STCS 8th Graders Honor Learning, Faith & Family in Commencement Ceremony

Fifteen eighth-graders recently graduated from Southern Tier Catholic School in a beautiful commencement ceremony. Each of the students took time to highlight the lessons, values and virtues gained at this special place, and to thank the teachers, administrators, staff and other supporters of their journey.

The students honored were: Shaine Croker, Alexander Dove, Chris Forney, Kyle Jackson, Talise Knoxsah, Grace Kwagalakwe, River Maine, Ben Murphy, John Neeson, Emerson Ortego, Jake Pecen, Michael Saxon, Madison Vinelli, Zachary Warters, and Alyssa Wilson.

Here’s What Some of Our STCS 8th Grade Grads Had to Say

As these fine young women and men excitedly become high schoolers here at Archbishop Walsh Academy, they look forward to living out their greatest aspirations and potential. Each student gave a heart-warming speech with memories and goals – and a Bible verse offering wisdom to live by. 

All of the students’ sentiments at commencement were so great! We couldn’t possibly highlight them all, so here’s some brief takes that capture the Walsh/STCS spirit. (Parents/guardians can access their children’s full speeches in the Google Classroom.)

Emerson Ortego

In nine years at STCS, Emerson has made many wonderful memories and built a foundation for the future.

“Walsh feels more like a family than a school. The familiarity of the classrooms, the teachers and the students gives me a chance to feel comfortable in this environment. I have had the opportunity to learn about the school and the people here.”

Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11 –  “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’” declares the Lord, ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

John Neeson 

John reflected on his time at Southern Tier Catholic School, particularly how it has prepared him for a challenging world.

“In a few short years, I have noticed that this country has become more violent, broken, less tolerant, openly bigoted, and less willing to work hard. I am here to tell you that at Walsh, we are taught not to conform to those new worldly norms. Our teachers stress the importance of not conforming to those world views, but being an independent thinker and having strong moral conviction.”

Bible Verse: Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform to the pattern of this world.”

Alyssa Wilson

New to STCS, Alyssa said in just one year at the school she has benefited academically and socially.

“This school year has taught me that if you put the work in, you will excel in school. I’m happy that I will have the same friends going on to the next grade with me.”

Bible Verse: Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend is always a friend, and relatives are born to share our troubles.” 

Grace Kwagalakwe

Grace began attending STCS in first grade. She said she knew, even then, that the school was unlike any other. 

“At Walsh, there is an invisible thread that pulls us all together and reminds us to stay close throughout both the good times and the bad. At Walsh, some days are endless and some are gone before we can truly appreciate them. But despite any and everything that happens, every day here is worth it.”

Bible Verse: Ecclesiastes 3:11 – “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” 

Talise Knoxsah

God makes all things possible, Talise said. The sense of community here makes the STCS experience truly unique.

“During my years here at Walsh, I have been able to recognize and appreciate the community and the healthy environment I have been provided. I have a lot of amazing teachers and I have built a lot of great friendships.”

Bible Verse: John 15:13: “No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.”

Congratulations to the Southern Tier Catholic School Class of 2022!

We know the classroom and life lessons learned here will pave the way for your future success. You’ll soon enter an exciting high school career at Archbishop Walsh Academy, where you’ll face new academic and personal challenges with fresh eyes toward the future. You’ll continue with the International Baccalaureate Programme, which will prepare you for the brightest of collegiate and career opportunities.

Most importantly, you’ll become kind, well-rounded and capable adults ready to address the real world. 

And if your student is not already a member of the Walsh/STCS family, we’d love to have you! Book a tour with us and see if we’re the right fit!