Classical education aims to form the whole of the human person by fostering virtue. Drawing on the great intellectual tradition of Western civilization, students are led to appreciate the interrelatedness of all knowledge. The depth and breadth of a Classical education forms students to become free thinkers, shape the culture and become leaders in society.
Classical education is based on three stages of development of the student’s mind known as the trivium:
In the Grammar stage, students learn the building blocks that will prepare them for later study. Memorization is fun at this age! Facts, vocabulary, rules of phonics and grammar, stories, poetry, and songs all make up a part of this grammar of learning.
In the Logic stage, students learn to ask questions and think through arguments, asking “Why?” about the world around them. They explore the interrelated aspects of various disciplines and ideas of cause and effect, preparing them for the third stage.
In the Rhetoric stage, students have reached a level capable of more abstract thought. They apply the thinking processes learned in the Logic stage with the building blocks of the Grammar stage to learn to express ideas clearly and creatively in speech and writing.
“Through this process of education imbued with the richness of Catholic Tradition students develop academically, spiritually, physically, and socially to seek their vocational call: to know, love and serve God in this life, and to be with him forever in the next.”
Literature and Language
One of the hallmarks of a Classical curriculum is the study of primary sources of literature from the great writers of Western civilization. Through the study of ancient and modern languages, such as Latin and Spanish, we learn from the sources of the Catholic faith, engage with tradition, and communicate with the world.
Why study literature and language?
We human beings are made in the image and likeness of a speaking God. We strive to serve the Logos, who is Jesus Christ- the incarnate Word of God (Jn. Ch. 1), the Truth in the flesh (Jn 14:6). The same God who spoke all things into being (Gen. ch.1) has blessed us with the ability to speak so that we, as his images in the world, may participate in creating beauty and sharing truth.
Why study Latin?
The study of Latin lies at the heart of Classical Education because the Latin language itself lies at the heart of our Western civilization and culture. The language of the Roman Empire that once spread across Europe, Asia, and Africa, Latin is also the language of the Catholic Church and of Medieval, Renaissance, and Enlightenment learning. It is the language of some of the greatest minds of human history, from Cicero and Augustine to Aquinas and Copernicus. At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, our students benefit from the beauty and order of the Latin language, whose analytical structure and foundational vocabulary help shape and sharpen our students’ minds for a lifetime of linguistic aptitude and critical reasoning.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s Pre-kindergarten and Kindergarten programs help build a link between home and school for our youngest students. Students are encouraged in our nurturing environment to expand their thinking skills, problem solving, creativity, and self-expression. They benefit from the individualized attention made possible by our outstanding teachers. At St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, we instill in each child a lifelong love of learning through fun and exciting school experiences.
Every child receives religious instruction daily. Students attend Mass weekly and on Holy Days of Obligation. All Pre-K and Kindergarten students also receive physical education. Kindergarteners participate in our annual Field Day, while Pre-K looks forward to Splash Day at the end of the year.
Our elementary school program (1st through 5th grades) builds the academic skills necessary for all future learning. Students grow in their faith as they experience the love and truth of Christ through religion classes, the Sacraments, and involvement in our Catholic traditions. In first through third grades, students expand their general knowledge in reading, math, sciences, and social studies. Hands-on experimentation and field trips reinforce classroom lessons and make learning fun.
The academic program in the fourth and fifth grades becomes more challenging as students prepare to enter middle school. In upper elementary grades, emphasis is placed on refining critical thinking and problem-solving abilities while developing specific subject knowledge. Organization and study skills are integrated into all areas of study. The program helps students to establish a solid foundation in the core subjects.
Students in first through fifth grade participate in auxiliary classes that complement the classical curriculum. This includes regular instruction in religion, art, music, library, Spanish, physical education, health, and computer.
Our middle school program challenges sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students to explore their talents academically, physically, and socially. During this time of rapid growth and change, students are given opportunities to extend their academic horizons, develop leadership abilities, and take great responsibility for their own lives.
Our middle school academic program prepares students for success in high school and college. The curriculum emphasizes a solid understanding of our Catholic faith, English language arts, classical literature, mathematics, science, and Latin. Students also receive regular instruction in physical education, traditional choral music, and art history/art techniques. Through our counseling program, students interact with adult mentors and fellow students as they develop the social skills needed to work through the challenging middle and high school years.
