Whether it is lessons in the classroom, athletics, the arts, service or community events, there is always something exciting happening at Ursuline Academy. Read all about it in the Life on Lowder Street Blog!
It's weird to think that you are going to be scattered across the country in a matter of months. The people that we have played sports with for years will be on someone else's teams. The faces we see everyday will spend their time in other hallways. The voices we've become so used to hear shouting down the hall will leave their final echoes in just a few short weeks.
Whether you've loved or hated high school, it's ending. As you embark on this new chapter of your life, I hope you look back on your days in the plaid fondly. I hope you remember the reindeer games, Mission Days, retreats, renditions of the school song, Class Days, and all of the other experiences that you can only get at Ursuline. I hope you remember the jokes you laughed at, the time you spent with your friends, the times you felt truly part of this community. I hope when someone asks you about high school, you smile as you think of a montage of laughter, love, and sisterhood. Because that feeling is real, and it's something that you can never really lose, because Ursuline stays with you.
College will be different for everyone. It will take you a while to get accustomed to trading the uniform for your own closet. It will take even longer for you to adjust to the boys in what always was a sea of girls. It will take your whole family time to get used to not having you there. The sounds of you singing in the shower, begging to stop at Dunkies, and typing away at homework until the early hours of the morning will be replaced with quiet. Your little siblings will struggle through homework on their own. Your room, now completely messy, will be empty and quiet. Your absence will be so felt by everyone you know.
But everyone will adjust. You will make new friends. Maybe you'll get to know a new city or state. You will learn, and you will grow, and the transition that seems scary and painful now will fade as you change. But you will never forget the years spent complaining over homework, playing sports, blaring music, talking about boys, and learning, living, and loving with your sisters. Ursuline hearts unite, no matter the distance.
Good luck. You all have amazing lives ahead of you. I hope the future holds extraordinary adventures, uncontainable joy, boundless discovery, and as much love as you have given us.
At graduation and the related ceremonies of Baccalaureate Mass and Class Day, many members of Ursuline's Class of 2016 received scholarships or awards for their efforts in academics, athletics, or community service. Congratulations and best wishes go out to all of the graduates.
The following seniors were honored at graduation:
Cassandra Wesner, Serviam Award
The Serviam Award seeks to recognize outstanding traits of leadership in service, awareness of others and acceptance of responsibility, as well as academic achievements. The Serviam Award is the highest honor that Ursuline Academy bestows.
Kathryn McGillivray, Sister Mercedes Videira Medal
The recipient of the Sr Mercedes Videira award acts with integrity, humility, generosity and concern for others, and exhibits through her actions a deep love for Ursuline Academy.
Erin Grela, Cross of Excellence Award (Valedictorian)
Presented every year to the senior who has attained the highest grade average over her complete course of studies.
Kristina Ferrara, Cross of Excellence Award (Salutatorian)
Presented every year to the senior who has attained the second highest grade average over her complete course of studies.
The following seniors were honored at Baccalaureate Mass.
Carolyn Recupero - The Cheryl Eakin Scholarship
To a senior who demonstrates a willingness to serve others and shows dedication to the “common good”.
Jillian Berte - The Pearce Book Award
To a senior who has a passion for excellence, an appreciation for learning and who also demonstrates a willingness to serve others and has demonstrated a dedication to the common good of the Academy.
Cassandra Wesner- Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award
The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution presents this award to a student who demonstrates the qualities of Dependability, Service, Leadership and Patriotism.
The following seniors were honored at Baccalaureate Mass:
English Prize - Caroline Ahearn French Prize - Julia Bloechl Latin Prize - Margaret Rusnock Spanish Prize - Noella D’ Souza Mathematics Prize - Erin Grela History Prize - Elizabeth Coughlin Religion Prize - Delia Ryan Science Award - Kristina Ferrara Performing Arts Award - Brittany O’Malley Fine Arts Award - Jacqueline Gonzalez Communication Arts Award - Emily Riordan
The following girls were recognized for outstanding performance in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Commended Students: Elizabeth Coughlin, Kristina Ferrara, Jillian McGrath, Delia Ryan
National Merit Finalist: Erin Grela
The following girls were recognized for their initiative, spirit of generous service and willingness to assume responsibility for the common interest of the Academy:
Caroline Ahearn, Julia Bloechl, Elizabeth Coughlin, Melissa Cowell, Allison Dow, Noella D’Souza, Ashley Gioioso, Ivory Hestmark, Shyla Prasad, Adelia Reid, Emily Riordan, Margaret Rusnock
Serviam: the word means not only "I will serve" but also means "Let me serve."
Over February break, ten Ursuline students left their homes and their comfort zones far behind, and chose to spend their vacation break serving the poor as part of the Urban Challenge at Romero Center Ministries in Camden, New Jersey. While there, they learned that by working in service with those less fortunate, they received as much as they gave.
Each day, the ten students, accompanied by Campus Minister Katie McNally and Latin teacher Erin Cummins (who taught the students the other translation of "Serviam") would start with a prayer, and then break into two groups, each bound for a different destination in Camden or Philadelphia. One day it was a homeless shelter and soup kitchen; another day it was a home for the elderly. Other sites included a home for adults with multiple sclerosis and other paralyzing diseases or injuries, and a low-income Jumpstart school. Each night ended in prayer, journaling and education on poverty with the students from Xaverian Brothers High School and St. John's in Shrewsbury.
The experience proved life-changing for the students. Said senior Caroline Ahearn, "My favorite site was New Visions, a homeless shelter in Camden. This was the day I truly began to understand what poverty is, and that it can happen to anyone. The people we encountered are our equals in everything but opportunity, just because they happened to be born into a certain situation. This was the day I realized just how fortunate I am to have a home, food, a bed, my education, a family, everything."
Caroline summed up the impact of the trip on her by saying, "Although it's hard not to feel guilty once you see how fortunate you actually are, it's more important to use the opportunity you've been given to do something to help those who are not as fortunate as you."
On the Tuesday before February vacation, about twenty members of the senior class gathered during their free period and successfully registered to vote in preparation for the upcoming primaries. As we approach the Massachusetts primary election, Ursuline students will be preparing for a primary election of their own. The major Democratic and Republican party candidates will be represented by one or two members of Mrs. Curtis' Civics and Current Events class. These students will be given the opportunity to campaign and share their candidates' policies with the rest of the student body. After the campaigning period is over, students will be given the chance to choose a party and vote for the candidate of their choice to become the foremost presidential candidate of that party. The winners of UA's primary election will be announced at the end of the school day.
Every May, dozens of Ursuline students sit for Advanced Placement exams in a wide range of subject areas. In May of 2015, 106 seniors, juniors and sophomores took 166 exams. Of these students, 43 achieved Scholar Status (see descriptions below) for their cumulative performance on all the tests taken in their high school career, with an overall average score of 4.06 on a 5 point scale.
We extend our congratulations to all students who completed AP courses and sat for these rigorous exams.
Scholar status is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.