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O'Donnell: Five things you may not know about Tyburn Academy

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As the academic year comes near its end, I thought it would be helpful to put together a list of topics about Tyburn Academy of Mary Immaculate that many of you may be unfamiliar with. Often, people are surprised to hear the amount of college credits seniors can graduate with, or the opportunities in our athletic program. Below are five topics about which families typically have questions:

Academics in pursuit of truth

Tyburn Academy offers a college preparatory curriculum rooted in the classical liberal arts, and math and sciences, which allows each student to excel at a level supporting his or her academic abilities. We provide a rigorous course of studies where students can experience the joy of learning and the reward of perseverance. We welcome all students, regardless of their academic needs, who are willing to take responsibility for their learning.

The role of the parent in the education of their child is recognized as necessary and foundational to the success of learning. Our ultimate goal is to develop in each student the life abilities for critical thinking, effective communication, academic and social leadership, spiritual growth and self-confidence to succeed in college, career and vocations. In addition to the standards set by the state of New York for each subject, we offer Cayuga Community College credit, honors, and Advanced Placement courses.

Our students are in high demand for colleges. Last year alone, our students earned $1,797,000 in scholarships. Admissions departments have made remarks describing our students' transcripts as “impressive.” Bottom line: It pays to study Latin and logic in high school.

Life lived in the good

Tyburn has a weekly chapel bell where we come as a community to pray. We all have a natural desire to know and seek God. Tyburn’s status as an independent school allows us to nurture this very important aspect of our lives. We all have souls. It is important to feed them.

This connection to faith doesn’t stop at the chapel. It impacts everything from lunchtime in the cafeteria to the dance floor of homecoming and prom. Students are encouraged to form a relationship with Jesus Christ. The result of this friendship is a community of joy.

Tyburn also gives back to the Auburn community through our community service program. Each year, every Tyburn Academy student is required to complete 20 hours of community service. Knowing this, many nonprofits reach out to us with requests for assistance from our students. Whether it's serving in the local soup kitchen, helping at a local church fundraiser or making beds for children who lack them, our students make a positive impact in our Auburn community and are prepared to serve in roles of positive leadership.

Arts striving for beauty

Our drama department, band, choir and art classes all share one thing in common: a dedication to producing beauty. Students perform in annual Christmas and spring concerts. Art classes provide lessons in drawing, painting and sculpting, and an examination of art history. Our drama department has performed spring musicals such as "Pygmalion," Schoolhouse Rock" and "Kiss Me, Kate." Our physical education classes provide instruction on swing dance. The arts program completes the holistic approach to student formation. A Tyburn student who plays sports can also participate in a play production, learn how to draw in perspective, swing dance with rhythm and play an instrument. Talents are developed in a multitude of areas, forming students who become confident in their abilities to learn in new scenarios.

Athletics in pursuit of excellence

Tyburn competes in the Empire State Christian Athletic League. Against students from Christian schools from across New York, our athletes have opportunities to compete in varsity soccer, basketball and volleyball. Tyburn has won a total of nine championships in the league. Our basketball team traveled to a national tournament in Ohio where over 70 teams competed for the title of national champion. Additionally, Tyburn has a membership in Section III of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, which allows our students to compete in cross-country and track alongside other Section III schools.

Financial assistance available

It is our desire as an independent school to keep our education affordable for all families. We offer the lowest possible tuition and are currently well under the average tuition rate for private education in New York state. Our budget needs are met through tuition, collaborative fundraising efforts with families, prudent spending choices, gracious benefactors and volunteers. We are committed to working with each family individually to accommodate needs and have need-based scholarships available.

Conor O'Donnell lives in Auburn with his wife, Elizabeth, and their 2-year-old daughter. He has taught at Tyburn Academy of Mary Immaculate for seven years and is completing his first year as principal. For more information on Tyburn, an independent Catholic school recognized by the Rochester Diocese that is located at 17 Clymer St., Auburn, call (315) 252-2937 or visit


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