Meet Our Faculty and Staff
Our Catholic Classical curriculum is bolstered by a robust fine and performing arts program through our academic choral and string programs, our music conservatory, sacred art classes, and after school theater program.
“The singing of the Church comes ultimately out of love. It is the utter depth of love that produces the singing. “Cantare amantis est”, says St. Augustine, singing is a lover’s thing. In so saying, we come again to the trinitarian interpretation of Church music. The Holy Spirit is love, and it is he who produces the singing. He is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit who draws us into love for Christ and so leads to the Father.”
-Pope Benedict XVI, “The Spirit of the Liturgy”
SCHOLA MARIS STELLA
In middle school, our Phins have the opportunity to compete in a variety of sports against other local schools.
We believe that athletics should serve as a means of growing in the virtues. Each practice, contest, and extracurricular activity aims to build courage in the face of adversity, prudence and temperance through the exercise of patience and self-control, and a sense of justice that shows itself in fair play and good sportsmanship.
We hold our student-athletes accountable to high academic and disciplinary standards, as we expect them to serve as role models and school representatives.
Athletics offered at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School:
ATHLETIC CLUBS AND ACTIVITIES
SEASCS offers a growing athletic program for students in 6th through 8th grades which includes:
- Co-ed soccer
- Boys’ and girls’ basketball
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is a proud member of the West Houston Christian Sports Association (WHCSA). The goal of this league is to foster and develop each child’s talent through skill building and compassionately-competitive games with their peers. We offer soccer and t-ball/baseball in grades Pre-K through 5th Grade, and basketball for players in Kindergarten through 5th grade. Enthusiastic players and coaches are needed to make this league a success. Detailed information for each sport can be found on the registration forms. We look forward to adding you to our team!
All students will have numerous opportunities to participate, lead, and serve their house and the greater school community at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School.
Middle School enrolls in the House System, comprised of four houses each named for one of the first four councils of the Catholic Church: Nicea, Ephesus, Chalcedon, and Constantinople. The house system promotes moral, academic, and social standards that allow students to grow in community and faith. Each house builds rapport with other house members through conversation and camaraderie. Furthermore, each house functions as a team in which everyone belongs and participates. The friendly rivalry builds a healthy community spirit that fosters strong friendships and promotes faith and fun. Healthy competition is encouraged and allows our students to discover and apply their gifts in the areas of mind, body, and spirit. Members of each house work together to compete against the other Houses in the areas of academics, athletics, school spirit, and community service. All students will have numerous opportunities to participate, lead, and serve their house and the greater school community at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School. Click the button below for current activities to earn extra points for your house.
Andrew Calver Moore
History 3rd-8th grade.
“The man who says he can, and the man who says he can’t, are both correct” – Confucius
Andrew’s teaching career spans 32 years. He earned his M. Ed from the University of St. Thomas in 1998. He has taught most subjects and most grade levels. For him it has been a privilege helping shape young minds spiritually and academically over his teaching career.
“Let them look up and see no longer me, but only You.” -St. John Henry Newman
Laura Kazmer is a Massachusetts native who moved to Houston in 2022. She graduated from Benedictine College in Kansas with a BA in Music and Theology. She previously taught music at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School in the Clear Lake area of Houston. She has experience with violin, voice, piano, organ, and liturgical music. In addition to playing instruments, she is also an active composer and had an original piece commissioned by a choir at the University of Notre Dame. In her spare time, she enjoys singing in choirs, practicing instruments, contra dancing, learning languages, and spending quality time with cats.
“These virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions” Aristotle
Amanda graduated in 2009 with a M.Ed. from the Texas A&M University. She majored in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Bilingual Education. She has taught Pre K through junior college courses over the past 16 years. She and her husband have three children, and enjoy spending their family time together taking road trips and visiting historical sites.
Deacon Dominic Madrid
Middle school Teacher/ Dean.
Serviam! (St Michael)
Deacon Dominic Madrid completed undergraduate studies at Regina Apostolorum University. First Masters in Education at University of Houston, Doctorate in Education at University of Houston, and Masters of Theology at the University of St Thomas. He was ordained a deacon in 2019 by Bishop George Sheltz. He first began as an English teacher in 1992 and since then has been involved with education in different ways since then. Deacon Madrid loves traveling with his family.
