The Class of 2013 is nothing if not unique. During our four years together, we have been both the arbiters of school spirit and an unrelenting support system. We have managed to achieve bonding as a class without causing too much trouble and we have embraced tradition while at the same time revolutionizing our community. Although the Class of 2013 may not be known for our overwhelming spirit, we do have a deeper, quieter sense of friendship and school pride.
That sense of pride in our school stems from the knowledge that our high school experience was as unique as we are as a class. The community of the Academy has led us to become the people we are today. The efforts of the administrators, who guide us, the faculty, who inspire us and enrich our minds, the Sisters of the Holy Names, who act as advisers in our faith and growth, and our families, who enable our education, have allowed us to share four years that are undoubtedly one of a kind in their transformational value.
Something happens to an Academy girl between the awkward days of freshmen orientation and the celebration in which we are now participating. We arrived on campus as disparate members of a group united by only where we attended school. Today we depart for life on our own with an instilled sense of ourselves as individuals as well as the confidence that is the result of the unyielding support of our school community. For some of my classmates, this day has been approaching ever since they walked into the building for their first pre-K class at age three. For others, the four years of high school alone were a seemingly never-ending stretch. But, for all of us, the Academy has forever changed who we are and who we hope to be.
As a class, we have faced many noticeable changes; gaining a few members and losing more than a few along the way, and saying goodbye to beloved teachers. But, more importantly, together we have changed intangibly as we grew in our faith, integrity, and character. The Catholic values of the Academy of the Holy Names permeated every aspect of our experience and they are some of the most critical of the many gifts with which an Academy education has left us. We have learned what it means to love and to build our relationship with God, setting us on a course for life that includes a focus on faith developed during our Catholic education. And, whether or not we are continuing our studies in a Catholic institution, Academy has left us with these lessons as an essential part of our lives.
Further evidence of the transformation that is an inevitable part of the Academy experience is the unexpected result of the sometimes self-applied pressure of four years at the Academy. It has been said that we are a product of our expectations, and our own expectations for our behavior, character, and future are shaped by those held for us by the people in our lives. Those words embody the empowering nature of the expectations placed on us by our teachers and families throughout our time at the Academy. By believing we are capable, they have allowed us to believe that we are. And by pushing us to reach for our goals, they have allowed us to envision brighter futures for ourselves. The Academy has taught us to expect more of ourselves, to see our potential, and to reach it in our academics, our character, and our faith.
Molding this way by our high school environment, we are able to face the uncertainties of our future with the confidence that we will be able to maintain what matters as ingrained at the Academy, our faith in ourselves and the goodness of all people and our hope for a future full of faith and love.
So, Class of 2013, as we say goodbye to each other as classmates, we look forward to viewing each other as friends, colleagues, and, as always, Academy sisters.