Notes from a Graduate

Notes from a Graduate
Posted on 06/21/2021
graduate silhouetteWritten by Christine Stornelli, Student Journalist

The 2021 school year is wrapping up and as a Grade 12 graduate, this means my time at St.Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School (STA) is coming to an end. These past four years at STA I have been blessed with so many opportunities that I will forever remember and be grateful for.

St.Thomas Aquinas is the type of school that recognizes students for their talents and abilities and offers them chances to put their talents to good use through clubs, sports, trips, competitions, and leadership opportunities, etc. I remember the transition from elementary to high school being so easy because of the welcoming environment that the teachers and staff provided to incoming students and continued to provide throughout our four years.

During our final, unusual, year of high school, teachers and staff continued organizing creative ways to keep students immersed and engaged with activities that would usually have taken place during the school year. With the collective efforts from the student body and staff, STA did this by providing online mass, an online talent show, battle of the grades, and other activities to make this year feel like any other.

To celebrate the hard work of the graduating class, staff at STA have organized celebrations from June 14th to the 29th. This includes a drive-thru graduation ceremony which is greatly appreciated by all of the graduates considering the difficult times we remain in. On June 14th, students can pick up commemorative lawn signs to display at home recognizing four years of hard work at STA. On June 22nd, the Graduation Virtual Faith Celebration will take place. During this final celebratory mass, students from all nine high schools in the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board will play a role. The Virtual Graduation Celebration will be held on June 28th. The digital yearbook, in honour of the graduating class, will be available, and a farewell video from the staff played. The Celebratory In-person Diploma Pick-up will take place on June 29th - and all graduates will go to the school wearing their cap and gown to accept their diploma as well as take pictures outside of the school using the St.Thomas Aquinas backdrop.

On behalf of the graduating class, thank you to all teachers and staff at St.Thomas Aquinas and the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board who put together these unique celebrations to honour the graduating classes of 2021. To the graduates, H. Jackson Brown Jr. said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones that you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.”

As we take our steps into the next chapter of our lives, it is important to remember the steps that got us here. Although this year was not what most of us expected or hoped for for our final year of high school, it is more imperative to focus on what lies ahead for us than to dwell on what we missed out on this year. Always remember to be appreciative of your opportunities and know that while things seem unfair and hard at this times, there is a future full of wonderful moments that are waiting for us and that all the things we go through now will all be worth it in the end.

Congratulations to my fellow graduating classmates and I wish you well on all your future endeavours.