"Inspiring minds, instilling faith and illuminating the future of young people
committed to a life of faith, justice, wisdom, and compassion in the Catholic tradition."
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Page title: Testimonials

What people are saying about our school!

1. A Testament to a Dream

Among a plethora of schools to choose from in this area, both public and private, one school stands out in ways unimaginable. This tiny school has persistence grafted in its very nature, because it's hard to keep the doors open with under forty students. The staff devote their time, talent, and treasure to this place on a daily basis and volunteer ten-fold beyond what they are paid to do. However, the real power in the school's story is found among the graduating students. Every student to attend St. Francis Xavier High School has taken college preparatory courses, been encouraged all four years to set ambitious goals for higher education and careers, and in the end, these students taste success in their lives. Why is this school inspirational? It is inspirational because in spite of every hurdle, the school continues to guide students to their aspirations.

One might be curious as to how such a school is able to provide and improve for the students. Perhaps the shoestring budget and overall small scale of the school seem beyond growth and worth to the community? The truth couldn't contrast any more beautifully against the common expectation. This year we have a net gain of students rather than a net loss. We have new teachers who chose to join the staff in the face of numerous alternatives. We are making progress with incorporating technology by utilizing a fully functional (though somewhat last decade) computer lab and projectors for audio-visual aids all provided through generosity and sacrifice. We have also made more classes available over the past few years with the introduction of online course and dual enrollment opportunities. The spirit of improvement is alive in the halls and with more support, the gains would be exponential.

So to conclude, this school is quite the memorable one. It has a truly inspirational story and day-to-day existence. If the rather vague points of a brief essay don't testify loudly enough to miracles that happen at St. Francis Xavier High School, then a brief conversation with the principal, any teacher who has taught at the school, or any of the students or proud alumni would prove more enlightening. There are stories that exude persistence, compassion, and sacrifice. There is an ever-present desire to keep the school alive and watch it grow. This isn't a matter of sharing a struggle or sob story. This is a testament to a dream.

M. R., Class of ’13

2. St. Francis Xavier High School offers students the opportunity to grow spiritually, mentally, socially and physically. With weekly Mass and daily Religion classes, students explore their faith in a safe and inviting environment. The college preparatory curriculum and small class sizes ensure that students are ready for the next level on their educational journey. Activities such as Mock Trial, quiz teams and retreats teach the students how to interact with their peers as well as those older and younger than themselves. Although small, the school is able to offer a variety of sports for the students. All students are encouraged to participate even if they are unfamiliar with the sport. Students who attend St. Francis become well-rounded citizens.

K. D., parent
St. Anne Catholic School principal

3. We are not Catholic (which is not a prerequisite for attending SFX), and we LOVE St Francis Xavier for our son. It is a small school, which gives teachers plenty of time to focus on the individual student. The classes are College Prep; They challenge students to expand their minds and think beyond what is in a book. The teachers are always ready to tutor by staying after school, during lunch, or coming in early to help. All students have an opportunity to participate in athletics. The basketball team is awesome and the coaches are great. Parents are strongly encouraged to volunteer. We have thoroughly enjoyed that aspect of it. We have been able to meet the parents of our son's classmates. It also gave us the chance to be involved in school activities with our son, which many high schools tend to shy away from these days. The school doesn't offer all the niceties that other schools may offer, but much of that is all fluff that most students don't utilize anyway. St Francis is a school family led by the matriarch/principal (Susan Lavergne). When we call, she is always willing to listen. The best choice we made for our son was to send him to SFXHS.

C. W., parent

4. I am truly grateful that Alex has the opportunity to attend this school. She has had her ups and downs, but if she was at any other school I don’t think she would be where she is now compared to where she started. My favorite aspect of the school is that I can contact the teachers, principal and front office at any time and I always get a timely response. I don’t have to wait for teacher/parent meetings, I can just email and find out what’s going on. Love it!!!!

