|5/8/2012 2:40:00 PM|
Students will miss friends, but ready to grow
“My favorite memory was when my first grade teacher (Amy Jensen) awarded our entire class with an eagle statue because we were so well-behaved,” says Krista Baldwin, one of 29 graduating eighth graders from St. Therese School in Northeast Portland this June. Since the majority of the students have been together since kindergarten, they share a strong bond.
Kalina Rivera explains, “Throughout my years at St. Therese, I have gotten so much closer to my classmates and the other kids in the younger grades. They are truly my extended family, my brothers and sisters….We have been together through everything.”
In the fall, the class is going to be split up to 10 different high schools. When she starts high school in the fall, Rivera takes with her a valuable life lesson. “Friends are really important. They help you and love you for who you are no matter what.”
Faith, along with friendship, is also a strong thread woven throughout the class. Eabha Fitzsimons, who will be attending La Salle this fall, says she “learned a lot about keeping yourself safe and respecting yourself, because that is what God wants for us.” Alexia Castellano Smith, who is anxious to start playing soccer at Jesuit, includes, “I have learned a lot about my faith along with how to act like Jesus.”
While the students will miss their longtime friends, they are anxious to spread their wings in a new environment, but they feel that their time at a Catholic school has prepared them well for the future. Chris Larsen puts it this way: “At St. Therese I’ve learned how to be a better person and take care of myself, academically and responsibly. It has shaped me into the person I am today.”
Holy Child Sister Kathy Cordes, the principal, reflects back on the achievements of the group. “The eighth graders are truly a unique class," she says. "They are academically bright and love to learn and like to be challenged by their teachers. They are musically talented, playing handbells, violin, guitar and piano. They are sports minded and team players and above all else, they are faith-filled students who care about each other and are willing to help their school and parish community.” Students from the class were awarded La Salle Prep’s Trustee Arts & Athletics Award, Presidential Merit Scholarship and Christian Brothers Scholarship.
Graduation is set for 7 p.m. Friday, June 11, at St. Therese Church.
Here are the graduates: Krista Baldwin, Gabriel Bancroft, Selena Batiste, Alexia Castellano Smith, Logan Cram, Lucien Enghouse, Caeleb Finley, Mariella Fischer, Eabha Fitzsimons, Skyler Foley, Olivia Gabriel, Eliezer Gutierrez, Jasynda Helfer, Isabella Hernandez, Robert Jones, Christina Krieger, Christopher Larsen, Parris Le, Jackson Mackley, Izajah Manolian, Karina Meador, Joseph Nguyen, Bernadette Phan, Kalina Rivera, Andrew Russick, Christopher Vo, Benjamin Wright, Pili Zaragoza-Rios