Since opening its doors in 1960, St. Thomas Aquinas High School has served as a model of academic excellence and educational vision for New Hampshire’s Seacoast. Remaining true to its founders, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, our coeducational Catholic high school maintains a mission to challenge, support and transform young adults so that they are wholly prepared to lead a life enriched by intellectual discourse, spiritual reflection and human integrity.
On this page, you will find brief profiles of some of our St. Thomas Aquinas High School Saints. These profiles represent a cross-section of all our students- young adults who are varied in their interests, skills, talents and personalities- and all of whom represent our diverse student body.
All of our students are embraced and cherished at St. Thomas Aquinas High School as our living SaintsPride.
We hope one day you, too, will be named a Saint.
Meet Elisa Verdi: Dancer, Singer, Actress, Enjoys Science & History
Elisa resides in Kittery, Maine, is a graduate of St. Patrick School (now St. Patrick Academy) and is a parishioner at St. Raphael’s parish. A true thespian at heart, Elise has starred in many St. Thomas Aquinas High School drama productions, most recently as Dorothy in last spring’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” (See Elisa as Dorothy on our website’s landing page!)
In addition to her participation in STA’s Drama Club, Elisa also enjoys performing with the STA Chamber and Jazz Choirs. Her favorite subjects are science and history.
“I chose STA because it felt like a place where I would do really well and where I would fit in well. To me, Saints Pride means loving and being proud of my school community and working to make it an even better place.”
Hoping to be a marine biologist and/or an actress one day, Elisa will undoubtedly continue to mesmerize the world with her spirit and energy. “I put my heart and soul into everything I do, and I love meeting new people,” she proclaims. “I also do stand-up comedy and love telling dad-jokes and puns.”
Join us at our next Coffeehouse and meet Elisa in person. Her effervescent personality and delightful smile make her an easy young lady to spot in any crowd.
Meet Max Reich: Swimmer, Debate Club, Volunteer, Enjoys History
One of the most wonderful things about St. Thomas Aquinas students is watching how they partner two (or more) very different interests in a balanced and successful way. One student who displays this well is sophomore Max Reich. An avid (and exceptional) swimmer, Max also loves history. As an 8th grade student at North Hampton School, Max was recognized with the Daughters of the American Revolution Award for his demonstrated excellence in history. While he hopes to one day become a professor of World War II history (or a Washington lobbyist), Max currently is making a big splash in another field of interest, too.
As a member of Phoenix Swimming (a Massachusetts-based swimming program that focuses on an athlete’s development both as a swim athlete and as a person of integrity), Max has excelled. He is now participating in his second year as a member of the St. Thomas Aquinas Swim Team and creating a powerful wake. Max holds two New England swimming records and was ranked 3rd in the country for the 200m breaststroke men (13-14 year old age division).
“Coaching at young swimmers at the surf club this past summer was definitely a highlight,” acknowledges Max. “Watching them compete and fun was priceless.”
Watching Max compete for STA is also priceless and an experience every STA fan should schedule in to their calendar. But aside from his prowess in the pool, Max is simply a genuine light for our school. When asked why he chose STA as his four year home for high school, he shares, “When I visited St. Thomas Aquinas as an 8th grader, I felt like everyone cares about their education here. The teachers love teaching and everyone made me feel as if everyone is part of one big family.”
Max’s feelings are authentic and we are proud to have him as part of our large STA family where everyone gets along… swimmingly.
Meet Theresa: Softball, Altar Server, Babysitter, Enjoys Algebra
There is something about Theresa that sets her apart from the crowd. It could be her ever-ready smile, her friendly personality or simply her ability to make eye contact quickly and comfortably. Whatever it is, Theresa has glided into freshman life at St. Thomas Aquinas seemingly with ease and grace.
Clearly, she received a great preparation at St. Elizabeth Seton School. As a resident of Lebanon, Maine, Theresa attends St. Mary’s Church in Rochester. She sought to study at St. Thomas Aquinas High School because “of the really good academics and because STA cares so much about its students.” Like many other freshmen at St. Thomas Aquinas, one of Theresa’s favorite memories thus far is how the upperclassmen spent the last days of their summer vacation helping the incoming Class of 2021 adjust to high school. (Jump Start is a distinct STA program that partners older students with incoming freshmen to help them acclimate to STA prior to the beginning of the school year.)
