Class of 2021 Refocus and Regroup

January 24, 2018

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Photo Credit: Kat Kelly (used with permission)

There are 18 small groups which have six or seven freshmen in each group.

Each year, Campus Ministry and the Guidance Department carefully choose a group of seniors to be retreat leaders. These seniors plan the activities and talks given at the freshmen retreat. The retreat leaders also create a skit to perform at Diocese of St. Petersburg Focus 11 day for all 6th graders in the diocese to promote Religious vocations.

This years senior retreat leaders are: Audrey Diaz (‘18), Gabby Galvez (‘18), Gillian Garcia (‘18), Katherine Hahn (‘18), Nyla Jacobs (‘18), Macy McConnie (‘18), Katherine Nitchals (‘18), Haley Palumbo (‘18), Katherine Pickard (‘18), Tabitha Rucker (‘18), Emma Sewell (‘18), Caitlin Shannon (‘18), Neha Simon (‘18), Cristina Suarez-Solar (‘18), Mia Torres (‘18), Olivia Traud (‘18), and Lyric Vickers (‘18).

The retreat leaders took things a step further and met with their small groups again during Advisory on Jan. 19 because of an idea Diaz coined.

Diaz said, “It came to me in an epiphany.”

(Photo Credit: Tabitha Rucker/Achona Online)
“I remember at freshmen retreat my small group felt rushed and that my group  kept wanting to talk. I felt guilty that maybe they had questions or things they wanted to talk about, didn’t have the chance to. I thought that having another small group setting would be a great way for the freshmen to get to know each other and also get to know themselves,” says Diaz.

Diaz and Rucker worked together to think of questions to ask their small groups. The two retreat leaders received approval from Principal Stephanie Nitchals and Freshmen/Sophomore Counselor Sister Mary Glavin to turn the idea into reality.

With three small groups per classroom, the retreat leaders asked the freshmen how they felt about their first semester as a high schooler at Academy, what they look forward to sophomore year, and in what areas do feel they can improve in as students.

Alexa Groteke (’21) said, “I love my small group so much. My leader is super nice and so is my group. I would totally meet with them again.”

(Photo Credit: Tabitha Rucker/Achona Online)
“It was really fun and I had a good time talking my senior because she had good advice,” says Audrey Barnes (’21).

The freshmen class and retreat leaders gathered again during set 7 for Re-Focus 9.

The Re-Focus started with all of the students on their feet singing and dancing to “Your Love is Deep.”

(Photo Credit: Kat Kelly/Used with permission)
All freshmen under the Diocese in St. Petersburg participate in Re-Focus 9.

Sister Theresa Lee talked to the students and answered their questions about what it is like being a Salesian Sister and a nun in general. Father Carl Melchoire, who is the Director of Vocations for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, gave a talk to the Freshmen about a calling to vocation.

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