D. D., parent

5. The low student to teacher ratio, the high quality of education, and the superb credentials of the faculty and staff are the primary reasons why my son goes to St Francis Xavier HS.. In addition, I have never seen a High School with such a strong family atmosphere as seen at St Francis. The students have many more opportunities to activities, sports, and scholarships due to its size and phenomenal management than any other school I have seen to date in my 50+ years.

St Francis Xavier HS is the only High School for my family, and is the only place I will send my children and grandchildren for High School.

R. L., parent

6. If you are looking for a school with value and standards, then St. Francis Xavier Catholic High School is for you and your family. Student to teacher ratio is superb; every student has the option of one on one with the teachers due to the small classroom size. The teachers are motivated and want what’s best for your student, which is more than I can say for the public schools in our surrounding area. They are prepping your student for college and some of our senior student body has been able to attend local college classes. If it is sports you are looking for to gain confidence in your student, St. Francis has just about everything…swimming, cross-country, track, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Safety is another big one…St. Francis is safe! I have been blessed to be able to have my daughters attend St. Francis Xavier High School.

D. Z., parent

7. When it came time to decide if our sons would continue in the public school system for ninth grade, it really was a “no-brainer” for us. We didn’t want our kids to be “just another kid” amongst the 3,000+ enrolled in the big public high school. At St. Francis Xavier High School, the lower student: teacher ratio allows them to really “know” your child. And when the educators “know” your child, they can better tailor their teaching style to help that child to learn. At St. Francis Xavier High School, we feel more like a part of a family where the goals are the same for each student…"Inspiring minds, instilling faith, and illuminating the future of young people committed to a life of faith, justice, truth, and compassion."

J. E., parent

8. The success students achieve at St Francis Xavier High School is attributed to the hard work and dedication of the schools' principal, faculty, staff and board of directors. This special group shows an indefatigable effort and energy to ensure each student’s intellectual, physical, social and spiritual aspects are developed. The faculty and staff create a warm, family-oriented and Christian environment crucial to the effective learning, creativity and enthusiasm every student needs. I am profoundly grateful to the school that helped my daughter grow intellectually and spiritually. A million thanks to Mrs. Lavergne who guided the students from their first day as freshmen to the memorable countdown days as seniors. Her commitment prepared the graduates get scholarships at the college or university they chose. God blessed Sumter with a great Catholic High School!

V.L., parent

9. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the staff and the board of St. Francis Xavier High School for the tremendous dedication and support given to my son, Frank. The small class sizes, individual attention and dedicated teachers all contributed to my son’s overall success in high school. No other school allowed my son the opportunity to develop and express his individualism in the way that St. Francis Xavier High School has. It is a school where the individual student’s unique talents and gifts are celebrated each and every day! It is a school where Christian values encompass the overall learning experience and foster a sense of compassion and caring.

Frank will continue his journey in pursuit of higher education; not knowing what lies ahead. But he is all the better for it now, as he was a student at St. Francis Xavier High School and his experiences there will be with him at every turn.

J. H., parent

10. Being a student at St. Francis Xavier High School is important to me because I am able to receive a high quality education based on Catholic teaching, I am given the opportunity to learn more about my Catholic faith and how I can incorporate it into my life, and I am able to go to mass on Friday with my peers. SFX has given me the ability to shape the path of my faith life positively.

M.M. Class of ‘13

11. Saint Francis Xavier is like a family and has been such a blessing for our son. Being a military brat this was our son’s 5th school in 8 years, and he was not looking forward to the change. The teachers, students, and parents welcomed all of us into this new family, helping our son adjust to yet another move, and we couldn't be happier with the result! Thank you again!!!

H. W., parent

12-I have a daughter at St. Francis and I also work there. I have witnessed the personalized attention the principal gives to each student to ensure that they get all the scholarships made available to them, and the amount of money that she has gotten for each graduating class has been phenomenal. The teachers at St. Francis are dedicated to go above and beyond to educate and nurture your student. My daughter is very comfortable talking to the teachers and asking for help if she needs it.

