April, 11

St. Catherine’s Academy in California

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St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) is nestled amidst the captivating landscapes of California, where the ceaseless dance of palm trees whispers tales of a state steeped in innovation. While not a military academy, it embodies the spirit of academic excellence that resonates with the finest military schools.


This distinguished institution offers an educational journey where the pursuit of knowledge transcends convention, reminiscent of a military academy in California or any top-tier military academy in America. Curiosity becomes the guiding compass for students who seek more than just traditional schooling.

Upon entering the gates of Catherine’s Academy, visitors are greeted by the warm embrace of academic rigor and a vibrant cultural mosaic that embodies the essence of California itself. While not primarily a military school, it shares a commitment to discipline and excellence often found in military academies.

However, Catherine’s Academy is more than a military academy in California; it’s an immersive intellectual odyssey where aspirations are nurtured, intellects are meticulously sculpted, and the relentless pursuit of greatness prevails. In a state celebrated for innovation, Catherine’s Academy is a testament to Californian ideals.

Allow us to invite you on a transformative voyage through the hallowed halls of Catherine’s Academy. We’ll delve deep into the essence of this venerable institution, exploring its unique pedagogical approach, highlighting the dedicated faculty members who are the unsung heroes of its success, and introducing you to the bright, ambitious students who proudly call it their intellectual home.

Tuition at SCA

Prepare to be captivated, for Catherine’s Academy isn’t just an ordinary school; it’s a symphony of dreams set against the backdrop of the California dream. Here, the pursuit of knowledge knows no bounds, and each day unfurls as a thrilling chapter in the grand narrative of your future. Welcome to Catherine’s Academy, where learning thrives and aspirations soar, embodying the spirit of a military academy in America while offering an unparalleled educational experience.

History of St. Catherine’s Academy

Frequently Asked Questions | St. Catherine's Academy, American Boarding  School in California | International

Location: 215 N. Harbor Blvd. Anaheim, CA 92805

Contact Tel: 714-772-1363 | Fax: 714-772-3004

Some educational institutions will go down in history as examples of resilience and adaptation. One such institution is St. Catherine’s Academy, a Catholic school with a strong military background. Its long history creates a tale of transformation, dedication, and unshakable commitment to developing young minds for a better future.

1889 – A Humble Beginning

St. Catherine’s Academy opened to 19-day and 11 residence students in 1889. This nascent institution laid the groundwork for its illustrious history by beginning as a day school for local children and a boarding academy for girls.

Embracing Change in 1894

St. Catherine’s Academy has always been motivated by a strong sense of community service. It was converted into a boys’ orphanage in 1894, eventually housing up to 200 young souls by 1903. This adjustment demonstrated the institution’s resilience and dedication to fulfilling societal needs.

A Fateful Turn of Events in 1913

Difficulties loomed, prompting Mother Pia to consider selling the academy. As they were heading to sign the documents, Mother Pia and another Sister had a surprising encounter – they were followed by a swarm of bees, often seen as a sign of good fortune. In response to this unexpected event, Mother Pia decided to change course and chose not to proceed with the sale.

A Military Revolution in 1925

St. Catherine’s Academy became St. Catherine’s Military Academy in 1925, with Captain Daniel Healy as its first commander. This pivotal moment has significantly shifted the institution’s identity and mission.

1934 – The Tenure of a Leader Begins

In 1934, Lt. (later Major) Charles Schmitt gained charge, beginning a remarkable 40-year tenure. During this time, the academy grew to include a varied student body, including international students from Mexico who wanted to study English and experience American culture.

1989 – A Century of Achievement

St. Catherine’s Academy celebrated its centennial in 1989, commemorating a century of educational commitment, creativity, and expansion.

A New Commandant in 2006

Colonel Barry Bizzell was appointed commandant in 2006, ushering in new leadership to the school.

1974 – A Reliable Leader

Major Larry Zaborowksi served as commandant for a fantastic 30-year tenure, leaving an enduring imprint on the academy.

2010 – A Name Change Reflecting Values

In 2010, the institution made a pivotal change, adopting the name St. Catherine’s Academy while maintaining its format as a Catholic school with a military tradition. This name change reflected its core values and mission: to educate young men of exceptional faith and character, poised to be the leaders of tomorrow.

2014 – Honoring a Rich Legacy

In 2014, St. Catherine’s Academy celebrated its 125th anniversary, a testament to its enduring commitment to education and character development.

