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Parent Interview

Tom and Nicole Santschi have children at Holy Family Academy in Manassas, Virginia.

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


We have 10 children, ages 9 through 27. Our oldest daughter attended kindergarten in 1999. All 10 children have or still do attend. The oldest 6 graduated high school from HFA. Next year, we will have 4 attending in grades 10, 8, 6, & 4.



How did you learn about your school?


We learned about the school from our close friends, Michelle & Chris Kopeck. Michelle’s parents, Dr. & Mrs. Belleville founded the school.



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


It is important for us that they are surrounded with peers, families, and educators who share our same values.  We have much better control over the quality of education our children receive as we select the school they attend.



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


The classical liberal arts education presented at Holy Family Academy is more in line with our values than the education offered at other schools in the area. We like that it is a smaller school. It is easier to know the teachers, other students, and faculty in a smaller school.   


HFA places great importance on Catholic education and making the Sacraments readily available.  Many visiting priests come to celebrate daily Mass. The school goes to great lengths to infuse a wholly Catholic culture. It celebrates and educates the students about Liturgical Feasts and practices of the Church, focuses on prayer life, and emphasizes virtue and truth. High-schoolers have an opportunity to visit Rome with their peers. We view this as the cap-stone to their Catholic education.


We like that the school serves students K-12. Not only is it practical, convenient, and cost-effective to have all of our children in the same school, but this also provides an opportunity for the younger students to see the examples of the older.


The facility at Holy Family Academy is set in a beautiful semi-rural area with plenty of space for activities and athletic events.


Holy Family Academy also provides the opportunity for boys and girls to participate in several sports throughout the year. So far, all of our children of eligible age have participated.



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


It provides an excellent, well-rounded education. The environment is friendly and supportive. The families are engaged and encouraging. The school policies are thoughtful and reasonable.


The teachers are dedicated and well-qualified, and are well-supported by the administration. The curriculum is challenging and rewarding. The school expects the students to work hard and be responsible to act with integrity and virtue.



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


See above. We feel like the above answers touch on these already, but would add:


We have been happy with the teachers. They are truly concerned with the well-being of their students. They are all very approachable and willing to address any concerns that parents raise. On the whole, they have been excellent examples of Catholic men and women.


We have very much enjoyed the families and our children’s peers. Our children have made true and lasting friendships. All of our children who have graduated have maintained close contact with their Holy Family friends.


We have no question about its solid Catholic identity and culture. Everything is focused on building a student’s character and ability to go out into the world and live their Catholic faith. Catholicism permeates every aspect of Holy Family.   


Holy Family Academy maintains and presents a classical liberal arts curriculum. The students are exposed to the works of the greatest thinkers, artists, and writers in history, including: Aristotle, the Church Fathers, Shakespeare, Homer, Tolkien, and the Saints. It incorporates the arts, sciences, rhetoric and mathematics. It is a challenging and well-rounded program that teaches the students to discern the truth and prepares them well for college. On a practical level, the students are taught note-taking, research, critical reading, and public speaking which will all help them succeed in whatever endeavor they may pursue.



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


Holy Family teaches our children about their Catholic faith and how to live it.

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