Spiritual emphasis at St. Thomas involves far more than chapel service. The school’s vision is to teach the entire school family that St. Thomas is a Christ-centered community where the primary values embraced throughout the day are love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Student Involvement in Morning Chapel
Not only do children, Kindergarten through Grade 5, begin every day singing hymns, saying prayers, learning Bible stories, and enjoying the interaction and fun that the clergy build into Chapel, but they are also involved in the formation of a spiritual community in various ways:
  • Chapel Buddies are 5th grade students who accompany the preschool and kindergarten students to chapel.  They sit with the younger students, help them find the songs in the hymnbook, model chapel behavior, escort them if they need to go to the restroom, and generally help them to feel comfortable and confident in chapel.
  • Acolytes are needed for daily Chapel services, and 9 to 12 are needed for monthly School Eucharist celebrations.  Students in 4th and 5th grades can sign up to be trained to carry the cross and flags and do additional tasks to serve at the altar. 
  • Senior Chapel is for 5th graders. They meet once a week with clergy, teachers, and various speakers to learn important life and leadership skills. Topics address ethics and values, conflict resolution, adolescence development, peer pressure, anti-bullying, effective communication, hygiene and nutrition, drug awareness, and stress. 
Spiritual Values All Day Long
The same spiritual values found in Chapel also permeate the rest of the day – the joy of learning; the sense of fair play on the playing fields; the appreciation of nature walks, gardens, and butterflies; the spirit of camaraderie and sensitivity for others -- these are all aspects of life in the St. Thomas environment. The core spiritual values of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and inclusiveness are emphasized through campus life and numerous outreach projects. This spiritual grounding during their formative years will help the children of St. Thomas be whole people all their lives – people attuned to the holiness of God, of creation, and of their own lives and the lives of other people.

The Reverend Richard Maxwell (known as Max), was born and raised in Michigan, and graduated from Stanford University.  After college he moved to New York City where he began working in theater. His experience in theater paved the way to a career as a fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum, and an officer at the Dana Foundation.
As life would have it, he heeded his call to the priesthood and received a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, and Master of Sacred Theology from General Theological Seminary.  Prior to becoming a parish priest, he was a postulant and novice at Holy Cross Monastery where he served as a spiritual director and retreat leader.  Rev. Max served as the interim rector at Grace Church in Madison, NJ, and St. Timothy’s in Fairfield, CT. He also served as the rector of Grace, Hartford, and the assistant minister at Church of the Incarnation in New York City.  Rev. Max arrives in Miami with Paul Kline, his spouse of almost nineteen years, their cat, Lyndon, and their dog Cosmo.

St. Thomas is a member of NAES

St. Thomas, a parish school, is a member of NAES (National Association of Episcopal Schools). We look to this organization for guidance in terms of Episcopal school identity; leadership and governance in a parish school; and spiritual and professional development.  We are "one," an institution with a shared community.