Photo Credit: Emily Wise (used with permission)
Good evening! As we gather here today to celebrate the graduation of the class of 2021, I am reminded of the resilience and brilliance of this class. The young women you see on this stage have stayed true to the school motto of “esse quam videri,” or “to be rather than to seem,” by paving our own paths both here at the Academy and as we embark on our future endeavors.
It hasn’t been easy and I know many of us never could have imagined that this day would come so quickly; some of us have been dreaming of this night since freshman year, while others have been dreading the day that we’d leave the comfort of the school we know so well. Regardless of how we feel at this moment, I am so proud of each and every member of our class.
We’ve completed hundreds of service hours, gotten closer to each other on mission trips, struggled through online classes last year, and went through the complicated college admissions process together. These are just a few of our collective experiences, but those experiences are what make us the women we are today. They will also shape the women we hope to become in the future.
Of course, we have many people to thank for our collective accomplishments and our lovely experiences at the Academy. Mr. Raimo, president of AHN, has been a wonderful leader in our school despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. Mrs. Nitchals, principal of the high school, has also been amazingly transparent with the student body and accommodating of the senior class during our time at the Academy. Sadly, this ceremony also represents the ending of both of their times at the Academy. Even though they both will continue to forge new paths for themselves, just like the graduating class of 2021, AHN will continue to have a special place for them in their hearts. Thank you both for being such outstanding leaders and examples of what it means to live out the mission of this school.
On behalf of the senior class, I’d also like to thank Mrs. Krukar, all of our teachers, staff, and parents for making this moment possible. When I remember my time at the Academy, it is the kindness of the community, enthusiasm of the teachers, and the nurturing environment that I will remember. The educators of the Academy along with all of those who make up the greater AHN community have rallied around the class of 2021, and without them, this year would not have been as successful as it was. Thank you all for your dedication to my classmates and me!
I also have some personal thank you’s I’d like to give, so for those of you who don’t speak Spanish, please just bear with me for a few moments!
A mis padres, gracias por permitirme el éxito aquí en esta escuela. Los sacrificios que han hecho me han permitido avanzar y estoy eternamente agradecida por todo lo que me han dado.
A mis hermanos, gracias por estar siempre a mi lado y animarme. A veces no me gusta admitirlo, pero los extrañaré muchísimo cuando me vaya a la universidad.
Por último, al resto de mi familia, gracias por amar a mis padres y a mí. Se necesita un pueblo para criar hijos correctamente, y todos ustedes han contribuido de manera única al éxito de mis hermanos y yo. ¡Gracias por todo, los amo!
As we end our time at the Academy, I hope we can look back and appreciate all that has made our time here so wonderful. Especially throughout the pandemic, the Academy has done everything in its power to educate us and to ensure that we are prepared to thrive in the real world. One life lesson I personally plan to live by —which I hope you all will follow as well— is the importance of being truly authentic in our faith, friendships, careers, and lives.
The Academy has taught us many things, but amongst the most important lessons is the idea that we are a group of powerful, athletic, intelligent, artistic, and confident young women. We’ve learned that as young women, our voices are worth listening to, our ideas are significant, and our presence is valuable. In a world that does not always promote that message, it is important that we remember what the Academy has taught us as we embark onto the next chapter of our lives.
This authenticity and assurance has allowed us to flourish into the young women we are today. In fact, this message will be what enables all of us to go out and enact the change we hope to see in the world. I can’t wait to see how each of my fellow sisters lives out “esse quam videri” and contributes to the greater good. Thank you.