter Mondale.
*Jean West ('45) served as a commissioner of the St. Paul Port Authority and as president of West Premium Corporation.
*James J. Barnes ('50) is a historian, Rhodes Scholar, Fulbright Scholar, and Harvard University Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
*Karen Ashe ('72) is director of the Neurobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease Research Laboratory at the University of Minnesota
*Charles Berde ('69) is a Professor of Anesthesia and Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and is co-founder and director of the Pain Treatment Service at Children's Hospital Boston.
*Paul Georgieff ('01) is a contestant on season six of The Ultimate Fighter.
*Stan Hubbard ('51)is the founder of Hubbard Broadcasting Corporation, which owns TV stations across Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, and New Mexico (including the Twin Cities ABC affiliate KSTP)


*SPA's yearbook is named IBID.
*SPA's student-run newspaper is called "The Rubicon", after the river in Italy. It has received the First Place in the Star Tribune's annual High School Newspaper Challenge Class A for two years running (2005 and 2006). [ [ Rubicon selected "Best in Show" at Press Convention] ]
*SPA used to be referred to as "The Academy." As such, the school letter jacket has an "A" on it.
*The mascot is the Spartan. It was chosen in the 1960s because the first three letters of Spartan are the school's initials. The official colors are Midnight Blue and Las Vegas Gold. SPA won the right to use them from The Blake School in a football game nearly 100 years ago.
*SPA's fencing team was started in 1977 as method for dodging the PE requirement by requesting a sport that was not offered at the time.


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