Notre Dame High School celebrated a Baccalaureate Mass in honor of the Class of 2019 Green and Gold Vipers, our 168th graduating class, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph in the heart of our downtown San Jose neighborhood on May 30th.
The Mass, presided over by Monsignor Francis Cilia, included a student reflection by Lauren Malley who will be attending Vanderbilt University in the fall where she will study neuroscience.
“We are a generation of dreamers, doers, inspirers, life changers, and world shapers. We, Vipers, jump at life. We scream at it and dare it to back down. It is our responsibility to speak life into ourselves, aware of our worth and abilities, rather than waiting for others to do so. Words have enormous power, both those spoken and unspoken. Notre Dame has taught us to be confident women who empower others. We have a duty to spread this love as we scatter to every corner of the world. I challenge you, class of 2019, to choose to use your gifts to change the present moment for the better wherever you are, whether it be sunny California, rainy Washington, or frigid Boston. And we will not be alone. Jeremiah reminds us that, wherever we are, God promises us “a future full of hope.” So let us carry that message with us as we enter this next chapter of our lives, embracing the person we have become, our gifts, our passions, and our hopes, knowing that we have the support of each other, our family, and our God as we take our next steps.”
On June 1, the Notre Dame community came together again to celebrate as the Class of 2019 accepted their diplomas at another downtown San Jose landmark, the California Theater.
Among the 153 graduates were an unprecedented 41 who earned Highest Academic Honors, having maintained a minimum 4.45 GPA and taken a minimum of 7 Honors and Advanced Placement classes over their four years of high school. Among those, Anissa Kumar was chosen to deliver the valedictory address. “While Notre Dame places an emphasis on academics, it has also educated us outside of the classrooms. Throughout the years, ND has sparked within us the innate desire and confidence to affect the world for the better and blossom into social justice advocates. While working with issues that we were passionate about for our senior service learning projects, we gained so much confidence that we need not wait for others to make change. We need not ask for permission to raise our voices. We need not apologize for questioning the status quo. Instead, we will absolutely, resolutely, and confidently go about making impact.” In the fall, Anissa will be attending UC Berkeley.
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, Astrid Dominguez, who will be attending the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall, delivered the salutatory address at the graduation ceremony.
The Principal’s Leadership Award is presented to a student who has committed herself to leadership from her first day on campus. Her devotion to her classmates and school is unwavering: she is compassionate, strong, supportive and so much fun. This year’s recipient, Samantha Lee, held leadership positions throughout her high school years including serving as ASB president her senior year. She will be attending Johns Hopkins University in the fall where she will study neuroscience.
Two athletic awards were also presented. Kelli Pang, who will be attending George Washington University to study business administration, was given the Scholar Athlete Award.
Nadia Truong received the Most Valuable Athlete Award. She will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall to study statistics.