To Theresa, Saints Pride means “showing your school spirit to the world. When I wear something with STA on it, I am proud and want to show it to the world and personally display the values that the school is teaching me.” Theresa reveals those values and her heart for service in many ways, like when she teaches dance to young children, serves food on Friday nights at the soup kitchen, and participates as a Master of Ceremonies during Sunday Masses.
As an active member of her parish community, Theresa felt the deep pang of Fr. Dan Sinibaldi’s death last year. Her generous act of selling bracelets and contributing the raised donations to Dover’s Hyder Family Hospice House earned her a special spot in the Diocesan magazine, The Parable. Theresa’s kindness and gentle spirit are evident to all at STA, especially in her comments such as: “I’d like to be a surgeon when I grow up, so that I can help people. I just want a job that involves helping people.”
We have no doubt that, one day, Theresa will do just that. In the meantime, we are very grateful and proud to have her as a present-day Saint.
Meet Nicholas Guerin: Baseball and Basketball Player, Enjoys History
As a 10th grader, Nicholas Guerin is a regular sight on the basketball court and baseball field. He is a resident of Rye, New Hampshire and joined our STA community from Rye Junior High. He and his family attend services at Bethany Church (Greenland Campus). He chose STA because he “liked the idea of having faith incorporated into the classroom. That is something that really set STA apart from other schools that I considered.”
As an avid baseball player, Nicholas was proud to be part of St. Thomas Aquinas’ winning baseball team in 2017. “In our first playoff game,” he remembers, “a senior hit a walk-off grand slam. It was great, and it still reminds me of how welcoming all the upperclassmen were on that team.”
Nicholas is an all-around good-natured young man whose favorite food is clam chowder, favorite subject is history and whose favorite sports team is (no surprise) the Boston Red Sox.
Recognizing that there is a great deal of natural and man-made devastation in the world, Nicholas considers being part of a disaster support team when he grows up. “As of late, it seems like something that is very much needed.” And while we hope that fact will one day change, we at STA are comforted knowing that one day Nicholas may be part of alleviating others’ suffering and serving as a light in darkness to the world.”
Meet Gabbie MacNeil: Soccer, Lacrosse, Choir, Student Advisory Board, Theater, Robotics, Enjoys Math & Science
Sometimes junior high students are reluctant to consider St. Thomas Aquinas for their high school journey because they are either a) concerned about “losing their friends”*; or b) they have never attended a Catholic school and worry about fitting in at STA. No one dispels these two myths more quickly than Gabbie MacNeil.
A graduate of Dover Middle School, Gabbie has flourished at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Her strength in athletics can be witnessed on both the soccer and lacrosse fields. She is a member of the STA Choir and Robotics Club, enjoys helping with theater productions, is a staff member on the STA De Lux Newspaper and finds time to help others as a peer tutor in our Center for Academic Achievement.
“To me,” reflects Gabbie, “Saints Pride means being part of a school where teachers and students work together to achieve academic, athletic and spiritual excellence.
I chose STA as my home because when I shadowed a student in my 8th grade year, I experienced first-hand the love and compassion that exists in the STA community. I instantly knew which school I wanted to call my home- STA.”
As the oldest of three children, Gabbie cherishes her family and, when asked, admits that her most memorable experience from this past summer was spending two relaxing weeks together with her family at a lake house. It is clear that Gabbie’s foundation and roots come from a tight-knit family, one that has laid a beautifully strong platform for her self-confidence.
“One thing people should know about me,” says Gabbie, “is that I am very passionate about everything I am involved in whether it is being a part of a sports team, a group project, or coordinating an event- I put everything I have into my task.”
STA Saints are encouraged to participate in as many or as few activities as they wish; we want our students to enjoy balanced lives and we know that “balanced” means something different to every individual. Gabbie exemplifies a young woman with diverse interests who is generous with her time, talent and spirit.
Interested in biology and engineering, she is considering entering the field of science one day. No matter what career path she chooses, Gabbie MacNeil will be a successful asset to any business in particular and to the greater world at large.
