Student Life

Character Formation

We teach viewing the human person through the lense of faith.  Christ is the model we present to students as the embodiment of human perfection.  We teach students that Christ is alive today, a real person, whom we are called to an eternal friendship with, not some historical figure.  We teach that Christ is at work in the world today through his Church and through each believer through grace.

List of 3 items.

  • Virtue

    Ave Maria Academy’s mission statement clearly identifies the formation of virtue as one of the essential aspects of the overall education we wish to provide for all of our students. The reason virtue is seen as an integral part of the formation of our students is made clear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church’s discussion on virtue, which explains, “Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life” (CCC 1804) Ave Maria seeks to form students in the virtues, then, so our students will be able to live lives of human excellence with their intellect, will, and passions rightly ordered towards the good. Most importantly, the life of virtue in which we strive to form our students will allow them ultimately see the end for which that virtue exists, for “the goal of a virtuous life is to become like God” (CCC 1803; Cf. St. Gregory of Nyssa, De Beatitudinibus, 1). 
  • Witness

    The task of formation in the virtues is a lifelong task that must begin early in the Christian’s life.  For this reason, we begin to help our students to learn the virtues from the very beginning of their time here at Ave Maria Academy.  Virtue is taught, especially to young children, through the lived example of those around them. Our faculty and staff, very conscious of this truth, work hard to model the life of virtue for their students in all that they do throughout the day.  In addition to the example of our dedicated faculty, the students also encourage one another in the daily practice of virtue; taking to heart the words of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up…”(1 Thes. 5:11). Special emphasis is given to have the older students provide a witness of virtue to the younger students through a yearlong buddy program.  
  • Practice

    Along with the important use of personal witness in the life of virtue, Ave Maria also employs a formal educational program in the life of virtue called Virtues in Practice that teaches students a new virtue each month, and provides the students grade level appropriate ways in which to practice these virtues in school and at home. 

Buddy Program

The buddy program matches older students with younger students and provides various opportunities throughout the year for comradery and leadership. The goal of the buddy program is to build community among the students, offer older students the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills and to model the virtues that they have been working on, and to provide younger students with positive role models as they begin their own growth in the virtues.