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President's Message

Having graduated from both St. Patrick’s Elementary School and Aquinas High School, I am very proud to be the seventh president of Aquinas Catholic Schools.  I feel blessed to have been asked to lead one of the best Catholic school systems in the nation.  Our two recent “United States Blue Ribbon of Excellence” awards provide evidence that our preK-12 system educates students well and prepares them to succeed.  It's an honor to lead our five schools—Cathedral, St. Patrick’s, Blessed Sacrament, Aquinas Middle School, and Aquinas High School—as we improve and grow our educational programs. 

I thank the alumni and friends for your ongoing support of Aquinas Catholic Schools.  The generosity of our 12,000+ alumni humbles me, for we could not succeed without your sacrifice.  Finally, thanks to our local parishes, who contribute over two million dollars each year to our schools.  Because of this great support from you and our pastors, we can maintain our tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, social development, and faith; a tradition started in 1928.

I invite all who support Aquinas Catholic Schools to stop and visit, whether you live in La Crosse or simply return home now and then.  I would appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate the qualitative progress ACS has made in education, and I would enjoy giving you a tour of our schools.  Thank you all for the many ways you assist our efforts to educate the children of La Crosse and its surrounding area.

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Ted Knutson, '80
Aquinas Catholic Schools

Our Mission

ACS Core Values


Serving Jesus and his Church


Cultivating Moral Character


Pursuing Daily Improvement Through Life-Long Learning


Inspiring Achievement and Stewardship


Respecting God, Others and Self

Our Mission & History


The mission of the Aquinas Catholic Schools Foundation, an independent tax-exempt organization, is to promote and ensure that high-quality Catholic education is made affordable and accessible to all in the La Crosse Diocese through the Aquinas Catholic Schools. 
The Aquinas mission is accomplished by ensuring that donors’ funds are utilized according to their wishes, investing entrusted donations in a prudent and effective manner to maximize their benefit, and,
through active fund raising, maintain the affordability of education costs within the means of all families who desire a Catholic education.


In 1857, the first Catholic school opened in the Coulee Region. Since that time, as parishes were built, so were the schools, in some cases even before the Church. From these humble beginnings, a strong unified system of quality Catholic education has grown. Area schools unified in 2000 under the name Coulee Catholic Schools to offer equal opportunities to all schools, standardized curriculum, and improve operational efficiency. On July 1, 2009, the school system became Aquinas Catholic Schools, taking the name of the patron saint of all Catholic schools. With national awards in academic excellence and Catholic identity, and the cooperation of parishes, schools, families and the community, we are committed to being the area's leading educational system.

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