The diploma approaches…it is nigh. As you know, my name is Abby and that was a spin-off of a hysterical line uttered by Dr. Chauable in our inaugural play a couple weeks ago. It’s an accurate statement though, as I have a sneaking suspicion that my peers are eager to get their hands on that documentation of our high school survival. And as I look out into the crowd before me, I sense a wave of emotions- from the pride beaming out of our parents to our friends’ bittersweet smiles to the teachers look of pure joy, (which I’m still discerning whether its due to relief that they’re free from us hooligans or in awe at the educated ladies and gentlemen we’ve matured to be with their guidance). Regardless I believe a tremendous thank you is due to these role models, and I’d particularly like to express my gratitude to Dr. Brake. His addition to St. Michael Academy has transformed this institution, and from coaching—instilling discipline in our athletes—to teaching and transferring an abundant quantity of knowledge to the minds of us student, this school’s foundation has solidified in dedication to the glory of God, with the goal of producing smart saints. Words can’t do justice to our appreciation for your sacrifice and willingness to be an instrument of the Holy Spirit. And if it weren’t for Mr. Hatch’s generosity, selflessness, and admirable zeal, such a dynamic growth of spirituality over the course of the previous year wouldn’t have become a reality.

Returning students certainly had to adjust to this new faculty’s firm reluctance to not let us settle for the mediocrity of being typical teenagers. My class can testify, since we’ve been at St. Mike’s longer than every staff member besides Mrs. Keefe, that flexibility and trust in the Lord has been the leading drive throughout the inevitable inconsistency of founding a school. You all know what I’m talking about by the mere mention of: Chris the manikin, Suzy and George (who were Mrs. Nolan’s famous examples), Tony playing the accordion in our online history class, Avalon at lunch with Ben and Brett, logging on to populi, and three different principals over four years, that despite these which have come and gone, St. Michael has withstood. We remain part of a family, and ultimately the Body of Christ, which John verifies, “His church shall never parish from the Earth”. So by overcoming obstacles that have forced us to step up, practice the virtues of patience and prudence, we are equipped with endurance and reason to enter the secular world and pursue our vocation. Speaking of ministry, we cannot neglect to recognize the quieter angels of our school, like Mrs. Law, my mother, Mrs. DiAugustino, and the prayer warriors who’ve appealed to our dear Blessed Mother’s intercession for increased enrollment and donors.

It’s incredible to see the numbers rise and our radical dream of St. Michael Academy emerge in the community. Like this school, we graduates have a bright future ahead as well. My personal takeaways from this high school career are a rigorous work ethic, logic to truly understand what and why I’m learning, and a firm devotion to the Catholic Church. I know y’all will little note nor long remember what I say here, but please never forget what you’ve accomplished by embracing the classical curriculum at St. Michael and use these tools to discern and follow God’s will. The mere fact that our class of 2019 chose the quote from Socrates, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, it is clear that we—Seth, Mitch, Emily, Paterese, Gillian, Maddie, and myself—are armed, from studying the saints, the history of our nation and world, and an excellent science and math basis to advance God’s Kingdom as we pursue the truth in college, the workforce, or sports. Therefore, I’ll conclude with St. Therese of Lisieux advice, “Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors.”