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

Congratulations Class of 2018

June 5, 2018

I hope you know your limits well. But don’t stay within those limits. Overcome the limits each day” - Janine Navalta, Class of 2018 Valedictorian


Graduation is a bittersweet day for our MDA community as we celebrate the achievements of our graduating class, but also have to say good bye to them as we wave them off into the world as they enter the next chapters in their lives.

On Friday, June 1st the MDA community gathered at the 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 2018 say good bye to each other and their teachers and prepare for the next stage in their lives.

Father Charles Gagan, S.J., celebrant, wished our class of 2018 every success in their future lives, and also reminded them to look back on their days at MDA with affection and pride. “I know from experience that because of the excitement of today you will not remember what I say today. But I hope you will remember the atmosphere here today of love, support and admiration and your experiences during the last eight years at MDA, and that you will take it with you to your next school” - Fr. Charlie.

A special highlight of the Graduation Mass were speeches from this year’s Valedictorian, Janine Navalta, and Salutatorian, Christian Cañete. Both spoke about their gratitude to their families, friends, teachers, school administration and staff and the importance of the support of their close knit class to their academic and personal success.

Janine, who will be attending San Francisco University High School in the Fall, congratulated her classmates on their hard work and determination and ended with her high hopes for them - “I hope you know your limits well. But don’t stay within those limits. Overcome the limits each day. I wish you all good luck in your academic journey, since each of you have a bright and promising future ahead of you. This may the the end of your first, major milestone, but it leads to a new beginning. I know all of you will contribute many wonderful ideas to the world out there.”

You can read Janine’s full speech here and Christian’s here.

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

Religion: Angelo Locsin

Math: Nicolas Marquez

Science: Siem Yemane

Social Studies: Aryanna Caluag

Literature: Otniel Colorado

Writing: Michaela Sabando

Art: Janine Navalta

Latin: Arsema Asfaw

Student-Athlete of the Year: Christian Cañete

Student-Athlete of the Year: Janine Navalta

Valedictorian: Janine Navalta

Salutatorian: Christian Cañete

Closing the ceremony with a poetic and beautiful speech, our Principal Meredith Essalat spoke to the Class of 2018 about their path to success, their need to be kind to others and themselves, and that in a society obsessed with perfection to know that each of them are MORE than good enough - “Don’t let the naysayers and haters diminish your flame.  Burn bright—light the world on fire with your creativity, ingenuity, humor,  and determination”. Read Ms. Essalat's full speech here.

Following the Graduation Mass (and after taking about a million photos) students, family, friends, teachers and staff gathered at the school for a fun reception with refreshments provided by our parents.

We wish our Class of 2018 every success and happiness. We love them, we will miss them, but we have prepared them well and we know they will succeed! #iamMDA

Where are they heading next?

Archbishop Riordan High School Dominic, Dan & Eric
The Bay School of San Francisco Arsema 
City Arts and Tech High School Johan & Ricardo
Galileo Academy of Science and Technology Deanzel, Jason, Lander & Tristan
Immaculate Conception Academy Tamia
Jefferson High School  Michaela
John O'Connell High School  Brandon
Lincoln High School Dristi
Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep Angelo, Aryanna, Kriselda & Otniel
St. Ignatius College Prep Isabel, Luis & Siem
Stuart Hall High School Nicolas
Thurgood Marshall High School Ruzzel
University High School  Christian & Janine


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