L. B., parent

13. As an foreign exchange student, St. Francis Xavier High School welcomed me with open arms and hearts. People here were curious to get to know me and I was quickly a part of the St. Francis Xavier family. The school strengthened me in my faith because religion is important in every class, not only in religion class. Also, the academics are important here. If I would have gone to a public high school, l would have to repeat this year back at home in Austria, but because the academics at St. Francis Xavier are so strong, my year here in America counts in Austria. The teachers here want you to do good and are willing to work with you if you are too. My school is like another family and I will miss every single thing about this family!

Stefanie Von der Thannen, exchange student

14. Our daughter went to SFXHS for four years and graduated in 2009 as salutatorian. She then attended the University of South Carolina and graduated in Spring of 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She was very well prepared for college and was able to keep her Life scholarship for all four years. Our son is currently a Junior at SFXHS and will graduate in 2014. In his Senior year he will be dual enrolled at SFXHS and Central Carolina Technical College. His plans are to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Registered Nursing after he graduates from SFXHS. We chose to enroll our children at SFXHS for several reasons. Firstly, SFXHS is a college preparatory high school and we felt it would prepare our children for their college careers. Secondly, SFXHS has a small student to teacher ratio; most classes have only 10 to 15 students allowing the teachers to concentrate on each student individually. Lastly, SFXHS is a Catholic high school, with part of their curriculum’s focus being on Christian morals and values. Religion is incorporated in school as a subject of study as well as once a week school-wide participation in mass; we felt this an important addition to the curriculum. The help and individual counseling for college preparation that a student receives at SFXHS is outstanding. In summary, we decided to enroll both of our children into SFXHS, because we felt that they could be prepared for college and their future lives much better at SFXHS compared to any other high schools in this area.

I. S., parent

15. I would like to testify that the uniform policy has enabled Dalton the opportunity to feel welcomed and not an outsider trying to fit in with domineering peers. Also the low student ratio/teacher is exactly what Dalton needs for his learning style. All the students know each other and the genuinely support each other.

C. F., parent

16. St. Francis Xavier High School is a blessing! Students here are more than a number or face in a classroom. The high academic standards, small class size and personal attention allows each student to progress more rapidly and with a greater degree of self-confidence. Teachers are available and willing to provide extra support to students. Last but not least, students support and encourage each other. We couldn't be happier with our choice of high school for our children.

G.C. and T.G., parents

17. From the first day at St. Francis I was treated like family, and it never changed. St. Francis is more than a school its like a second home. Everyone is like your family and the school helps shape the person you are now and for the future...

K.J.D., class of 2013

18. We changed from another school to St. Francis and it was the best decision we could have made. I just wish we knew about the school before my son's 11th grade year. The two year experience we have had with St. Francis was well worth the switch. I continue to tell others about the school because I don't think Sumter realizes that there is a wonderful school hidden over on School Street. If you're looking for a school thats family oriented and where your child can get an education above and beyond what you expect St. Francis is the place to go....

C.H., parent

19. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at SFXHS. I have made so many memories here and would not trade this amazing experience for anything. It is certainly not like a typical school because we all really do become family and have a strong bond. I'm a Padre for life and proud!

N.B., Class of ’13

20. What I like the most about the school is that all the teachers are willing to work with me. The principal even found someone to help me outside of classes because she really cares about her students. I also like all the extra-curricular activities that give me something to do after school.

M.R., Class of ‘16

21-St Francis Xavier High School has been an answer to my prayers: A small, loving, Catholic school where every teacher knows every student by name; where every student is encouraged to actively participate daily in academics, athletics, and prayer; and where my daughter feels like a member of a Christian community, eager and enthusiastic about her faith and her education. Amen.

S.R., parent

22-When I came to this school as a shadow student from Wilson Hall I noticed two thing about this school that made it great. The first was the immediate acceptance from the students and the second was the full support of the teachers.

