HOUSTON, June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — At a time when St. Thomas High School is appealing to high-achieving scholars unlike ever before and providing students from wide-ranging backgrounds with a rigorous and caring college preparatory environment, the Class of 2018 is recognized for their significant contributions to prestigious intellectual acclaim and learning.

Harvard-bound Valedictorian Juan Castillo is at the vanguard of 188 graduates who were awarded $13.5 million in merit-based scholarships to colleges and universities throughout and outside the United States, saluted achievements from soon to be innovators, leaders, motivators and caretakers.

“Attending Harvard is a childhood dream come true,” Castillo said. “I’ll study abroad and take the most challenging math courses available. Academics were my driving force at St. Thomas, always striving for the best results. I was learning for myself, but also to help others, an extension of what I hope to become, studying medicine and becoming a neurologist.”

Castillo also received extensive academic awards from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Polytechnic State University. He and Salutatorian Kenneth Dang both earned Semifinalist distinction in the National Merit Scholarship Program’s 63rd competition along with Cooper Gottschalk and Michael Patton.

“St.Thomas approaches the pursuit of knowledge as a way to serve our greater society,” President Fr. Kevin Storey, CSB said. “Our goal is to improve lives and ignite change. No matter where you are in your academic journey, St. Thomas will challenge you to use your knowledge, skills and compassion to better the world around you.”

Dang leads another large St. Thomas contingent attending Texas A&M University where he will study Engineering.

A high percentage of Eagle graduates will also enroll at the University of Texas-Austin and represent at Johns Hopkins, North Carolina School of the Arts, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt, among many other prestigious institutions.

The rich legacy left by the Class of 2018 is substantial, including seven National Merit Hispanic Scholars and 11 scholars who received National Merit Letters of Commendation.

In the midst of a transformative period in its history, St. Thomas welcomes the Class of 2022 with a multidisciplinary science wing – a 9,000 square foot redevelopment for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences and STEM.

The continued academic honor comes with equal measure of due diligence and dedication to faith and service, embracing the commitment to the Basilian mission and outreach programs, applying passion and talent to enhance their own understanding of themselves, their world and their spirituality.

Since 1900, the St. Thomas Roman Catholic intellectual tradition has been a cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving the Basilian mission of Teach Me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge. Within its lush urban campus approximately two miles west of downtown Houston, St. Thomas provides a comprehensive education that prepares young men in grades 9-12 to become ethical leaders and champions for life. From its high-tech academic resources to state-of-the-art athletic facilities, this premier institution is committed to excellence and distinction in the discovery of knowledge. St. Thomas welcomes and respects members of all faiths who seek to nurture a concern for the common good and who share an enthusiasm for the challenge of responsible and productive citizenship.