On June 2, Notre Dame High School celebrated its 167th commencement as the Class of 2018 Purple and Yellow Dragons accepted their diplomas at the historic California Theater in downtown San Jose. Among the 165 graduates were 34 who earned Highest Academic Honors, having maintained a minimum 4.45 GPA and taken a minimum of 7 Honors and AP classes over their four years of high school.
Among those, Sapna Ramappa was chosen to deliver the valedictory address. Sapna also received the Principal’s Leadership Award, awarded to a student who has committed herself to leadership throughout her high school year.
Sapna served as ASB president this year. For her senior project she partnered with agencies in India to study and combat issues of health and hygiene surrounding anemia in adolescents. Her four step plan addressed prevention, diagnosis, treatment and community awareness. In her commencement speech, she encouraged her classmates to move forward boldly.
“I see among us engineers, researchers, athletes, doctors, fashion icons, leaders, artists, teachers, musicians, wordsmiths, and activists. We have pledged ourselves to becoming lifelong learners and justice seekers. We have pledged to become – and we have already become – women of impact.” Sapna will head to UCLA to study neuroscience in the fall.
The Julie Billiart Award is the most prestigious non-academic award given at Notre Dame High School. The recipient is chosen by her classmates for her compassion, caring, service, respect and love of her community.
This year’s recipient, Anna Giubileo, will head to Case Western Reserve University to study psychology in the fall.
In her salutatory address, Anna said, “The first hallmark taught to us by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur says “We proclaim by our lives even more than our words that God is Good.” Now, I see God not as this detached being far away, but as the people around me. Each and every one of you is an example of how God is present, and in all of your goodness you live lives that exemplify that sentiment to the fullest.”
Notre Dame’s Margaret Hoffman, SND, Woman of Service Award, Notre Dame’s most prestigious non-academic award, was presented to Sarah Babar in recognition of the compassion and caring she has shown her classmates throughout her four years of high school. Sarah will be attending the University of San Diego in the fall.
“Notre Dame has made me a compassionate and empathetic woman who is active in the community and wants to make a positive impact on the world,” said Babar. “The University of San Diego prides itself in creating “change makers,” which I feel I have already started at Notre Dame. I will be pursuing the pre-medical track and look forward to serving the community.”