Sacred Heart Preparatory graduates its 125th class

by Contributed Content on May 30, 2023

Sacred Heart Preparatory (SHP) in Atherton graduated 171 students at its 125th commencement ceremony on Friday evening, May 26, its largest graduating class to date. Graduates from the Class of 2023 will attend at least 84 different institutions. At least 72 students will study in California, and at least 98 will study out of state, and one will study out of the country.

Twenty-three students earned recognition by the National Merit Scholarship program (seven were finalists and 16 were commended). Thirty-one students have committed to play intercollegiate athletics; one will attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

Thirty-one members of the graduating class have been at Sacred Heart Schools since preschool.

This year’s event was held at SHS’s football field. Diplomas were presented by Marnie Marcin, chair of the Board of Trustees; Richard A. Dioli, director of schools; Jorge Reyes, assistant principal, curriculum and academics; and Jason Armstrong, assistant principal for athletics. Dioli gave remarks along with SHP Principal Dr. Jennie Whitcomb; Valedictorian Paul Fong; Salutatorian Nic Nikcevic, and faculty speaker Mike Judge, SHP science teacher.

Following a century-old school tradition, “Blue Ribbons” were awarded to select students, nominated and elected by the faculty and ratified by the administration. Blue Ribbons are the highest honor given by SHS to graduating seniors and reflect outstanding achievement in academics and standards of character in the fulfillment of one or more of the school’s guiding Goals & Criteria.

Graduates receiving a Light Blue Ribbon, for embodiment of a particular Goal and its criteria, were awarded to:

-Olivia Braccia, Margaret Purcell, and Paul Fong for Goal I: A personal and active faith in God;

-Martin Freeland, Tristyn Girouard, and Kelly Shen for Goal II: A deep respect for intellectual values;

-Catherine Byrne, Manuel Fuentes, and Elsie Ragatz for Goal III: A social awareness which impels to action;

-Madeleine Chai, Luke Maxwell, and Alexandra Medina for Goal IV: The building of community as a Christian value;

-Chiara Libraro, Maya Moffat, and Rycklon Stephens for Goal V: Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom;

Graduates Julia Birdwell, Alexander Lourdes Medel, Nic Nikcevic, and Epeli Pahulu each received a Dark Blue Ribbon, for embodiment of the values implicit in a Sacred Heart education.

With college choices ranging from public and private institutions large and small, and sectarian and non-sectarian among the mix, the Class of 2023 shows a breadth of interests in its future academic goals. Students plan to pursue educational programs as wide ranging as STEM, visual and performing arts, humanities, social sciences, and more.

As Valedictorian Paul Fong said in his address, the Class of 2023, despite navigating the COVID-19 pandemic since freshman year, has been “guided by what we have learned these four years: let us see opportunities, not obstacles, to fulfilling our mission of love and service.”

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