Michele Musto, Former Principal
In a few days, we will be celebrating the unofficial start of summer as Memorial Day arrives. Families will hold traditional BBQ’s, attend parades to honor members of our armed services who sacrificed their lives for our country, and enjoy each other’s company.
Traditionally, during my 32 years at Holy Names, seniors have graduated on Memorial Day weekend. Most recently the graduation was moved from Sunday of Memorial Day weekend to Friday. We, the Holy Names family, celebrate the traditions of our “unofficial” conclusion of the school year. Seniors are honored at Senior Night, inducted into the Alumnae Association, recognized for their academic achievement at Awards Convocation, participate in a celebration of faith at Baccalaureate, all culminating in graduation. While the components are the same each year, each event assumes the personality of the class, making each celebration personal and unique.
The Class of 2023 is an intelligent, talented, caring group of young women who have been leaders in academics, athletics, and in their local communities.
Their academic achievement is noteworthy:
- Approximately 50% of the members of this class are in the National Honor Society.
- Five of these young women completed three years in the rigorous UAlbany in the High School Science Research Program, and one of these women will continue her research in college. The results of her study are being incorporated in the treatment of cardiac patients at Albany Medical Center.
- During their high school career, students in this class sat for 119 Advanced Placement examinations.
- Members of the Class of 2023 have earned college credit through the UAlbany in the High School Program for taking courses in Calculus, English Literature-Women’s Studies, French, Spanish, and Science Research.
- 100% of the members of this class were accepted to 4-year colleges.
- 100% of the 33 members of this class were offered merit-based scholarships to institutions of higher learning, totaling more than 3 million dollars for the first year and more than 13.2 million dollars over four years.
- Three members of this class are recipients of the NYS Department of Education Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
- Additionally, members of the Class of 2023 have assumed leadership roles in various areas. Members of this class served the poor and disadvantaged of our community through 1794.5 hours of service this year, Service is intrinsic to the class of 2023. Members of this class did not merely check off their service hours as they completed them; rather they were dedicated to their organizations.
This is a brief list of the service they have provided:
- Created podcasts for Breast Cancer awareness,
- Coached Special Olympics,
- Ran the Muslim Food Pantry at the Islamic Cultural Center of the Capital District,
- Wrote the script for and directed the musical, “The Prince of Egypt,”
- Volunteered for more than 200 hours working with inner city children through nonprofit programs such as Hoods House of Hoops and 15 LOVE,
Worked with Father Sean O’Brien at St. John’s/St. Ann’s Outreach Center in downtown Albany to paint window scenes and created a permanent mural to beautify the neighborhood,
- Sold t-shirts to promote Autism awareness,
- Satisfied our cravings for sweets at the end of a long school day with countless bake sales as fundraisers for various organizations such as Street Soldiers and the American Cancer Society.
Members of this class assumed leadership roles in our athletics program, performance and visual arts programs, clubs, organizations, and Student Government.
This is a resilient class that spent the second semester of their freshman year learning remotely. Friendships that were being formed during the first semester were placed on hold as we faced COVID and turned to Zoom. Their sophomore year brought a return to school with COVID restrictions still in place. Yet, maintaining a six-foot distancing, they forged ahead, growing as individuals and as a class. It is the growth in the class of 2023 of which I am most proud and for which I congratulate them. They emerged strong, confident young women prepared for their future.
Yes, this is a class composed of compassionate, fun-loving, and empathetic women. They supported each other in both their successes and challenges, their joys, and sorrows. They are a class which embraced the values of the Sisters of the Holy Names.
To the Class of 2023, I say, “Well done. God bless.”