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SMCS Admissions: Agius Family Finding the Right Fit

Considering the best school for a child can be one of the most impactful decisions a family can make. It is typically packed with a slate of considerations geared toward best supporting a child’s development through their most formative years.

For Joanne and Nick Agius ’95, the complexities of this ever-important decision started to sort itself out almost 30 years ago.

“I would say the school’s three principles of goodness, discipline, and knowledge still resonate with me in terms of my family life and career,” says alumnus Nick. “My wife, Joanne, and I try to instill those principles in our boys, James and Luke.”

The Agius Family attending SMCS Homecoming 2023
The Agius family attended the SMCS Homecoming in September 2023.

Continuing the Legacy

It has been three years since they began looking into the possibility of their first son, James, attending St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) and following in his father’s footsteps.

“After considering all my options, I applied to SMCS because it’s a well-balanced school with a focus on both sports and academics. Additionally, I was drawn to the music and arts programme,” says James. “St. Mike’s also had a rich history, and I knew many people who had attended, which influenced my decision. I accepted the SMCS offer because I wanted to become a part of its community and tradition, along with the unique spirit it possessed, which I didn’t find anywhere else. It just felt right to me at St. Mike’s.”

His mom adds, “In the two and a half years he has been at SMCS, we have seen growth and maturity in James; he is more responsible and accountable for his actions. James loves going to school, takes school seriously, and enjoys being involved in the school community. He is also learning to problem-solve and think more independently while building trusting relationships with great friends.”

The adjustment has gone well. James is excelling in the classroom as a recognized honour roll student and is taking advantage of the school’s vast co-curricular programme. Outside of the classroom, James played U14 volleyball during his first two years at SMCS and competed with the junior football team this past fall.

“Joining the football team has positively impacted him, building relationships with his friends and students in Grade 10 who have become role models and mentors,” says Joanne. “He has also excelled in the music programme and wants to participate in the band trip this year with his bandmates.”

Luke Agius with a current Gr. 7 student during one of the SMCS Shadow Days.
Luke Agius attended a SMCS Shadow Day where he experienced a day-in-the-life of a current Grade 7 student.

A New Journey Begins

Now the attention turns to Luke, currently in Grade 6, as he moves through the SMCS admissions process, hoping to follow the same path as his older brother and father.

“Both James and Luke made this decision for themselves,” says Nick. “As parents, we allowed them to see other schools, but in their words, ‘SMCS is where our family goes to school,’ and they wanted to be part of building this legacy, so they chose SMCS.”

“We want Luke to get involved in all aspects of school life to be able to experience SMCS in different ways,” says Joanne. “Academically, we know he will be challenged and athletically, we know he will get involved. We also want Luke to create a strong social network of friends at SMCS that will stay with him for life in the same way his dad did and in the same way we believe his brother James is also doing.”

While SMCS has evolved in many ways since Nick’s student days in programming and facilities, the core pillars of an SMCS education attracted the parents and reassured them it was a good match for their sons.

“For us, SMCS was the right fit for three reasons: it provided the academic rigour and excellence we were looking for, Catholic education was very important, and SMCS had plenty of options to get involved in school life through clubs and sports,” says Nick.

For the Agius family, going through the admissions process a second time, now with their youngest son, still required a thorough look to ensure it was the right place for Luke.

Embracing the Admissions Process

“We attended various admissions events such as the Open House, Shadow Day, and other events such as Homecoming and the Fall Drama to see school life in action,” says Joanne.

James Agius playing in the band during a school concert.
James Agius was drawn to the music programme at SMCS which played a part in his decision to apply and accept his offer of admission.

Prospective families are invited and encouraged to attend various school events outside of our typical admissions events to check out even more of our programming and experience our community in a more natural setting. These special events include our Advent in the Courtyard, Christmas and Spring Music Concerts, Spring Musical, and more.

“The process was seamless and enjoyable given the professional expertise and cordial attitude of the Admissions Team and the whole faculty at SMCS,” she adds.

With an admission decision to come early in the new year, the Agius family has their fingers crossed that the family tradition can live on through their youngest son.

“We went to several different schools through the admissions process,” says Nick. “SMCS stood out because of the great balance between academic rigour and athletic excellence. I don’t think I got that from any other school, and this winning combination was key for our boys.”

Nearing the completion of their second SMCS admission process, the Agius family is grateful to see how aligned the staff are to live out the school’s mission.

“We feel strongly that all teachers and faculty are aligned on the school’s mission and purpose, and that mission was very clear at the Open House and in all our interactions with staff,” says Nick. “They genuinely want the students at SMCS to be the best possible version of themselves that they can be.

“The faculty are helpful, but they put academic success in the hands of the students. They are available for support and extra help, but they don’t micro-manage students’ lives, which is very important in creating independent and self-sufficient people in our boys.”

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