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Small class sizes are hallmark at St. John Neumann Academy

For three students at St. John Neumann Regional Academy, one of their favorite things about the school is the small class size and the opportunity for more personal relationships with faculty, staff and, of course, each other.

Faith Reid, who will be entering her senior year at the high school this fall, has attended St. John Neumann since kindergarten.

“It’s a very loving and caring place. Everyone there is all close. We’re like a family,” Reid said recently.

“As our principal says, we’re a family … we’re all just close, tight knit. It’s a great experience,” she added.

Junior, Brady McKimpson, agreed that the small class sizes and knowing everyone in the school iss a big plus at St. John Neumann.

“We’re all together all the time and we’re really close so no one is really left out,” McKimpson said.

“I have a lot of friends who go to public school, especially Williamsport, and I talk to them about it all the time. It’ very different than public school, but it’s different in a good way,” he noted.

Matthew Harbach, who like McKimpson will be a junior in the fall, also cited the smaller class size as a benefit of attending St. John Neumann.

“The thing I like most about attending St. John Neumann is the low number of students in my class. The lower the number of kids in the class, the closer you can get with the kids,” Harbach said.

“There’s only 14 kids in my class and I’d like to say that I’m really good friends with every single one of them. If you’re in public school with a couple hundred kids, some of them you don’t even know their names,” he added.

And it’s not just the close relationships with your classmates that is appealing, but the one on one time that students have with their teachers is something Harbach sees as an advantage at St. John Neumann.

“If you’re struggling with something, you don’t get left behind. You try to pick up and learn the material with your class. You just try to learn the material and the teacher helps you really well with that,” Harbach said.

“They make sure you know what you’re doing and with the smaller class, that’s really nice because if you’re struggling, you have your classmates or a teacher that can help you one on one,” he added.

“Because we are smaller, the

teachers can connect with each student more,” said Reid. “They can base what they need more on what the students need.”

“Let’s say in a class a couple of students are struggling, she can base it more toward that. It it’s a few students, that’s a decent amount of the class. It’s easier to help the students and reach out to them when the classes are smaller,” she stressed.

Reid and Harbach have been at St. John Neumann since kindergarten, McKimpson since pre-school, but they all feel that the education they’re receiving prepares them for what comes next in life.

Reid, who plans to attend a physician’s assistant program after graduation, cited the Theology class as an illustration of a course that prepares students for life.

“We talk about scenarios that happen in real life and we talk about how the Catholic Church views them. It helps us express our opinions and to know what happens when we go out into the world, what we’ll see and that we’ll face,” Reid said.

One thing that students faced this year, a shutdown of schools due to the pandemic, was met with a quick transition to online learning at St. John Neumann.

“Once we closed we started right away,” Reid shared. “The told us to bring all of our books home, so that way we were prepared in case we did shutdown, which we did.”

“They put us all in online classes, like Google Classroom, but if they didn’t have that we have our own school website that we all post it on, just in case. So, we could all easily access it. If you had any problems, you could contact the teachers and go to the school and pick up everything,” she said.

“I honestly really like having the friendships there. How close everyone is. Even on teams and in the clubs, it’s like everyone’s close in the school. It’s honestly, really amazing. It’s a great atmosphere,” Reid said.

Harbach echoed Reid’s praise of St. John Neumann, “I feel teachers, staff and students are all kind of a family to me,” he said

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