Trinity Catholic: A Living Legacy

STAMFORD—We are writing in response to The Stamford Advocate’s June 30 story, “Trinity Enrollment Drop Has No One Reason.”

The Diocese of Bridgeport’s transparency about the decline in enrollment has been more than matched by its commitment to the future of the school and its belief in the crucial role played by Trinity Catholic High School.

At Trinity, more than $8 million has been invested in our infrastructure, renovations, athletic fields and curriculum over the past three years alone. Bishop Frank Caggiano has visited the school, spoken with parents and personally unveiled plans for a new Trinity that will introduce exciting and contemporary learning opportunities that are second to none in preparing students for academic and career success.

But one thing won’t change — Trinity will remain authentically Catholic and academically excellent.

While Trinity faces multiple demographic, financial and academic challenges, many of the same issues are shared by public and private schools alike. However, much of the Advocate’s story was built on the comments of a few unhappy parents, and it left out the voices of those who are committed to Trinity Catholic High School and its future.

Mike Carlon, a Trinity Catholic alumnus and father of triplets who are seniors at Trinity, says there are “a number of reasons why we chose Trinity for our triplets — the high graduation rate, the strength and rigor of the academics, and the quality of the colleges and universities Trinity students get accepted to every year.”

“Trinity Catholic is not only a ‘college prep’ school, but a ‘life prep’ school,” states Liz Sweeney, a parent of three boys, two of whom have graduated from Trinity and one of whom is a junior here. “The teachers here are committed to excellence, where every teacher knows each student by name. They put extraordinary time, mentoring and ensuring each child’s success.”

Monica Loughran Welch, an alumnus of Stamford Catholic High (Trinity’s predecessor), raised her children in Trumbull. Monica believes the community has a role and a stake in Trinity’s success.

“It’s up to all of us to rebuild Trinity,” Welch says. “‘Angels’ and alumni can help enrollment by funding scholarships for those unable to pay full tuition. Our parishes can stand with Trinity and provide a Catholic pathway for our students. And cultural organizations can develop scholarships in support of various groups to ensure and maintain a rich diversity at Trinity.”

Perhaps parents of recent 2019 grad Maddie Ingram, Doug and Kate Ingram, said it best: “Maddie had teachers who cared about her not just academically, but as a whole person. Because of this and their guidance, Maddie was accepted at the college (Holy Cross) of her dreams.” She has a great foundation for heading to college, not only in her studies, but as a good person, a good citizen, and a good Catholic.”

These parents and students are not alone telling the continuing success story of Trinity Catholic in the lives of its students and the community. This year, 95 of Trinity’s 97 graduates in the Class of 2019 are going on to college. That is 97 percent of the class; historically in-line with the schools 95-100 percent college attendance rate, over the past two decades. This fall, Trinity’s Class of 2019 will be moving on to such prestigious universities as Brown, Purdue, Syracuse, Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama, Villanova, Maryland, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and many others.

These same students received more than $10 million in college scholarships and aid.

Likewise, the average Trinity student’s SATs (English and Math), outperform the Stamford Public Schools and surpass the statewide average. With the real cost of educating a high school student in Stamford approaching $20,000 per year, and private schools costing upward of $45,000 per year, Catholic education remains a bargain at less than half that price. It delivers great dividends for the community.

We are proud that our administration and leadership at Trinity are stronger than ever and well positioned to meet the challenges. We are entering our second year as a Trinity/diocesan team, bringing what we believe is a level of stability the school has not seen in many years. Bishop Caggiano and his entire diocesan team have demonstrated extraordinary support of Trinity during this period of reinvention.

If there is some uncertainty about the future of Trinity, it is more important than ever to tell story of the extraordinary measures taken by the diocese and school leaders to move Trinity forward. It is more important than ever to celebrate the diversity and creativity of our students, their academic achievement, and the profound belief we share in the power of Catholic education to transform lives — even of the students of different faiths who choose to come to the Trinity campus.

The story of Trinity Catholic is not simply important to alumni and current students; it is also a story about the power of faith, education and enduring values that have contributed so much to our young people and to the community. We invite all to join us in this living legacy.

By Patricia E. Brady and Scott E. Smith; Patricia E. Brady is Trinity Catholic’s head of school and Scott E. Smith is principal.