‘Light the world on fire:’ Pacelli graduates the Class of 2024

Published 8:39 pm Friday, May 24, 2024

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On Friday night, the 11 seniors of Pacelli Catholic Schools Class of 2024 brought their education at the school to an end with this year’s commencement.

For many in the class, the Alphas and the Omegas, it was the culmination of 18 years within the district. A  time that wasn’t always easy and that ushered them into high school as freshman during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Take time to think of this journey our seniors have taken,” said Jean McDermott in her welcoming speech. “You’ve been an integral part of the vibrant Pacelli community.”

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The journey aspect of their education was a common theme touched on by most of Friday night’s speakers, including Principal Robyn Bickler who spoke of the pride she felt of the graduates accomplishments during their time at Pacelli.

That sentiment included her gratefulness of being able to participate in the student’s growth.

“You realized the value of pushing yourselves to be the best,” she said. “Throughout your time here you embraced our values.”

At the same time, she cautioned graduates to never stop learning even as their paths diverge from each other and take them to new places.

“Your education does not end here,” Bickler said. “Never underestimate the power of knowledge.”

“You’re a representative of our faith and values,” she concluded as she urged the students to, “Light the world on fire.”

During his time at the podium, Salutatorian Isaac Nelsen related the closeness of the graduates and thanked those who helped turn them into the people they are today.

At the same time, he reflected the realities of what comes next.

“Now real life begins. We’ll have other demands of our time,” he said, but added: “We have the ability … to make the world a better place.”

Avari Drennan echoed Nelsen’s thoughts on closeness, comparing the class and the school to a family. She compared the impact the class could have to a ripple effect that could become so much more.

“When I think about this class, I’m excited,” she said. “We won’t create ripples — we will create waves.”