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Covington Latin School could soon join Thomas More University

Covington Latin School
Zack Carreon
Covington Latin School

The Diocese of Covington says it's looking into a partnership between Covington Latin School and Thomas More University.

If the affiliation moves forward, Covington Latin School will become part of the university, aligning the two schools' finances, academics, technology, and human resources.

A team comprised of representatives from both institutions — led by Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Covington Superintendent Kendra McGuire and Senior Vice President for Mission and Advancement at Thomas More Kevin Reynolds — will consider the process and benefits of the affiliation before making the move official.

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Reynolds, who also serves as the Board chair for Covington Latin, says they'll be gathering feedback over the next year from the communities of both schools to develop a plan that will help the institutions grow in size and strength.

"We want to spend a lot of time listening to parents, to graduates, to community stakeholders because we want to build together a shared vision around a new strategic vision, a new strategic plan that will help the school grow. We want to grow enrollment. We want to help the school thrive so its here for another 100 years," Reynolds told WVXU.

Covington Latin is a small private high school with a student body of about 200. The affiliation is expected to begin in the 2025-26 academic year.

Once the deal becomes official, Reynolds says it will have a positive impact on the university and the private high school's students. He says it will bring more students with a strong academic background to Thomas More's campus and will allow those same students to get a head start on the next step of their education.

"Imagine a student coming into Thomas More with phenomenal experience out of Latin school but also several credits toward their degree at Thomas More already through our dual credit program," Reynolds said. "They could enter our 4+1 program for a master's in business administration and get out of here in just three years with a master's degree."

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The affiliation means the Latin school's Headmaster John Kennedy will depart from his role at the end of this academic year.

Superintendent McGuire says the partnership will be an exciting next step for the school and she expects it to strengthen its foundation.

"I am grateful for Dr. Kennedy's leadership of Covington Latin School during the past four years, especially through the uncertain times of the pandemic," McGuire said in a statement. "Ultimately, the school is preparing for a new strategic direction and vision that will strengthen the Catholic classical education that Covington Latin has cherished and celebrated since its founding in 1923."

Much of the next year will be spent ironing details related to accreditation and how things will operate. That will take some time, but Reynolds says since both are Catholic schools, he expects the process to run smoothly.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.