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Parent Interview

Paul & Maura Doman

Paul and Maura Doman have children at St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland.

How long have you been at your school? What grades are your children in?

We moved to Hyattsville, Maryland, three years ago to have our kids attend St. Jerome Academy. We have kids in the Montessori primary class, 1st, 3rd, 5th and 8th grades. 



How did you learn about your school?


We first learned about St. Jerome Academy when my Mom was hired to be the 1st grade teacher there 11 years ago. It was just beginning it’s transition from failing Catholic school that had low enrollment and was on the brink of closing to becoming a Classical Catholic school with a completely new curriculum and approach. I had the unique vantage point of seeing the school grow and thrive from a distance through my Mom’s experience teaching there and it became the benchmark against which I assessed all the schools we were considering for our kids. Soon the opportunity presented itself for us to move and we jumped at the chance to enroll our kids here. 



Why is it worth paying tuition when public schools are free?


Yes. It’s about having an integrated experience where the kids are supported in their academics, their faith formation and their character formation. 



What made you choose your school over other schools in your area?


A few factors made us choose St. Jerome and inspired us to actually move across the city to be able to attend. 


The first was the outstanding curriculum. By the time the kids finish 5th grade, they will have studied world history from Egypt and Mesopotamia through American history. In grade 6-8 they repeat all the world civilizations again in more depth. Prioritizing an overall understanding of both world history and Salvation history, the kids who go through our school have a very solid foundation to build on as they go forward in their academic studies in HS, College and beyond. 


The second factor that we valued highly while making our decision was the authentic and vibrant faith life that was present in the school. The teachers and faculty are passionate about their Catholic faith and it really shines through in the culture of the school. 


A third factor, which was different from other schools in our area, was that it had a tuition cap after 3 kids - this means you pay for your first 3 children who are attending the school, but any more children who are enrolled are free! What a beautiful way the school supports being open to life and the blessing of having a large family! 



How would you describe your school to a parent who is considering applying?


St. Jerome Academy is a school where you can find a high quality Classical education, a passionately Catholic atmosphere, and a place where virtue and character are cultivated and celebrated in your children. 



What are your thoughts on your school’s teachers? Your children’s peer group and other school families? Catholic identity? Culture? Curriculum?


Our teachers are passionate about their vocation to both prepare our kids for a competitive academic world and also to prepare them to lead lives grounded in the truth of their Christian faith and love of God. 


My kids felt so welcomed when we came 3 years ago - every one of them experienced warm, open and positive peer groups from the very beginning of our time here and that has remained true 3 years later. 


The other school families are on the same journey of trying to raise great kids in a fallen world as we are - it is wonderful to have so much support and encouragement from our school community. We can talk openly about potentially contentious issues (phones, video games, different family rules, etc.) with the assumption that we all want what’s best for our kids and want to support each other. 


The Catholic Identity is clear when you first set foot in the building and penetrates all aspects of the culture at the school. 


The Curriculum incorporates both world history and Salvation history and presents it all in a way that celebrates only what is true, good and beautiful. I find this to be very respectful of the children - they are exposed to beautiful art, great works of literature and held to high standards of memorization and academic performance. 



What is the most important reason you stay at your school?


We have seen our kids grow in their faith and virtue and excel in their studies while attending St. Jerome Academy. At this stage of our parenting, with all our kids being school aged, the school that we partner with to educate our kids is definitely one of the most important decisions we can make. We are really happy with our experience at St. Jerome Academy.

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