From the moment that I walked through the doors of the school I knew that this was the school I was looking for. From the people walking up to ask my name to basketball players saying "Hey new kid, you're on my team!". I knew that I was going to like it there. I was only there for 30 minutes and I was already part of the family. The Saint Francis Xavier High School family that is.

The family includes the students and the staff. The staff treat the students like their very own children. They give the students all the help that they can get, explain a topic three times to anyone who asks, and they even joke around with them. This is why that a SFX family is possible. Both the students and the teachers want to be together to learn and have fun. It is for these reasons why I switched schools from Wilson Hall to Saint Francis Xavier High School.

T. H.,Class of ‘16

23-“Mom, I’m home.” That’s what my Freshman son told me, when I met him in the school hallway, after spending his first day at St Francis. As a military family, we are well-versed in researching new schools. The more we investigated St Francis, the more we liked it. What we discoveredwas a school that would provide a college prep level education, promote individual attention from teachers, and foster a student body that truly welcomes and honestly likes each other. Not being Catholic, we were initially concerned about a Catholic High School and all that comes with it. To our delight, ALL are welcome and equally accepted. Religion is a mandatory core course, and quickly became one of our son's favorites. The opportunity to learn about belief systems around the world and have open, honest, and frank discussions without retribution was unique. Overall, my son has found the curriculum to be rigorous and challenging, but the class sizes are intimate and provide an exceptional learning environment.

Individual attention is the norm… no one is left behind, and the results speak for themselves. In keeping with the school’s focus on developing the Mind, Body, and Spirit, students are encouraged and expected to participate in school sports, clubs, and volunteer in the community. This summer, my son will be working with St Francis to help repair houses with Sumter Area Missions. In essence, he will be building shelters for families in need, with his St Francis family… he feels at home.

T. and K. H., parents

24- The faculty and students of St. Francis Xavier have brought our daughter along in her educational development by leaps and bounds. The positive and loving environment they provide has allowed our daughter to realize personal advancements that could not be had in the local realm of public education. The small class size allowing more one on one time with teachers and the involvement with great classmates are invaluable. Thanks to all. See you next year!

D. & J. M., parents

25- Being at St. Francis is one of the greatest things to happen to me. The teachers get to know you for who you are and truly care in teaching their students. The teachers take great sacrifices in their time to help struggling students or any student who asks for help. The students there get along fairly well compared to other schools, there's no fights or any truly horrible drama. This makes St. Francis a good, safe place to thrive being who you are and to practice the Catholic faith without fear of persecution. The classes can be hard, but they prepare you for college and life after college. Our school helps students form a stronger sense of morality, responsibility, and discipline that our world is in need of. Our small school helps enforce the feeling of family and acceptance that other, larger schools could never offer. This school is truly a blessing and a joy to be in and a part of, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

A. B., Class of ‘14

26- As parents we often look back and wonder about decisions we've made and actions we've taken in regard to rearing our children. Frequently we second guess or even rue some events, but to absolute certainty choosing SFXHS for my two teenagers has proven to be to best and most long lasting gift I could ever have given them. SFXHS has not only given them an excellent scholastic education that has prepared them for future university pursuits, it has more importantly afforded them the environment to grow, learn, internalize, and apply the life lessons of faith, character, and service so needed as individuals and as a society. The teaching staff and Principal Mrs.Lavergne are not just educators but are people on a mission to guide each student to their fullest potential. It seems many people shy away from SFXHS due to its current "small" student body and Catholic affiliation, but in truth these two "weaknesses" are in fact major strengths of the school. The low teacher/student ratio allows for an excellent educational experience and the Catholic environment affords exposure to the concepts of social justice; responsibilities to self, family and society; and the opportunity to discuss and learn the history of our faith and how to apply it in today's world. Not only have my kids gained a great education, they have gained a new family in the staff and students of SFXHS..

S. B., parent