Honoring Tradition: Celebrating Memories at STA

St. Thomas Aquinas High School, as it celebrates its 85th year, reflects on a rich history rooted in the pursuit of Catholic secondary education in Broward County. Founded in 1936 as St. Anthony School, with just 12 high school students under the guidance of the Dominican Sisters from Adrian, Michigan, the institution embraced the motto, “Not for school but for life we learn.” Within four years, the school grew to 42 students, culminating in nine graduates comprising the inaugural Class of 1940.

Affiliated with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1941, St. Anthony High School saw the debut of boys’ basketball and later, football in 1946. The publication of its first yearbook, Veritas, Volume 1, in 1950 marked a milestone, as did the graduation of the final class in June 1952.

In 1952, the school relocated and was renamed Central Catholic High School. The new campus featured essential facilities including classrooms, a library, cafeteria, and administrative offices. A statue of Mary was erected in 1957, a symbol that endures to this day. In 1961, the school adopted St. Thomas Aquinas as its patron and official name.

The appointment of Reverend Vincent T. Kelly as Supervising Principal in 1970 marked a turning point, with Sister John Norton joining shortly after. The opening of Brian Piccolo Memorial Stadium in 1979 signaled a new era in athletics, while academic achievements soared with the recognition of the first National Merit Scholars.

Advancements in science led to the construction of the John A. Kelly Building, while The Bienes Center for the Performing Arts provided a platform for showcasing talents in drama, dance, art, and music. The Smith Center further bolstered the athletic program with state-of-the-art facilities. Recent additions such as the Innovation Center underscore STA’s commitment to cutting-edge educational technology and collaborative learning environments.

Through decades of growth and evolution, St. Thomas Aquinas High School remains dedicated to its mission of nurturing students in both faith and knowledge, preparing them for a life of service and leadership in the community.


Honoring a Legacy

As we reflect on the rich history of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, it is impossible to overlook the profound impact of Monsignor Vincent Kelly, a founding member whose legacy continues to resonate within our school community.

Some Things Never Change

As time marches on and trends evolve, one thing remains steadfast at St. Thomas Aquinas High School: our commitment to faith, family, tradition, and excellence. While the uniforms may have changed over the years, these timeless values continue to serve as the cornerstone of our school community.


As St. Thomas Aquinas High School commemorates its rich history, it’s essential to pay homage to the pioneers who laid the foundation for our beloved school. Among these trailblazers stands the 1951 Veritas Yearbook Staff, a group of dedicated individuals who meticulously crafted a snapshot of life at STA over seven decades ago.