Philosophical Flyers: Chaminade Juniors Expand Their Horizons with a Unique Summer Course

By Ryan Smith ‘17

When Chaminade students hear the final bell and hastily finish their last comprehensive exam on June 23, their school year is officially over; however their pursuit of education will not end there.  From May to August, Chaminade juniors will be given the opportunity to follow their interest in philosophers, such as Plato and Aquinas, through an online philosophy course supervised by Mr. Daniel Petruccio.



The 15-week, bachelor’s-level course, named The History of Ancient Philosophy, will be administered by Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.  Over that time, participants will be exposed to the ideas of the most famous intellectuals to ever walk the earth, including Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas Aquinas.  The course is predominantly student-driven, with the academics expected to read well-known works, watch lecture videos, and compose essays on a weekly basis.  Like most college courses, these weeks of study culminate with a midterm and final exam.  This strenuous work will glean a worthy reward for these students.  By completing all of the course’s requirements, the students will earn three college credits—all without picking up a pen or a pencil.

Not only is this new online philosophy course unique, but it also expands the horizons of academic achievement to a new realm for Chaminade High School.

“This is the first program of its kind in any high school,” says Mr. Petruccio.  “Although we originally expected 10 or 12 students, we ended up getting 27.”  Clearly, the third-year Flyers have proven to be fascinated in this groundbreaking opportunity.

Holy Apostles’ History of Ancient Philosophy may be the first in a long line of online  learning opportunities for Chaminade students.  Mr. Petruccio is hopeful that the school will soon look towards other subject areas—such as bioethics—to supplement the already rigorous curriculum.  The outstanding initial success of this program highlights the future of Chaminade High School as it continues to advance its mission of educating young men as it has been for nearly a century.