As a Catholic institution, the central piece to our graduation ceremony is Graduation Mass, offering students the opportunity to celebrate in the Eucharist their academic accomplishments and faith formation.
The Redemptorists - Father Tizio, Father David, and Deacon Moore - have played integral roles in our students' growth. Many of our graduates have spent 9 years at St. Mary's and having a formal opportunity to matriculate to high school is an important opportunity to reflect on their successes and lessons learned over the course of their experience at St. Mary's Elementary School.
The presence of alumni is also an important part of recognizing our graduates - the St. Mary's community, parish has a long tradition of legacy, and we have many parents, former students themselves, who are among the guests present to honor our graduating 8th grade class.
We are fortunate to have a group of students, year-in and year-out, who experience such great success. As part of that, we recognize our many students who receive and accept scholarships and academic awards from area high schools. We also have several scholarships that are a part of a permanent endowment for our graduates.
The Richard Crabtree Spirituality Award- won by Cayden Pfundstein
Father Max Pauli Creative Writing Award-won by Alexa Bervid
The School Sisters of Notre Dame Mathematics Award-won by Ellen Burgin
The Schmidt Family Service Award- won by Thomas Crabtree
The Student Leadership Award- won by Kassidy Allen
The McGeady Family Scholarship Award- won by Hope Davis for all-around academic excellence.
The 8th grade year is also marked by several other "keystone" moments and events. In December, students travel as a class to New York City, learning about the architecture of Central Park, the mission of the United Nations, and taking park in traditions including the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. They participated this year in a mission project, under the direction of Mrs. Geisen, to help aid a sister school community in India, collecting school supplies and basic toiletries for that community.
Elementary School Principal, Rebecca Zimmerman, says, “Through hard work and dedication, combined with strong character, our students in the class of 2017 achieved excellence in so many ways. We honored this promising class for their academics, spirituality and contributions to our school community. The students of 2017 have certainly left their mark on our school and our hearts. We will miss them as we send them on to their next adventures in high school.”
Towards the end of the year, the eighth graders partake in the annual 8th Grade Dinner Dance, a formal dance and opportunity for the students to celebrate their accomplishments as a class. The parents take on the responsibility of transforming Marian Hall each year - this year's theme was "Bon Voyage." The students and their families submit pictures throughout the year - one baby picture, one sacramental life picture, and one family picture - to be displayed as part of a slideshow to capture each of our students' journey to this point. Congratulations to the Class of 2021.