St. Gregory College Preparatory School is kicking off the school year with a new name.

The independent school, which serves grades fifth through 12th, will now be known as The Gregory School.

While the school was named for Pope Gregory the Great — known as the patron saint of education — it has no religious affiliation, causing confusion in the community.

“It’s important to spend time talking about who we are and what we do rather than what we are not,” said Head of School Julie Sherrill. The school’s Board of Trustees studied the issue over the past 18 months.

The decision to eliminate the words “College Preparatory” conveys the message that providing a rigorous academic curriculum is just a starting point of the school’s mission.

“Prospective students and their parents should expect more from a high-achieving school than admission to select institutions of higher learning,” said Board Trustee and alumni parent Stanley Kissinger. "Cultivating individual creativity, instilling a sense of social responsibility, fostering open discussion with faculty and fellow students, inspiring a lifelong love of learning, developing an appreciation for the arts and encouraging participation in interscholastic athletics, mock trial and thespian competitions collectively represent The Gregory School’s definition of educational excellence.”

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@tucson.com or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea​

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.