Offering young people a cross-curricular education is one of St. Thomas Aquinas’ well-known traits. Instruction that intentionally applies multiple academic disciplines simultaneously proves an effective way to teach our students transferable problem solving skills while also allocating real-world meaning to their assignments. It also is an obvious way to increase student engagement and educational rigor.
St. Thomas Aquinas Faculty integrates this type of deeper learning in order to dislodge dams of traditional learning processes. Probing the adolescent power of inquiry and coaxing students to angle their minds toward innovative thinking is part and parcel to an STA education.
This has been most recently practiced in this week’s Digital Arts class. While applying new digital art skills, students were tasked with “re-inventing the STA brand.”
In 1999, then principal, Jeff Quinn, rebranded STA and our school became “St. Thomas” rather than “St. Thomas Aquinas.” The tag line “Education that makes a Difference” was applied. Around 2012, Principal Kevin Collins initiated another re-branding that brought back “Aquinas” to all branded materials. It was then also that STA established its official font, Pantone colors and designated the fleur de lis for athletics.
Learning about this slice of St. Thomas Aquinas history was a precursor to art students’ tackling this project. They have also learned about marketing, logos, and how branding sets the perceptions of people toward a company. (In the near future, they will receive a presentation with STA’s Marketing Department and learn more about the importance of branding to businesses and schools.)
With this information and knowledge, Saints were challenged to design their own St. Thomas Aquinas trifold brochures. They were not allowed to use current branding colors, logos or seal but were instead encouraged to develop their own branding guidelines. The results were varied and innovative- and yet each consistently demonstrative of Saints Pride!
We are grateful to Mrs. Hettie Haudenschield for challenging, supporting and transforming the way our art students’ think and encouraging them to consider the many ways in which art plays a role in society and culture. For it is in the actual doing that students receive and realize the entire meaning behind a project’s scope and sequence.
Excellent job, Saints!