Mission Dolores Academy | The education of tomorrow rooted in tradition.

Congratulations Class of 2017!

June 5, 2017

“Class of 2017, I challenge you to be the fire that sets the world ablaze” – Suzanne, 2017 Valedictorian

Graduation is always a very special time at Mission Dolores Academy. On this day we celebrate the success of our Eighth Grade students, and wave them off on new adventures.

On Friday June 2nd, parents, grandparents, extended family, teachers, staff, donors and members of the public gathered at Mission Dolores Basilica for our celebratory Graduation Mass. A happy, proud, and emotional day for families, teachers and students, as our close knit class of 2017 say goodbye to each other and their teachers and prepare for the next stage in their lives.

Father Charles Gagan’s homily reminded out students that Mission Dolores Academy not only provided them with an education, but also their relationship with God and commitment to help their fellow man. Through collections, food drives, and volunteering they have shown their commitment to helping others. “Live your life to the best of your ability. Not a selfish life. And we’ll be proud of you”. – Fr. Charlie.

A special highlight of the Mass was the speech by this year’s Valedictorian, Suzanne Comparan. A Mission Dolores Academy student for five years, she spoke of the impact that the school has had on her life, and the support that she has received from the MDA community. She credited the school’s inclusive and caring environment in helping her to grow not only academically, but also spiritually and socially.

She spoke of her high hopes for her and her classmates – “Today, as I look at the faces of my classmates, I see the future. I see the social activist who will change our world. I see myself, a human rights lawyer. I see engineers, social workers, journalists, police officers, artists, film directors, doctors, nurses and countless other professions. I am proud to be part of such a unique and passionate class”.

Suzanne ended her speech with a quote from Saint Ignatius of Loyola – “Go forth and set the world on fire. Class of 2017, I challenge you to be the fire that sets the world ablaze”.  

You can view Suzanne’s full speech here.

Following the conferring of the diplomas for the graduates, Eighth Grade teachers Mr. Mike Adkins, Ms. Michelle Escobar and Mr. Brian McGovern presented special awards for exemplary achievement to the following students:

Language & Arts: Elizabeth Wolf

Mathematics: Amelie Justo

Speech & Debate: Saron Asfaw

Social Studies: Isleen Justo

Science: Sofia Rivera

Religion: Bryan Tagay

Art: Ethan McMullan

Student Athletes: Suzanne Comparan and Vontre Williams

Sister Annette Sheaffer and Sister Ann Providence also presented a special award to Michael Santos and Bryan Tagay for altar services.

Principal, Meredith Essalat gave a beautiful closing speech to our students based on their lives as stories, with them as the central hero. She left them with some simple reminders: “Your childhood chapter is quickly coming to a close, but before you turn the final page, I hope you will take a few simple reminders into your next narration:

Never end a sentence with a preposition
Be the most authentic version of yourself, each and every moment
Make good choices
Be kind to yourselves and be kind to those around you

And finally, and most importantly:

Please remember that in every circumstance, you are more than good enough.

You can view Ms. Essalat’s full speech here.

Following the Graduation ceremony all students, family, friends, teachers and staff gathered at the school for a fun reception with refreshments provided by our parents.

Where are they heading next?

Archbishop Riordan Kenneth, Milo, Francisco & Christian
The Bay School Alexander
City Arts & Tech High School Saanayia
Convent of the Sacred Heart Saron
Immaculate Conception Academy Jasmine, Roselyn, Sofia & Celine
Lincoln High School Laisha
Lowell High School Ethan
Mercy High School Amelie, Isleen & Jordan
Sacred Heart Catholic Prep Phi, Dimas, Diego L, Elizabeth
Saint Ignatius College Prep Suzanne, Michael, Bryan, Amari & Vontre

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