*While junior high students occasionally express a fear that attending STA will cause them to “lose their old friends”, we at STA like to reassure them that this is not the case, only that they will gain many new friends to add to their list.
Meet Cameron Cassidy: Track and Field, Shotput, Community Service, Altar Server, Enjoys Spanish & Latin
St. Thomas Aquinas High School is proud of its diversity of students who hail from 45 different towns in NH, ME and MA. As a resident of Newbury, Massachusetts, Cameron Cassidy attended Sacred Heart School in Hampton, NH for grade school and joined us as a freshman this year. Camm is a parishioner at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, also located in Hampton.
Having had older sisters attend, Camm was already familiar with STA, its campus and its opportunities. That said, he has been carving his own path and finding his own niche at 197 Dover Point Rd.
He certainly seeks to make his mark in the Track and Field sport of hammer throwing. This past summer, Cameron competed in meets throughout the New England region and trained extensively in this particular event with Coach Ed Arcaro, 1980 Olympic team member. At the end of July, Cameron competed at the USATF New England outdoor Championships and the Junior Olympic Region Championships where (as a then 8th grader) he placed 7th against rising sophomores and juniors. He finished the 2017 season as the best 8th grade Hammer Thrower in the United States, throwing the 12lb hammer a distance of 159’06”- the sixth furthest hammer throw for an 8th grader of all-time.
Camm is more than just a stand-out on the shotput mound. “I love languages and have loved them for as long as I can remember,” he shares. “I am learning several languages now but am conversational in at least five and have intermediate proficiency in about six more. Currently, I am taking classes in Farsi Persian at the Boston Language Institute.”
While these accomplishments are unique and greatly cherished, Camm would be the first to remark that all students are equally valued and cherished at St. Thomas Aquinas. “Saints Pride is the feeling you get when you walk into STA- the feeling of an overwhelming sense of family and community along with a strong awareness of our faith,” he says. “STA is a place where I feel comfortable, respected and valued. All of my teachers and classmates genuinely care about me and sincerely want me to succeed.”
Whether Camm grows up to be a Shot Put Olympian or utilize his language dexterity to serve the CIA, he will always be a Saint in our book.
Meet Aidan Faulstich: Soccer, Skiing, Student Advisory Board, Waterskiing, Enjoys World History
“Besides St. Thomas Aquinas, I also looked at Portsmouth High School and St. John’s Prep. But both of those schools are very big and didn’t have the community I wanted.” And with that in mind, Aidan Faulstich entered STA last year and made our school community an even brighter place.
As a resident of Portsmouth, Aidan studied at Portsmouth Middle School before enrolling at St. Thomas Aquinas in the fall of 2016. He jumped in with both feet and joined the Student Advisory Board, the soccer team and the Environmental Club. Now a sophomore, he has generously given over 50 hours of community service in various places in and around Portsmouth. He is also one of STA’s best Student Ambassadors.
Aidan identifies with Saints Pride. “To me, Saints Pride means representing the school at all times- regardless of whether I am at school or around town, whether I am on the soccer field being humble or out on the weekend wearing an STA sweatshirt.”
Every summer, Aidan and his family travel to Michigan and spend time together at the family’s lake house. These memorable summers also offer him a time to enjoy waterskiing, wakeboarding and wakesurfing. He transfers his love of waterskiing to the winter months as well when he spends most of his weekends downhill skiing at various mountains in northern New England, especially Attitash and Wildcat Mountains.
World History is Aidan’s favorite subject, which probably complements well his long-range career goal to become an architect.
Throughout the school year, Aidan also finds time to play soccer for both STA and Seacoast United (he participates on a Premier team) as well as lacrosse in the spring. Clearly, it is hard to catch up with this wonderful young man but we sure love trying!
Meet Chelsea Cooper: Soccer, Softball, Environmental Club, Enjoys English
The USA Women’s Soccer Team is Chelsea Cooper’s favorite team. This comes as little surprise since Chelsea herself is a standout on the St. Thomas Aquinas High School soccer team. But, as a freshman, Chelsea is successfully navigating through her first year as a Saint not only in soccer but across many fields.
