Our Portrait of a Graduate statements identify who we are as a school and define our expectations with respect to the experiences we create for students to realize the outcomes. As our students reach their marks for continuation and graduation this year, they have been reflecting on how our Portrait of a Graduate vision influenced them. I’m proud to share some of their thoughts today.
“Through all the amazing and beautifully diverse communities at SMA, there hasn't been a single place that I didn't feel uplifted and inspired. My favorite memory is the Fall Festival. From the food trucks to the cake walks I loved it all and attended every single year since kindergarten.” - Perry Rauzzino (Gr. 12)
“One of my favorite memories of the Middle School were the trips we took together, from Keystone Camp to Washington, D.C. I could see not only the teaching side of our teachers but how fun, kind, genuine, and very intelligent they were as they participated alongside us.” Nate Griese (Gr. 8)
“Building community is really what speaks to me about St. Mary’s Academy. When we made a tunnel the other day to cheer on a Pre-K student who is going to have a life-changing surgery, it was a perfect reminder of how much we care for and support everyone here.” Cameron Johnston (Gr. 5)
Act with Integrity.
“I have learned to live life with respect to yourself, the earth, your values, and others.” - Ava Lawton (Gr. 12)
“From the start of 6th grade I've been proud of how I have acted, I feel I am a very kind person who cares more about others than myself.” - Kendalyn Craven (Gr. 8)
“Out of all of the important attributes St. Mary's Academy has given me, exercising empathy has been the most impactful. It dictates the way I interact with everyone around me and has allowed me to become a better listener, friend, and overall human being.” - Chloe Callender (Gr. 12)
“I am proud of building a new community of friends in a school where I didn’t know anyone. I was surrounded by people who cared about me, and now I know how to help others.” - Caitlin Kennealey (Gr. 8)
“I think that learning to lead with empathy was a really lovely part of St. Mary’s Academy. As a Loretto Leader, I made people feel at home when they came to visit, because that’s how SMA made me feel for the past seven years.” - Anne White (Gr. 5)
“Through my service work at The Delores Project, I've learned that I'm more capable of making independent contributions than I thought when placed in a leading position, one upon which many people, both volunteers and shelter guests, relied.” - Addie Price (Gr. 12)
“I have felt most empowered at SMA by seeing every leadership position filled by a woman. Especially going into a field where women are underrepresented, it is amazing to see positions in the robotics team and other engineering fields filled by driven women.” - Paree Sharma (Gr. 12)
I don't know what I want to do yet. But I do know what I'll look like. I'll look like someone that had the chance to thrive in a phenomenal community, one that taught me to have faith in myself, to use and develop my voice, and to be humbled and learn from everyone around me.” - Jewelie Perry (Gr. 12)
“The world I want to share with my generation is one that is more understanding, one that is willing to share knowledge and listen to those around them. I want to learn different marketing techniques and use that to make a difference in people's lives.” - Emily Robles (Gr. 12)
“I have learned how to embrace challenge in many aspects of my life, but especially in cross country. Running is not easy, hence why so many people dislike it, but by challenging myself I have become a stronger and more independent woman and athlete.” - Hana Husmann (Gr. 12)
“I am very proud of my accomplishments in orchestra and in the classroom. I started middle school in the lowest spot in the orchestra and not super confident in my studies, and now I am first chair and concertmaster in both advanced and honors orchestra. I placed third in the World Affairs Challenge, and I am very proud of my grades.” - Saira Keithley (Gr. 8)
“I will remember trying art class for the first time this year. I was surprised to see that I was pretty good at drawing and painting, and it showed that you can try new things.” - Thomas Kieran (Gr. 8)
I feel like my teachers at SMA made it possible for me to show my learning in creative ways and to have fun doing it. I’ve always felt at home when I’m building things, and for some of my projects I was able to build dioramas with Lego.” - Jack Cornelissen (Gr. 5)
“I felt the most empowered when I was expressing concerns one on one with teachers/faculty, and they allowed me to speak freely. SMA is very supportive about advocacy in young women and I am so thankful for that.” - Andrea Ursua Garcia (Gr. 12)
“Living Loretto means learning to help stand up for others, elevating your personal voice and the voices of others, and trying to positively impact your community.” - Bridget Kim (Gr. 12)
Believe in your potential and power to change the world.
SMA has helped me feel like I can change the world and has given me so many opportunities to think about helping the environment. We got to go on a trip during Eco-Week for two nights in the mountains and we made skits to show how to save nature in front of the entire fourth and fifth grade. We are building a worm farm in science for composting food, and we’re going to use the good soil for our plants in Garden Club.” - Abbi Assini (Gr. 5)
“I hope to use emotional intelligence and understanding and care for others in any field I go into. When you understand what other people want, the realities of problem solving and compromising, and why other people want what they do, it is easier to make change than when you only focus on what you want and what is in your way.” Ava Lawton (Gr. 12)
“When I think about our graduating class, there is no shortage of belief that advocacy can change the world.” - Ella Yearsley (Gr. 12)
Hear from directly from our students. I believe our students will make a difference in the world, starting with their abilities to join hands and embrace challenge in their new settings. Tomorrow at commencement exercises we will send off our 148th graduating class of SMA. May you continue to inspire and soar.