‘Reach for the stars’

Today marks a strange day in the lives of 52 area teenagers.

For the first time in 12 years, members of the St. Edmond Class of 2014 are no longer present in the halls of the school they entered as first-graders.

As the school’s newest alumni prepared to go their separate ways Sunday, President Mary Gibb commended the class collectively for continuing St. Edmond’s legacy of excellence.

“I wish to express my gratitude for your leadership,” said Gibb, praising class members for their commendable talents and abilities.

Each member of the class has something special to offer, said Hank Crimmins, class speaker.

Crimmins outlined several pieces of advice for his fellow classmates, each of which had been given to him by different people in different contexts.

“At the end of the day, you have to be able to look at yourself and say ‘I’ve made a difference’,” he said.

Crimmins advised his classmates to “be something” – not merely in terms of profession, but in terms of someone who makes a difference in the lives of others.

For the past year, as high school seniors, Crimmins and his classmates have answered many questions from many people regarding what they’re going to do next, he said.

And for some, the answer is “I have no idea.”

In response, Crimmins related the wisdom of one particular gentleman.

“Don’t worry,” Crimmins said. “No matter what’s going on in your life, God has a plan for everything.”

Though Sunday’s commencement ceremony marked the end of high school for Crimmins and his classmates, the word “commencement” means a beginning.

Wherever this new beginning leads, Crimmins suggested his classmates “reach for the stars.”

“It doesn’t matter what is in front of you if you know who’s behind you,” he said. “Each one of us has something special to offer.”

Academically, more than half the class graduated with honors – defined as having a grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4-point scale.

In all, 91 percent of the graduating seniors were offered college scholarships, according to Paula Florey, academic dean and guidance counselor.

These scholarships totaled $1,633,436, Florey said.

A large majority of the class – 45 students – decided to get a jump on higher education by taking at least one college class, she said.

Florey recognized by name the17 students who took 15 or more college credits.

“As a class, students took 176 college classes in all, totaling 540 credits,” Florey said.