Downey, CA. On Tuesday, March 28th, St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy (PMA) hosted a
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in celebration of the opening of Warriors Plaza, its brand new student
centered space. This $3.8 million project, made possible by contributions from generous
benefactors led by Shea Family Charities and the John H. & Cynthia Lee Smet Family
Foundation, marks the completion of another phase of the 70 year old campus’ master plan.
New structures and spaces include: The St. Matthias Theater, which now houses PMA’s
burgeoning performing arts program, The Warrior Cafe, indoor and outdoor seating areas
complete with new furnishings, and a prayer garden that serves as an edible classroom under
instructor celebrity chef, Rod Dodd. Each of these spaces has full WiFi capability to optimize
learning across campus.
PMA’s president, Dr. Christian De Larkin, led the ceremony program that included student
performances as well as remarks by representatives from the Los Angeles Archdiocese
Department of Catholic Schools, benefactors and community leaders. The ceremony concluded
with a student run farm to table event for invited guests and an afternoon of desserts and
activities for students in their new space.
Dr. De Larkin had this to say, “These spaces not only beautify 1.5 acres of our campus, but also
create the infrastructure to support new programs that ultimately impact student learning. We
are excited for the new feel of campus and love to see how students are responding.”
The city of Downey’s only Catholic High School, St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy offers a
co-educational Catholic university experience for teenagers. Situated on 17 acres, the school
provides a wealth of programming focused on college access, faith and leadership formation,
athletics, and the arts. More information is available on the school’s website:
www.piusmatthias.org, or by contacting the high school at 562-861-2271.
January 10th, 2023 | Press-Telegram Boys Athlete of the Week: Tyrone Riley, St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy
Noteworthy: The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 28 points per game last week and led St. Pius X-St. Matthias to wins against Salesian and Oak Park. The junior scored 32 points in a 72-58 win against Camino Real League rival Salesian. He followed that with 24 points and eight rebounds in a 65-62 win over Oak Park in double overtime. The four-star recruit has more than a dozen Division I college basketball scholarship offers, including ones from Arizona State, Cal, TCU, Texas A&M, USC and Washington State.
Downey, CA – St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy (PMA) students have earned academic honors from the College Board National Recognition Programs. These National Recognition Programs grant underrepresented students with academic honors that can be included on college and scholarship applications and connect students with universities across the country, helping them meaningfully connect to colleges and stand out during the admissions process. Colleges and scholarship programs identify students awarded National African American, Hispanic, Indigenous and/or Rural/Small Town Recognition through College Board’s Student Search Service.
Charles Aguilar '23, Christian Gomez '23, Guadalupe Sanchez '24, Isabela Salazar '24, Jonathan Rodriguez '24, Lucia Orozco '23, Natalie Olmos '24, Samantha Soto '23, & Valeria Rodriquez '23 have earned the National Hispanic Recognition Award. While the National Indigenous Recognition Award will be presented to Isaiah Grey ‘23. These ten students will be recognized during PMA’s Honor Roll Assembly on September 29th.
"PMA is honored and blessed to have such exceptional students. I am very proud of our Warriors who have received this recognition from College Board. It's a true testament of what wonderful things can come from hard work and dedication," said Principal Zozaya. "I hope that these students can continue to recognize their significance and seize their opportunities and that they can inspire others to do the same."
These programs help students from underrepresented backgrounds stand out in the college admissions process. Students who are eligible maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher and have excelled on the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or earned a score of 3 or higher on two or more AP Exams; and are African American or Black, Hispanic American or Latinx, Indigenous, and/or attend school in a rural area or small town.
The city of Downey’s only Catholic High School, St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy offers a co-educational, college-preparatory curriculum. Situated on 17 acres, the school provides a wealth of extracurricular activities and leadership development opportunities. More information is available on the school’s website: www.piusmatthias.org, or by contacting the high school at 562-861-2271.
February 24, 2022 | Early College Program Gives High School Students a Head Start to Degree and Career
Downey, Calif. - February 24, 2022 – This fall, St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy (PMA) will join Cerritos College’s Early College program as the first private high school to build a four-year dual enrollment pathway. The incoming freshman class at PMA will get a head start on their college coursework. Students who complete the program can shorten their time in college and save on tuition costs up to $30,000. Students can also earn an associate degree by taking additional Cerritos College classes. The Early College program positions students for success after graduation by distinguishing them among their peers when applying for college admission and provides significant future cost savings.
Early College provides high school students the opportunity to earn a minimum of 46 UC/CSU transferrable units. Students who finish the entire program will earn a high school diploma while also completing the entire Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). This is a series of courses that can be used to meet many of the freshman/sophomore level general education requirements at CSU, UC, and independent campuses. Cerritos College tuition is waived for the program.
“We are thrilled to have PMA in our Early College program. The program introduces high school students to college courses early to help them build confidence to achieve college and career readiness while saving time and cost of education,“ said Rick Miranda, vice president, Academic Affairs. “We will continue to enhance the program offerings and partnerships to address community interests and student needs.”
“Providing direct access to college coursework starting in grade 9 will not only increase our students’ opportunities for acceptance and matriculation to college but their success in completing college,” said Dr. Christian De Larkin, President of PMA. “We are excited to welcome our first cohort of students in the fall of 2022 and look forward to creating the model program for dual enrollment in Los Angeles County.”
“We are so excited to partner with Cerritos College and offer our students this opportunity at PMA. We are always looking for ways to best serve our students to be not just college-ready but college-competitive,” echoed Veronica Zozaya, Principal of PMA.
PMA will transition to adopt a schedule similar to a university schedule for the 2022-2023 school year which will support the Early College Program as well as integrate a co-curricular learning opportunity into the school day. Students will be able to select courses like Associated Student Body Council or Mock Trial, they can rehearse for the school play, practice for cross country, or even engage in Christian service in the local community for part of their regularly scheduled school day. The integration of academics and co-curricular activities will allow Warriors to have meaningful learning experiences while maintaining a manageable balance. St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy creates a Catholic university experience for teenagers that provides opportunities to grow in faith, learn without limits, and live with purpose.
November 15, 2021 | PMA Participates in Collaborative Ted Event
PMA Participates in Collaborative TEDx Event Manhattan Beach, CA. On Saturday, November 6th, St. Pius X - St. Matthias Academy (PMA) participated in the closing act of an annual TEDx Event held at Mira Costa High School. TEDx Events bring together leading experts in their fields for the purpose of impacting the community and changing the world for the better.
PMA’s World Percussion Group partnered with Transfiguration Elementary School and Benkadi for a communal drums and dance performance. The World Percussion group was started on PMA’s Downey high school campus at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. The group consists of 20 students, many of whom are playing the drums for the first time. The group is organized through Benkadi, a program in Los Angeles that brings in world-class professional West African musicians and dancers to instruct students in drumming and dance. PMA President, Dr. Christian De Larkin, who serves on Benkadi’s advisory board, spoke about the ways drumming can benefit students saying, “it’s a confidence builder, it allows students to realize talents they didn’t know they had and it promotes unity.” Dr. De Larkin goes on to say, “when we received the invitation to participate in the TEDx Event, needless to say it was a huge honor to be included in such a distinguished group, especially in this our first year.”
The city of Downey’s only Catholic High School, St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy offers a co-educational college preparatory curriculum. Situated on 17 acres, the school provides a wealth of extracurricular activities and leadership development opportunities. More information is available on the school’s website: www.piusmatthias.org, or by contacting the high school at 562-861-2271.