ABC13's Joe Gleason returns to St. Thomas HS, where fire in him that's burning today was first lit

ByJoseph Gleason KTRK logo
Thursday, August 17, 2023
ABC13 Sports Producer Joe Gleason goes back to his alma mater: St. Thomas High School
The Eyewitness Sports producer recalls the opportunity St. Thomas High School gave him, especially in a family with eight kids and a mother who raised them all on her own.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- St. Thomas High School has been shaping the lives of young men in our community since it was founded in 1900.

"We get to take young men and give them purpose, give them opportunities to thrive, to fly, to fall, to make mistakes, but also to create bonds that will last throughout their lives," Father James Murphy, St. Thomas' president, said.

St. Thomas is a Catholic education rooted in the teachings of the Basilian community of priests. The core of their teaching makes up the school crest that reads, "Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge."

"If you are good and disciplined but don't have that knowledge you're not going to grow to what you can become. If you have discipline and knowledge, but don't have goodness, how are you going to attract the people you want around you," Father Murphy said.

"I grew up one of eight kids in our family. Money was tight for my mom who raised all of us on her own. St. Thomas was very generous with financial aid and gave me an opportunity to work off some of the tuition by announcing sub-varsity games. That opportunity lit a fire that still burns inside of me today. Your reports to me are an extension of a Basilian education," ABC13 sports producer Joe Gleason, who is a St. Thomas alumnus, told Father Murphy.

"All these student-athletes know your name. When they see Joe Gleason, they know, 'Oh, I have a chance to shine.' And that's all I want for my students. I want them to have a chance to shine," Murphy said.

Father Murphy showed Gleason around campus to see what's changed as well as the other places as I remembered them so many years ago.

"The gym was a very fond place for me. I worked my way up from taxi squad (not dressing every game) to one of the first off the bench in my junior year on varsity," Gleason said.

Now, St. Thomas is set up for the future. Winning a bid on the property to the north of campus, turning it into the Joplin Campus. The centerpiece is the beautiful, new Father Wilson Baseball Field. Father Murphy added St. Thomas is going as far as our alumni and current students want to take us.

"The opportunities we are able to offer our students are greater than ever," Murphy said.

Because of the opportunities and the kindness of others, Gleason said he was able to grow from a kid to a young man to the adult he is today. "If you give them (students) the opportunity, it's a joy to see what happens," Murphy said.