As a Somersworth resident, Chelsea attended Somersworth Middle School before joining our STA community for high school. Here, she is a member of the Environmental Club and the soccer team and intends to join the softball team in the spring. In her spare time, Chelsea also is a participant in the Dover Race Series. Clearly, Chelsea lives a fast-paced life! And yet, she remains remarkably grounded.
“To me,” she shares, “’Saints Pride’ means being there for my peers. It means cheering them up if they need it and feeling genuinely happy for them when they accomplish something. It means being involved with the STA community and doing the best I can for myself and for others.”
With her quick smile and cheerful demeanor, Chelsea personifies “pep.” She serves as one of STA’s top Student Ambassadors and prospective always students enjoy spending their visit day with her.
“I chose St. Thomas Aquinas as my home,” she recalls, “because I knew it would prepare me for college. I also chose this wonderful school because of its environment. Everyone is caring. The teachers are always willing to help, there aren’t any disruptions in class, and no one is disrespectful to one another.”
Caring, helpful, respectful. While Chelsea names these three qualities as reasons why she chose St. Thomas Aquinas High School, we also name them as three reasons why STA chose her.
Thank you for all the wonderful attributes you bring to STA, Chelsea!
Meet Brendan Sullivan: Swimming, National Honor Society, World Quest, Community Service, Enjoys Physics
Splash! In every way, Brendan Sullivan has made a gigantic splash at St. Thomas Aquinas High School. A successful competitive swimmer for many years, Brendan has brought fame and acclaim to both the Seacoast Swimming Association and to STA. But to our community, Brendan is not merely a type of hydroelectric power; he is a genuine Saint.
“’Saints Pride’ is when a student is proud to attend STA and proud of the school’s involvement in the community,” says Brendan. “It means being proud of STA’s values.” The fact that Brendan recognizes the values prioritized by St. Thomas Aquinas comes as no surprise since he embodies these values himself. Quiet, respectful and ever polite, Brendan serves the Admissions Team as a Student Ambassador. And while at first glance, Brendan seems in a league of his own his kind personality reminds STA guests that he is very approachable and accessible.
German roulade is Brendan’s favorite food and his favorite subject is physics. Those might not be usual staples for every student’s palate (or pedagogical palette) but Brendan raises the bar for his peers in other ways. He was a member in STA’s Academic World Quest Team last year, is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as an assistant coach for a local youth baseball team.
Brendan’s hometown is Berwick Maine but, as a high school senior, he’ll soon be flying the coop. At the time he completed his Student Profile questionnaire, he remarked that his hope is to one day “be a fighter pilot in the Navy.”
It seems as if water may play a long-term role in this fine young man’s future.
Meet Isabella Gyurcsan: Hungarian Scout Leader, Soccer, Music Ministry, Debate Club, Enjoys Chemistry and Crème Brûlée.
Being fluent in Hungarian is one of the many wonderful aspects about Isabella Gyurcsan that makes her a unique St. Thomas Aquinas High School Saint. A native of Milton, New Hampshire, Isabella spent her formative middle school years at St. Elizabeth Seton School. She attends Mass at St. Mary’s Church in Rochester and chose St. Thomas Aquinas because she wanted to continue her Catholic education. “My faith is very important to me,” Isabella acknowledges. “I also wanted to be challenged academically so STA was a perfect fit for me.”
Isabella has embraced all aspects and opportunities that are afforded by a St. Thomas Aquinas education. Her aptitude and hunger for learning are matched only by her appreciation for new experiences. “I take school very seriously, perhaps too seriously,” she admits. “In my free time, I love watching period dramas and reading. Jane Austen is my absolute favorite author.” Isabella is a Hungarian Scout leader, a soccer coach, president of the Debate Club and plays the guitar, trombone and, most recently, the piano.
“During my sophomore year, I did Bible Journaling in Mr. Wolter’s class.” It was then that I started to understand Scripture in a very deep way. It brought me closer to God.”
When she grows up, Isabella hopes to be some type of physician (“maybe a pathologist”) because science is one of her many proclaimed passions. Whatever field she chooses, we have no doubt she will continue to spread the St. Thomas Aquinas motto light in darkness to all.
“Saints Pride’ to me means using my gifts and talents to be a light to the world. A Saint must always strive to aid those around him/her.”