Prospective parents and students are often surprised by the number and variety of athletic teams, extracurricular activities, and clubs at St. Francis. It seems counterintuitive, but a small high school can actually provide amazing opportunities for student involvement. There are no barriers here, from our no-cut athletic teams to organizations and clubs that are always excited to have more members! Read on to learn more about our athletics, extracurriculars, and clubs.
Our mascot is the Wyvern — a fierce, fire-breathing dragon. With 14 varsity teams, our Wyverns are true competitors. St. Francis fields varsity teams in soccer, volleyball, field hockey, golf, basketball, bowling, tennis, track, and baseball. Talented and experienced athletes gain varsity experience starting in freshman year, and we’ve sent student-athletes in recent years on to play at the University of Kentucky, Michigan State University, Northern Kentucky University, Berea College, Vassar College, and Furman University. Plus, 2013 alumnus Napo Matsoso is a member of Lou City FC’s stellar team. St. Francis teams are no-cut, however, so less experienced athletes can also pick up a new sport or continue playing something just because they enjoy it and want to be part of a team. Students who want to have the team experience but don’t love actually playing sports can serve as team managers, photographers, scorekeepers, etc. We also offer the “Underground Lifting Society” after school, one of our longtime and most popular athletic activities, for students who want a guided personal training program in the Fitness Room (which is located “underground” in our basement, hence the name).
Extracurricular activities also include drama, music, academics teams, and more. Our National Youth Arts Award-winning theatre program encompasses an annual Showcase of student-written, student-directed short plays and a musical or full-length drama/comedy in alternating years. The Showcase plays come out of our Playwriting elective, which is taught by Actors Theatre personnel; these plays are also submitted to the Actors Theatre New Voices contest, and we’ve had three SFS student plays honored in that competition over the years. In 2018, the musical was Little Shop of Horrors, and our lead actress was honored with a National Youth Arts Award (and nominations went to several other student actors, the director, and the musical director!). In 2019, we premiered a play created by two of our English teachers and drama program directors, Michelle Salerno and Juan Ramirez, from the short stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe. This spring, we are excited to be one of only a few high schools around the country to perform Chicago!
For singers and/or musicians, in addition to the biannual musical and a music performance class, we offer a jazz ensemble and a vocal ensemble (and we welcome students to access practice space, including a grand piano, a regular upright piano, and a keyboard) during free periods. Students have the opportunity to audition into local, regional, and national honor choirs and bands, and are frequently selected.
Academic teams include varsity and JV Quick Recall teams, Governor’s Cup, Science Olympiad, and Math League. Throughout our history, as well as in recent years, we have regularly won our Quick Recall league and tournament (playing against all the other area private schools), sent students to the State Governor’s Cup competition in various subject areas and Quick Recall, advanced as a team to the State level in Science Olympiad competition, and had top-10 Math League finishers.
In addition, we offer Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA) and Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA), which are some of our most popular extracurricular activities at St. Francis. These are statewide YMCA-sponsored programs that stretch over a long weekend in fall or spring, with the St. Francis group earning Delegation of Distinction or Excellence honors several times in recent years and at KYA this past November, earning the Best Bill Packet award at the conference. Last spring, we received a scholarship to take a group of students to a Model UN Assembly in New York at the actual United Nations, an experience we’ve already secured for Spring 2021, as well.
Aspiring writers and photographers work on the Literary Magazine and the Yearbook every year, and have the opportunity to compose and publish novels as part of the annual National Novel Writing Month project (NaNoWriMo). In addition, we’ve had great success with students being accepted into the Kentucky Museum of Art + Craft annual KMAC Couture event, with SFS students’ designed couture walking the runway in this show for the last several years.
Diversity organizations abound at St. Francis; they meet weekly and are open to all. The Black Students Association is generally one of the largest student groups on campus, discussing various topics, and bringing in speakers to share with the group and student body as a whole. The Multi-Cultural Committee plans an annual week with a Diversity Fair and a Diversity Potluck. The Queer Students Association and Gender Rights and Equity Initiative program an annual Gender Week with panels of speakers and other events.
New this year, the Film Club is a perfect example of St. Francis students deciding they want a club, finding other interested students and a faculty sponsor, and getting that club started. Other groups include the Encouragement Club, whose goal is to brighten the day of everyone in the SFS community; the Climate Club, focused on environmental education and advocacy; and special-interest groups like the Cereal Club, the Cheese Club, and the Anime Club.
From athletics that provide opportunities for elite athletes as well as those who just love to play, to wide-ranging extracurricular activities that suit the artistic and intellectual, to an ever-changing group of clubs that match the interest of just about any student at St. Francis, everyone finds a way to get involved beyond the classroom and help create a vibrant student life at St. Francis!