Last updated on May 12th, 2023 at 05:23 pm
St. Augustine Preparatory Academy raised $2.1 million during its annual gala, according to a press release from the non-denominational Christian school on Milwaukee’s south side.
The event was attended by over 700 supporters of the school including Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Dale Kooyenga and Tim Sheehy of MMAC, Mary Ellen Stanek of Baird, and Giacomo Fallucca from Palermos Pizza, and two community leaders who have supported the K4-12 school, the release states.
Coreen Dicus-Johnson, president and CEO of Network Health, was recognized with the 2023 Founders Award, while Tim Wallen, principal and CEO of MLG Capital, and Julie Wallen were the recipients of the 2023 Friends Award.
“Every year I am re-energized by the overwhelming support and generosity that Aug Prep receives,” said Abby Andrietsch, chief executive officer of St. Augustine Preparatory Academy (Aug Prep). “Milwaukee students deserve more great schools like Aug Prep. Today, our state provides significantly less funding for students and families who choose schools like ours, so our students’ success would not be possible without the relentless generosity of our supporters. Their investments allow us to provide our students with the spaces and resources they need to maximize their God-given ability and make positive contributions to Milwaukee and our broader world. All students deserve a quality education regardless of the school they choose to attend.”
The gala comes as the private school prepares to open a new $49 million elementary school on its campus. The 123,000-square-foot facility will have capacity for 900 K4 through 5th grade students and will increase Aug Prep’s total enrollment capacity to 2,400 students, making it the largest single campus school in Milwaukee next year. Located just across West Harrison Avenue from the current school, the new standalone elementary school was designed to emphasize Aug Prep’s four pillars of faith, family, academics, arts/athletics with modern classrooms and special education spaces along with a full-sized gymnasium, a small gym, a rooftop garden and play space, as well as a performing arts center with seating for over 600.
For the second year in a row, Aug Prep earned five stars – the highest rating possible – from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. According to the state’s report card on school performance, Aug Prep is the top K-12 school in the state and the highest-rated high school in Milwaukee. Aug Prep student academic growth rated higher than 98.5% of all schools in the state.
The school has also had a positive impact on their neighborhood. Since its opening, crime in the area has dropped by more than 43%, according to Milwaukee Police Department data.
Next month, Aug Prep will graduate 91 seniors. Almost a third of the class are the first in their family to pursue a college degree. Over 95% of those students have been accepted to attend a two-or four-year college, university, or technical school, the release states, and five students have committed to joining the U.S. Marine Corps.
Aug Prep students are accepted on a first come, first serve basis with approximately 8% participating in Aug Prep’s special education program. Over 95% of students at the school come from minority populations with 87% qualifying for the free or reduced-price lunch program.