What is our motivation to start Sparhawk Academy now?

Families need better options for the education of young boys. Today’s dominant elementary school pedagogy does not adequately account for their specific physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual needs.

There is a growing cultural disconnect and even conflict with the Christian roots of Western culture. This reality inevitably shapes how children are educated: how they will regard God, themselves, and others; what works of art, science, and literature will mold their view of the world; to what extent parents will be respected as the primary educators of their children.

Many on our launch team have girls at the Montrose School, which has provided a great educational experience for girls in the area for the past 35 years. It is past time to do something similar for their brothers and other boys. Families benefit the most when all the children, girls and boys, have equal access to academic and spiritual opportunity.

There is a core group of motivated families, educators, and benefactors who have already committed enormous resources of time, energy, talent, and money to launch this project.

Who is behind this effort?  What is their commitment? 

This effort is being led by parents and educators who are passionately committed to the intellectual, moral, physical, and spiritual education of boys.

Our school launch team came together in July 2015 and includes:

Joe Billmeier
Director, The Chestnut Hill Center, Chestnut Hill, MA
BA, Notre Dame University; MBA, Washington University

Chris Cassani
Project Manager, Woodard & Curran
BA, Boston University; MBA, University of Massachusetts

Tim Casey, President
Chief Tax Counsel, CVS Health
BA, Bowdoin College; JD, Suffolk University Law School

Brandon Farr, Secretary
Senior Quantitative Analyst , Copper Rock Capital Partners, LLC
BA, Boston University; MS, Boston University

MaryBeth Mahoney
Homemaker; former teacher, Montrose School
BA, Harvard University

Mark O’Donnell
Realtor, William Raveis Real Estate
BA, Columbia University; MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management

Dave Reilly
Chief Operations Officer, Dorel Juvenile
BS, University of Massachusetts at Lowell; MS, Lesley University

Joe Schirripa, Treasurer
Head of U.S. and Global Strategies, Numeric Investors
BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; MBA, MIT Sloan School of Management

Bob Sylvain
Head of School, Sparhawk Academy
BA, Columbia University; MBA, Bentley University

The school has the strong endorsement of Cardinal O’Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston.

We have received a number of generous gifts from benefactors who share our vision and passion, even though some of them have no children who will directly benefit from the school.

What tuition is being planned now?  Will there be arrangements for financial aid?

We have set tuition at $9,500 to cover the actual cost to educate, comprised mainly of competitive teacher salaries and benefits, and includes both annual operating and amortized capital expenses.

We are strongly committed to a fundraising program that will allow us to provide significant scholarship help to families of more modest means.

We want to be affordable for ordinary families, and for many reasons. We recognize that faithful Catholic families with lots of kids face a daunting financial challenge to educate their families in the faith. We know that having a school that requires a commitment to build and maintain from our families will create a special bond among them, and the freedom from every amenity is actually a very positive thing for a school.

What efforts are being made to promote Sparhawk?  Have families expressed interest in it?

Now that we have some key approvals in place (the Archdiocese, the IRS), we are widening our outreach. We have already met one-on-one with many families, and have planned several gatherings in upcoming months to further get out the word about the school.

What is the market for Sparhawk, as much you know now?

The market over a 5 year horizon is likely families who have benefited from various programs run from the Chestnut Hill Center such as The Edge, the Sebago Leadership Camp, and Fatherhood Conferences, as well as families with girls at the Montrose School. We will also depend on this group to spread the word among their friends.

The market over a longer horizon will come to include families with no immediate connection to these programs, but who are attracted by the idea of an all-boys elementary school with a targeted boy-friendly curriculum, taught by a male faculty. As Sparhawk proves itself as a high quality educational experience that produces happy, self-confident young men of character, its reputation will grow.

What is the difference between Sparhawk and other private schools?

Boys taught by men united with parents

Rigorous, boy-centric liberal arts curriculum

Emphasis on hands-on learning and engagement with the natural world

Value the absence of superficial amenities

Full time chaplain

Daily Mass and sacraments

Chapel with the Blessed Sacrament