“Love the beautiful, seek out the true, wish for the good, and the best do!” -Moses Mendelssohn
Niza is a teacher with over ten years of experience in education. She received her degree at the University of Houston and specializes in early childhood education. She strongly believes in the value of a Catholic Classical education and the impact that it makes in young minds. She uses her education, experience, and passion to help students while providing a moral compass in Christ. Niza is happily married to her husband of twenty-one years and has two lovely daughters. Niza likes to travel, read, and spend time with her family.
Front Desk Receptionist
“Enjoy the little things in life; for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things”.
Mrs. Smith has been involved with SEASCS since it was a thought with a group of parents in 1992. She helped on the formation committee and her children were among the first students to attend the school. Mrs. Smith enjoys traveling domestically as well as internationally. Her favorite destinations are Prague, which she hopes to return to someday, and Disney World. She has two children; Justin (2003) and Ashley (2007) who now teaches 1st grade at SEASCS and one granddaughter who shares her love of all things Disney!
Juan Carlos Orellana
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
Juan Carlos is a native Houstonian who grew up attending private Catholic Education from elementary and all through High School. Then attended the University of Houston to obtain a bachelors in English with a concentration in fiction writing and a minor in media production. He enjoys DJ’ing, playing musical instruments, photography, and exercising. He has been with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton since 2019 and things he enjoys teaching students about Theater and being able to create the yearbook for the school community to look back as great memories of their school journey from start to finish.
1st Grade Teacher, Volleyball Coach, And Alumni Director
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
My journey at SEAS started in 1998 as a kindergartener and I graduated from here in 2007. Moved onto high school at St. Pius X and attended Texas Women’s University for college, where I received my Education degree with a minor in Psychology. Few fun facts about me: I played college volleyball, I recently got married, I’ve been teaching for 8 years here at my Alma Mater, and I’ve been to 14 different countries and hope to travel more soon.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Monica was born in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico. She graduated from the Catholic school “Normal Motolinia” in the same city in Mexico in 2002. She is married, she has no children. She has been a Spanish teacher at St Elizabeth Ann Seton since 2015. She really enjoys being able to integrate the Kerygma into her lessons and help children discover the truth, goodness and beauty in what they are learning supported by music and the arts and highlighting the customs and traditions of the Hispanic culture. In her spare time, she likes to sing and share the Good News of the Lord through her music. She is currently studying for a master’s degree in Pastoral Theology at Sano Tomas University in Houston Texas.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”[1 Peter 4:10]
Colleen graduated from The Art Institute of Houston with a degree in Visual Communication. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she started her family and was blessed with the ability to stay home and raise her children. Her two girls are proud graduates of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School where Colleen was a volunteer for many years. She was hired in 2013 as the PK Teachers Aide fulfilling her passion for working with young children.
Religion and Science Teacher, Chess Coodinator and Coach
“You have made us for Thyself, O Lord, and restless is our heart until it rests in Thee.”- St. Augustine
Fidel Valenzuela spent most of his life growing up in California. After finding existential meaning in the Catholic worldview alone, he left his engineering major to pursue the arts. He earned an A.A. in Philosophy, a B.A. in Theology, summa cum laude from Catholic Distance University, and full catechist certification from the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. He has been working in evangelization and catechesis for 10 years and was previously a director of religious education and formation. He is also an Eagle Scout and Ranger in the Boy Scouts of America, and graduated valedictorian of his high school. He married his beautiful wife at Annunciation Catholic Church in downtown Houston in 2019. During times of relaxation, he enjoys strength training, running 5ks with his wife, creating Catholic media content, learning languages, playing chess, and spending time with family.
Tikon Alexander Pino
“How are you” “As God preordained for me before all ages a way of life in his providence, that is how I am.” -St Maximos the Confessor
Dr Pino was the first Latin teacher at SEASCS. A native of the New York metropolitan area and the son of Cuban immigrants, Dr Pino moved to Houston in 2019 with his wife and six children. He holds a BA in Greek and Latin from the Catholic University of America, a Master’s from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and a PhD from Marquette University. He is the author of Essence and Energies: Being and Naming God in St Gregory Palamas, published by Routledge, and numerous articles in the field of Patristic and Byzantine theology. He has worked at SEASCS since 2019 and now serves as Coordinator for the middle school House System.