Through twists of fate, shifting societal needs, and visionary leadership, St. Catherine’s Academy has emerged as a beacon of excellence, embodying the spirit of adaptation and dedication. Today, it continues to prepare young men for a lifetime of success while upholding a rich tradition that has shaped generations of leaders.

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Student Life at St. Catherine’s Academy

Student Life at St. Catherine's Academy

At SCA, a Holistic Educational Experience Awaits Your Son

In the nurturing halls of St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA), your son embarks on a journey of comprehensive learning and personal growth. This esteemed institution goes beyond exceptional classroom education, offering a multifaceted experience that shapes young boys into confident and capable individuals.

Academic Excellence Meets Military Tradition

At SCA, your son will thrive academically. Engaging classrooms and dedicated instructors ensure a strong educational foundation. Our military tradition instills discipline and self-assurance, preparing students for a future of leadership.

A Vibrant Student Experience

Beyond academics, St. Catherine’s Academy offers a rich and diverse student experience. It encompasses faith formation, athletics, artistic pursuits, and community service. This holistic approach ensures that your son excels academically and grows into a well-rounded individual.

A Community of Camaraderie

SCA is more than just a school; it’s a closely-knit community where boys come together to learn and have fun. Rooted in our military and Catholic traditions, camaraderie and community hold a special place. Many cadets fondly describe “brotherhood” as their favorite aspect of their time at SCA.

Building Lasting Bonds

Through our community-focused environment, students learn the value of teamwork, reliance on one another, and the importance of helping classmates. These experiences forge enduring bonds that extend beyond the classroom, preparing your son for a lifetime of meaningful connections.

Extracurricular Activities at St. Catherine’s Academy

St. Catherine’s Academy offers a wide range of extracurricular activities. These activities, including athletics and music, enable the students to develop into well-rounded leaders. It’s all part of the school’s commitment to shaping the leaders that our future society needs.

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life at St Catherine Academy

St. Catherine’s Academy, the oldest Catholic school in Orange County, was founded in 1889 by the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose. Eleven Sisters are actively involved in the school’s administration, teaching, and resident care. Through its formation program, the school emphasizes Dominican values such as community, ministry, study, and prayer.

Spiritual development is a core focus at St. Catherine’s Academy, with various opportunities for students to grow in their Catholic faith. These include daily prayer, religion classes, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, weekly Eucharist, preparation for sacraments, retreats, prayer groups for residential students, a formation program centered on the Dominican charism, and service-learning projects.


Athletics at St. Catherine's Academy (SCA)

At St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA), sports isn’t just a pastime; it’s a culture of excellence and sportsmanship. The school offers competitive sports programs through the Parochial Athletic League (PAL), allowing students to try out for Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity teams in flag football, basketball, and volleyball. Additionally, SCA engages in friendly scrimmage games for soccer and hosts an exciting annual intramural swim meet.

Sportsmanship at the Heart of SCA Athletics

Sports and physical education at SCA seamlessly complement its military tradition. However, it’s not just about winning; sportsmanship is a cornerstone of the SCA athletic program. Students are taught to play with honor, integrity, and sportsmanship, embodying the true spirit of competition.

Championing Excellence

SCA’s competitive sports teams have a history of remarkable achievements. The school has clinched numerous football, basketball, and volleyball league championships. Recent accolades include P.A.L. Basketball Championships in 2012-2013, 2011-2012, and 2006-2007, a P.A.L. Flag Football Championship in 2003-2004, and P.A.L. Volleyball Championships in 2012-2013 and 2001-2002. The JV teams have also showcased their prowess with North League Championships in Basketball (2018-2019), Football (2014-2015), and Volleyball (2013-2014).

State-of-the-Art Athletic Facilities

SCA takes pride in its exceptional athletic facilities, which stand out among elementary schools in the area. The school is a preferred choice to host PAL playoff and championship games. The campus boasts an indoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped gymnasium, and a top-notch football/soccer field. These facilities foster athletic development and provide a competitive edge for SCA’s teams.

Music Programs at St. Catherine’s Academy

Music Programs at St. Catherine's Academy

St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) offers its students a vibrant world of artistic exploration. The school recognizes the importance of nurturing creativity and cultural appreciation, making music and the arts an integral part of the curriculum.

A Harmonious Journey Through Music

At SCA, every grade level gets the opportunity to delve into the enchanting realm of music. Weekly music classes are woven into the general curriculum, covering a spectrum of captivating topics. From ancient to modern music, world music, to the rich history of American melodies, students embark on a melodious journey that spans the ages.

