We are proud to recognize Ariana as Valedictorian, and Charles as Salutatorian for our Class of 2021. Both will graduate together with their classmates on Friday, June 14th.
As graduation approaches, we asked Ariana and Charles to describe their experiences at St. Andrew’s:
Valedictorian – Ariana
Ariana will be attending The Mary Louis Academy in the fall. She will miss most all the teachers at St. Andrew’s who constantly encourage her to be better. She will also miss being greeted in the morning by Mrs. Hanna and seeing her friends almost everyday.
“I feel upset that I’m leaving my second home, all my teachers and Mrs. Hanna, who have been my role models over the years, and some of my friends,” she said. “I’m also nervous and sort of excited, because St.Andrew’s is the only school I’ve ever gone to, and next year, I’m going to be walking into something completely new.”
“My favorite memory at St. Andrew’s has to be when I was in fourth grade. My friends (Dejan and Juliana) and I decided to read a book called “Milly-Molly-Mandy.” One day, after all of us had finished taking a test, we asked [our teacher] if we could go out and read together. I remember sitting together and laughing for a long time.”
Ariana liked how the academics at St. Andrew’s challenged her and her knowledge. And at the same time, it taught her how to overcome those challenges that she may face in school and later in life.
She liked how the extracurricular activities at St. Andrew’s gave her a break from regular school work. “I liked how the [after-school] extracurricular activities allowed us to create stronger bonds with our classmates outside of school, and we were able to find new friends from other schools through those extracurricular activities,” she said.
Ariana feels she is well-prepared for high school, because over the years at St. Andrew’s, she felt the teachers made an extra effort to make sure that all the students understood what was being taught. Despite the fact that Ariana is leaving St. Andrew’s, she feels she can always look back to the people there for support if she needed it.
When asked about her career aspirations, Ariana said she would like to become a graphic designer or an architect.
Salutatorian – Charles
Charles is attending St. Francis Preparatory School in the fall. He feels that it is “unreal” to finally be graduating from St. Andrews. He has grown up in this school, and it has been his second home for over ten years. Although he is sad about leaving this amazing environment, he knows that he is ready for high school. “We have our faith to lean on and our friendships to carry us through to high school. The teachers have prepared us so much for the next chapter of our lives,” he said.
“I think that what I will miss most about St. Andrews is my amazing relationships with my friends. Everyday, I looked forward to seeing them and making new memories with them. I remember the first year my friends and I all tried out for the soccer team. We barely knew what we were doing, but we practiced, laughed and even cried, and came away with a few broken bones. We were the only co-ed team in the league, but in the end by sixth grade, we won the diocesan championship. We did it all together – from Communion, Confirmation, and now our graduation. We are best friends in everything we do, and I know we will all stay friends as we head off to high school.”
“My favorite memory from St. Andrew’s is winning the Diocesan Championship with our soccer team. We practiced so hard, from first grade all the way to this moment. We were even the only co-ed team in an all boys league. This game was especially important for our team, because it was our first appearance in the finals and it was against our rivals. The game went into penalty shootouts, and each person had so much pressure to win it for their team. After we won, I felt proud to win it, especially with my dad being the coach.”
Charles feels that St. Andrew’s academics are “absolutely amazing.” The teachers made sure each student was ready to move onto the next lesson. Each class challenged them to ensure they were ready for high-school. Every teacher made sure the students were as prepared as they could be before each and every test. The teachers pushed the students to be the best they could be, because they really wanted the students to succeed.
Reflecting on the extracurricular activities at St. Andrew’s, Charles thinks that St. Andrew’s offers so much to each student during and after school. The after school music program has so many musical instruments and groups to choose from. Charles played guitar for a long time in the guitar program. Not only did he learn something he will not forget for the rest of his life, he did it with friends. He feels that the sports at St. Andrew’s are amazing. Each grade has sports teams to choose from. At St. Andrew’s, Charles had been captain of both the football and soccer teams. “Being on a team with my friends and playing for your school is always something to be proud of,” he said.
Charles feels that St. Andrew’s has given him the tools to be the most prepared he could be for high-school. In each class, he was challenged to prepare for what would come in the next chapter of his life. He was pushed to learn things that could benefit him not only now but also in high-school.
Charles is looking forward to his four years at high school, to explore the different careers that are available. After seeing his parents work successfully at their careers, he is thinking about also pursuing law or the financial fields for future job choices. There are so many different choices in both fields that he looks forward to seeing what those opportunities could be.
Our warmest congratulations to Ariana and Charles! We wish you both and the Class of 2021 Good Luck in high school and beyond!