The graduation ceremony on June 1 was marked by messages of gratefulness, reflection, and excitement for the future. Student speakers Claire Nowak and Jasper Dale talked about their moral growth and the ways that Catalina helped shape their character.
For Jasper, who charted the development of his character over 10 years at Catalina, the greatest value he took away with him was empathy. "As John Steinbeck once said, 'You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.' This became my goal. I wanted to be better," Jasper said. "I stand before you today a better person, for Santa Catalina has played a huge role in who I am."
Claire, who spoke of the importance of integrity and perseverance, expressed similar sentiments. "As I have grown with my class, my personal morals and ethics have been shaped, building my character and helping me better understand myself as an individual. We are all different in the best ways, and we have discovered who we are as members of our world and community."
The day's keynote speaker was beloved former teacher Jeremy Sandler, who offered the graduates five pieces of advice for starting the next chapter in their lives:
- 1.Embrace what's around you.
- 2.Pursue meaningful and durable learning.
- 3.Make time for self-reflection.
- 4.Surround yourself with good people.
- 5.Be your authentic self.
"This is how you can do well," he said. "Once you do well, you are ready to do good."
Congratulations to the Class of 2018!