St. Pius X High School has a longtime history of welcoming students from throughout Houston as well as from around the world. These students have different races, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as differences in the way they learn. We’ve found that this diversification makes our students’ high school experience even more meaningful and better prepares them for college.
In the 1980s, St. Pius X began a concerted effort to help students struggling with learning differences, and for more than a decade we have accepted students with diagnosed learning differences and helped them succeed in our school’s traditional college preparatory program. Then in 2002, our efforts became even more focused. That year the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops conducted a study about Catholic school students with learning differences, and this led to a specific program we developed just for them. We implemented our program the following year, and since then 100 percent of our graduates have been accepted by colleges and universities — including those with documented learning differences.
The evolution of our program continued, and in fall 2007 we created the Learning for Success Program, which made St. Pius X the first Catholic high school in Houston to formalize and fund a specific program for students with learning differences.
Patrick Triplett was named as the Director of the Paul A. Gilliam ’98 Learning Center and Learning for Success program in March of 2020. Triplett provides oversight and leadership, coordinating all aspects of the Learning Center including admissions, consultation and ongoing support for students and their families, and staff development.
Triplett graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans and began teaching Spanish and coaching soccer in New Orleans. He next moved to Dallas and began working with students with learning differences while earning a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.
ABOUT THE PAUL A. GILLIAM '98 LEARNING CENTER
St. Pius X High School has a long and distinguished history of diversity, not only in demographics, but also in learning. Since the 1980s, SPX has been commended for its determination to help students struggling with a variety of learning differences. With the inception of the Learning for Success program in 2007, St. Pius X became the first Catholic high school in Houston to formalize and fund such a program.
The Paul A. Gilliam ‘98 Learning Center was built in 2011 to meet the growing needs of our Learning for Success students. The new facility was named to honor the legacy of Paul A. Gilliam‘98, who passed away on March 1, 2010. Paul was one of many students who received the benefits of the nurturing, yet challenging curriculum, which evolved into the Learning for Success program. Following graduation from SPX, Paul completed his college career, started his own business and married his high school sweetheart. Much of Paul’s success was grounded in the education he received during his time at St. Pius X High School—the Christian values and solid academics, along with the core values of Learning for Success: Self Discipline; Study Skills; Self Assurance.
Mission: Prayer, study, community, preaching
These four qualities are the foundation for a Dominican education at St. Pius X High School. Inspired by Veritas, we help young men and women embrace academic excellence and integrity, celebrate the community’s diverse gifts and heritage, and embody social justice and service.
Philosophy: The development of the individual person
“The development of the individual person — spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional and social — is fostered in a nurturing atmosphere. … Each person is unique and valuable, gifted with God-given talents.”
Purpose: Helping students realize their potential
To help students with identified learning differences realize their own potential and teach them how to achieve academic success without modification to the college preparatory curriculum.
- St. Pius X/Tarnow Center for Self-Management Symposium: “A High Tide Can Lift All Educational Boats.” St. Pius X High School Commons
- NCEA Region X Workshop Program: “Learning for Success.” St. Pius X High School, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas. Dr. Charlis Powell and Mrs. Diane Larsen, presenters.
- St. Pius X High School Biennial Symposium: “Learn, Lift and Launch.” Paul A. Gilliam ’98 Learning Center, St. Pius X High School.
- NCEA National Convention: “Learning for Success — Creating the Environment.” Houston, Texas. Dr. Charlis Powell and Mrs. Diane Larsen, presenters.