A Symphony of Possibilities

SCA’s music program extends beyond the classroom, offering individual and small-group instruction in various musical domains. The Marching Knights, SCA’s band open to 4th to 8th grade students, forms a core component. Band members benefit from weekly private lessons and daily formal practices, showcasing their talents in community concerts and parades while adding musical zest to school events.

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For budding pianists, the piano program welcomes cadets from Transitional Kindergarten (TK) to 8th grade. One-on-one lessons and dedicated practice times instill good habits even in the youngest learners. Starting with fundamental drills like note reading and rhythm, students progress to classical masterpieces by Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven at their own pace, with the advantage of 10 individual piano rooms for practice.

Guitar enthusiasts in 4th to 8th grade can explore their talents in small group classes. These classes nurture basic skills, including technique, music reading, and chord playing. SCA’s commitment to music education isn’t just about notes and melodies; it’s about fostering a lifelong love for the artistry of sound.

Tuition and Financial Aid at St. Catherine’s Academy

A Male cadet pressing laptop in a classroom setting
A Male cadet pressing laptop in a classroom setting

Affordable Tuition Options for a Bright Future

Planning for your son’s education at St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) is a significant decision and a commitment to his future. SCA takes pride in offering affordable tuition options for students entering Grades TK-8, ensuring access to a high-quality education.

Day Program Tuition

  • TK-1st Grade: $13,541
  • 2nd-8th Grade: $17,503

Registration Fees:

  • Enrollment Fee: $400
  • Family Fee: $550
  • Earthquake Fee: $50

Total Cost:

  • TK-1st Grade: $14,541
  • 2nd-8th Grade: $18,503
  • Not including additional expenses

Boarding Options

  • For boys entering Grades 4-8
  • School Tuition: $17,503

5-Day Boarding:

  • Room & Board: $28,546

7-Day Boarding:

  • Room & Board: $39,191

Registration Fees (Both 5-Day and 7-Day Boarding):

  • Enrollment Fee: $400
  • Family Fee: $550
  • Personal Account: $500
  • Earthquake Fee: $50

Total Cost (Both 5-Day and 7-Day Boarding):

  • $47,549 (5-Day Boarding)
  • $62,494 (7-Day Boarding)
  • Not including additional expenses

Tuition Aid

SCA is committed to making its education accessible to a diverse range of families. Tuition assistance is available to help meet the cost of SCA. It covers a portion of tuition and other fees, with each family’s needs individually assessed. Availability varies annually, so applying for financial aid as soon as possible is recommended. The application process involves completing the FACTS online application and submitting the required admission documents to SCA. Tuition assistance is available to families in all school divisions, and funds are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Applying for tuition assistance will not impact a student’s chance of admission to SCA, as admission and tuition assistance decisions are made independently and confidentially.

How to Apply for Tuition Assistance

Step 1. Complete the FACTS online application

Step 2. Submit St. Catherine’s Academy Admission Required Documents

  • St. Catherine’s Academy Admission Application (Print | Online)
  • Parent Questionnaire (Print | Online)
  • Documents listed on Admission Checklist (Print)

Admissions Process at St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA)

Admissions Process at SCA

How to Join St. Catherine’s Academy

The 2023-2024 school year application process at St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) opens on August 21, 2023. SCA welcomes prospective families with open arms and offers a streamlined process that can be as swift as one week. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you embark on this exciting journey:

Step 1: Request Information
Begin by requesting an information packet to gain insights into SCA’s educational offerings. It’s the first step towards discovering the possibilities that await your child.

Step 2: Explore The St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA)
Attend a private tour or join a Parent Information Night to see SCA’s campus, values, and community firsthand. It’s a great opportunity to have your questions answered and envision your child’s future here.

Step 3: Experience SCA
Schedule a cadet shadow visit for your prospective student. This immersive experience allows your child to step into the shoes of an SCA cadet for a day, witnessing the school’s unique environment and its dynamic approach to education.

Step 4: Complete Application
Submit the required documents, depending on your child’s grade level:

Step 5: Personal Interview
The final step involves an interview with the school principal. This allows both the student and parents to engage with the leadership and share their aspirations for joining SCA.

Throughout this process, the admissions team at SCA is readily available to assist you. Feel free to reach out by phone at 714-772-1363 or email [email protected].

The friendly and knowledgeable staff are here to schedule tours and cadet shadow visits, assist with application requirements, and address any inquiries you may have. The SCA Family eagerly anticipates the opportunity to welcome your family into its nurturing community.

