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Holy Trinity Academy settles into new home in downtown Trinidad

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Holy Trinity Academy

Holy Trinity Academy students Emily Stetina, left, 9th grade and Sofia Sinda, 9th grade stand in the HTA’s new downtown Trinidad building.

The bustle of student life has taken over the Chronicle-News’ longtime former home at the corner of Church and N. Convent streets in Trinidad. Holy Trinity Academy, with nearly two dozen K–12 students has moved into its new building, celebrating the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, Sept. 16. The move also brings the school pride of ownership, which for the first time since being founded now holds the deed to its own facility.

With the new quarters come airy, bright rooms with high ceilings and more space than the previous location at Zion’s Lutheran Church on Prospect St. “Just having the space to put things, it just makes it more functional. You know where things are, you don’t have to go digging,” said Andrea Jimenez, Holy Trinity Academy Business Manager and teacher. “The nice thing about this is that it’s set up to function as a school so we even have a teacher resource room where we can put out things that teachers need and a place for them to work during their planning hour.”

The renovated building is air-conditioned and also across the street from extracurricular activities. “The other thing that’s nice is that we’re closer to the gym and the field that we rent for our PE classes, the kids go over there for recess,” said Jimenez.

On a recent school day excited chatter filled main room at lunchtime, and students who carried over from the old school seemed to agree that the new building is a big improvement. Ninth Grader Emily Stetina likes “how big, open it is, I like how it’s downtown, not so far away from people.”

The move to a bigger building also opens up more opportunity for HTA to grow and Jimenez is optimistic that the school can move beyond the current enrollment of 22 students. “I think 50, that’s my personal opinion. Now there’s also a possibility that we could even bring another classroom in. So if we grow then next summer we can see if we need to do another room,” she said.

And more students would also mean greater income. Currently parents, teachers and some of the older students all contribute toward keeping the school up. “And that’s because we need help doing things,” Jimenez said. “We don’t have the finances at this point to hire somebody to come in and clean.”

Holy Trinity Academy is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, run by a seven-member board of education. This year the school has a head teacher rather than a principal, while in previous years with greater enrollment a principal has been in charge.

The school is faith based with a “Catholic flavor,” according to Jimenez. “A big part of our school is teaching kids to love God but also be nice to each other, love each other and then love learning,” she said.  Theology classes for the older kids look at different religions, how they differ and where they are the same, with the goal of creating an understanding of diverse faiths when the students go out into the world.

Tuition, without financial aid, runs from $2,800 to $3,300 per year, depending upon grade level. The actual cost comes to $6,000 per student with the balance made up by donations and fundraising, according to Jimenez. “I don’t think we’d have very many students if we charged $6,000 and it has something to do with the economy of the area. But we want this to be an option for kids because in my opinion the greatest way you come out of poverty is through education,” she said.

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