Director of Advancement/School Counselor
“To have courage for whatever comes in life — everything lies in that.”
St. Teresa of Avila
Belinda graduated with a double major B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Houston Christian University. She then received a Master’s degree in Psychology/Counseling in 2009 from the University of St. Thomas. She is currently pursuing her Ph. D in General Psychology. After teaching elementary and high school grade levels, she chose to be a school counselor. She has been with the Diocese of Galveston-Houston for 8 years. She and her husband have 2 daughters and 2 sons. She enjoys helping others, traveling, spending time with her family, and making decorative cookies.
Latin, Music & Religion Teacher
“Everything done for the sake of Love requires greatness and beauty.”-St. Jose Maria Escriva
Mrs. Swanson is a 35 year Navy wife and San Diego State University graduate who recently moved here from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. She’s been involved with Catholic education since 2008, where she taught at classical curriculum school in Rochester NY for grades 1-4. In Texas she has taught 8th grade English, 6th grade Religion and Art at St. Luke’s Catholic School in Brownsville; she has also been the Director of Religious Education at two parishes. She’s also worked as the Advocate Coordinator in the Brownsville Diocese Tribunal Office and remains an active Tribunal Advocate. She and her husband are proud parents of three adult children and she loves to spend her free time painting religious icons and enjoying physical fitness activities with her husband.
Fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum donec requiescat in te. “You, Lord, have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” St. Augustine, Confessions, Book I
Diego grew up in Houston in a Catholic family of Anglo-American and Colombian heritage. He graduated from the University of Dallas in 2021 with a bachelor’s in Classical Philology: Latin and Greek and has been teaching Latin ever since. In his spare time, he sings in the choir at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Walsingham, plays chess and other board games, and enjoys reading fiction, philosophy, theology, and history.
Mathematics Teacher 3rd-8th Grade
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inaugural address
I received my Master of Education from the University of Houston in 1993 and have enjoyed teaching in Catholic Schools for 30 years. I am the 5th of 7th children. My large Catholic family of 54 people also includes 13 nieces/nephews; 18 great nieces/nephews with 2 great nieces/nephews arriving this year, plus all the spouses. Celebrating the holidays, birthdays, and special occasions together is never a dull or quiet moment. Growing up my family packed the station wagon for summer vacation to see the beautiful sites of our great country – from the Smoky Mountains to Yellowstone National Park and many sites between.
Dean of 3rd-5th Grades, Classic Art and Literature Instructor 3-8th Grades
“A blazing fire makes flame and brightness out of everything that is thrown upon it, consuming as fuel that which would extinguish a smaller fire.” Marcus Aurelius
Joseph is a husband and father of seven, artist, writer, New Orleans native, Latin Mass-loving Catholic. 20 years teaching in the archdiocese, former school religion coordinator, happiest in the forest or on the beach. Will work for espresso and cannoli.
2nd Grade Teacher
“Holiness is not for wimps and the cross is not negotiable, sweetheart, it’s a requirement.” ~ Mother Angelica
Mrs. Cammack graduated with a teaching degree from the University of Houston in 1985, after transferring from the University of Alberta in Canada. She has taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade, in both public and Catholic school systems. She has also taught in Canada. She has been with the Diocese of Galveston-Houston for 29 years. She is married with one adult son. There is a furry member of their family as well, named “Artemis.” As a family, they enjoy just being together, but if pressed, will partake in golf, movies, going to the beach on vacation, or visiting with friends. They try to get to Canada often to visit family and friends.
ELA Grammar 3rd-8th Grade
“I never expect to see a perfect work from an imperfect man.” – Alexander Hamilton
Adam Gill has been teaching in the diocese since the 2014-2015 school year. Before that, he taught three years of special education in California. He then did five years of active duty in the United States Navy. After that, he taught ELA Grammar at St. Jerome Catholic School from 2014-2021. He has taught ELA Grammar at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School for the last two years.