St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) Application Forms

To ensure your application is considered, please submit the required documents to the admissions office based on your child’s grade level:

  • Transitional Kindergarten & Kindergarten: Welcome Letter, Application Checklist, Application for Admission, Parent Questionnaire
  • Grades 1-8: Application Checklist, Application for Admission, Parent Questionnaire, Teacher Evaluation Form, Principal Evaluation Form
  • International Students: Application Checklist, Application for Admission, Parent Questionnaire, Teacher Evaluation, Principal Evaluation, Tuition & Fees for International Students
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Once your application is complete, the admissions office will contact you to schedule an interview, marking the final step on your journey to becoming a part of the SCA community. Click here to learn more.

Why Do Parents Choose St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA)

Activities and Special Programs SCA

Parents choose St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) for their sons because of the unique and enriching educational experience it provides. Here’s why SCA stands out as a preferred choice:

Structured and Nurturing Environment: SCA offers more than just education; it provides a structured and predictable environment where boys can thrive. This setting is essential for their development as it instills discipline, responsibility, and the value of teamwork from an early age. The caring military staff at SCA serve as exemplary role models, imparting character traits that will serve students well throughout their lives.

Hands-On Leadership Experience: SCA goes beyond traditional education. It offers students hands-on leadership experience, a priceless asset for their future careers. This experience prepares them for success in a wide range of fields, fostering the qualities of leadership, adaptability, and resilience.

The SCA Difference: What sets St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) apart is that it’s not a conventional military school. Instead, it’s guided by the Dominican Sisters, who create a nurturing and well-rounded program. This unique blend of military tradition and Dominican values equips students not for military service but for the broader challenges of high school, college, and life. SCA ensures that young boys develop into confident, responsible, and principled individuals, ready to excel in any path they choose to pursue.

Military Activities & Programs St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA)

Building Leaders Through Military Activities & Programs

St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) proudly upholds a rich military tradition that fosters the growth of young leaders. The military activities and special programs at SCA are instrumental in developing essential qualities such as leadership, self-confidence, and self-discipline.

Daily Military Time: For 3rd to 8th-grade students, the journey toward leadership begins with daily military instruction. This takes place in the afternoon from 3:00 to 3:30, four days a week, complementing the regular school day. The curriculum covers a diverse range of military activities, including the flag salute, classroom seminars on leadership, practical exercises in leadership, engaging company games, group competitions, obstacle courses, basic drill instruction, cadet handbook training, first aid, land navigation, and survival swimming. These activities instill discipline and equip cadets with valuable life skills.

Special Programs: SCA’s commitment to leadership development extends beyond the classroom. Special programs offered through the military department provide cadets with opportunities to engage with their community while reinforcing the values of self-discipline and teamwork. These programs encompass significant events like the Christmas, Easter, and June Drill, community parades, color guard, honor guard, and a competitive drill team. Speaking of the drill team, SCA’s competitive drill team recently earned an honorable mention from the Association of Military Colleges & Schools of the United States (AMCSUS). Despite competing primarily against high schools nationwide, our middle school cadets showcased their remarkable skills and dedication. Witness their impressive performance in the video below, a testament to the excellence nurtured within SCA’s military programs.

St. Catherine’s Academy’s military tradition isn’t just about uniforms and drills; it’s about molding young minds into leaders of character, ready to take on life’s challenges with unwavering confidence and resilience.

St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA)’s Cadet Training Videos

1. Boot Tying

2. Uniform Overview

3. Position of Attention


St. Catherine’s Academy (SCA) stands as a beacon of excellence in education, offering a unique blend of tradition and innovation. Through its military programs, SCA fosters the growth of young leaders, instilling qualities like discipline, self-confidence, and self-discipline. From the structured daily military time to the engaging special programs, SCA equips its cadets with essential life skills, a sense of responsibility, and a commitment to the community.

As we’ve explored the various facets of SCA, it’s clear that this institution is more than just a school; it’s a nurturing environment where young minds flourish, camaraderie and leadership are celebrated, and the path to a brighter future begins. The competitive drill team’s recent achievement is a testament to the dedication and excellence that define SCA’s military tradition.

Choosing SCA isn’t merely a decision about where to educate your child; it’s an investment in their future as confident, responsible, and principled individuals. It’s about preparing them to excel in any path they choose, armed with the values and skills imparted by SCA’s exceptional military programs.

In a world where leadership and character matter more than ever, SCA stands as a beacon, guiding young cadets on a journey toward a brighter, more promising future. So, if you’re seeking a school that offers education and a transformative experience, consider joining the SCA family. Your child’s journey to becoming a leader of character begins here.

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