St. Joseph’s Academy juniors received their school rings during the 2018 Ring Ceremony, held May 4 in the Activity Center. SJA administrators, faculty and staff, along with family and friends of the class of 2019, gathered for the event, which commemorates the juniors’ three years at SJA and marks the point at which they make the transition to their senior year.
Principal Stacia Andricain welcomed the large crowd and introduced guest alumna speaker Ashton Piland Bevinetto, a 2008 Academy graduate who is a licensed CPA and a certified financial planner with Merrill Lynch.
Bevinetto reflected on the preparedness she felt entering college as an SJA graduate. “Every single graduate of this school has been developing the necessary skills to succeed beyond high school, whether you realize it or not,” she said. “Your grades may give you access to certain schools or to secure certain internships, but what makes you successful in this world are the ‘soft skills’ – your character, who are you when no one is watching, your ability to show respect to others and to yourself, taking responsibility for your work and your actions, your loyalty, willingness to admit mistakes and your perseverance. The expectations placed on you by your teachers, the administration, your family and your peers are helping to cultivate all of these qualities on a daily basis.”
She advised the juniors to hold tight to their values and spirituality. “Lean on your family, your support system, your strengths and talents and the Lord,” she said. “With independence comes a lot of freedom, a freedom that you have never had until you are in college. But with freedom comes the responsibility to make wise choices; choices that not only affect your life but the lives of those around you. SJA has given you such a head start by providing the skill set necessary to make those wise decisions. The work ethic instilled in you by this school, the opportunities to become leaders, the chance to really hone your work ethic and learn to balance a demanding academic load with the availability of endless clubs and extracurriculars teaches you to prioritize and sets you up to be extremely successful in college and beyond.”
Catherine Couvillion read from St. Paul’s first letter to Timothy. Catherine Contini read a message entitled Journey Through Life. Lily Abadie, Julianna Hill, Katherine McCullen, Kate Michel, Katie Trussell and Parker Wilson led the prayers of the faithful.
President Jan Rhorer Breen challenged the rising seniors to embrace their leadership role for 2018-2019, when the charism theme will be Leadership: Weave One Heart.
Trystan Tate, junior class president, presented the class accomplishments, reflecting on the class’ challenges and successes to date. “When we accept our rings tonight, let us think of the transformation we’ve had from freshman year, and let us embrace the year ahead of us,” she said. “Let’s build on the foundation we’ve created so far. Let’s cherish these moments, live day by day and truly enjoy every minute we have left at this home away from home. Create memories, get to know all of your classmates and take advantage of all the great opportunities here at SJA. Senior year is full of opportunity to be servant leaders to the whole SJA community. I pray that we each embrace our friendships and use the gifts that God has blessed us with to create a positive impact.”
Addison Bruce explained the rich symbolism of the school ring, which is offered in two designs: the traditional black onyx and the red barrel stone. Sister Joan Laplace, CSJ, associate director of the SJA Mission Advancement Office, blessed the juniors’ rings, and Andricain and Breen distributed them.
Catherine Cangelosi led the closing prayer. Anna Reese Couhig invited the juniors to participate in the traditional turning of the rings. Hallie Legendre led the singing of the Alma Mater.
Aimee Cronan directed the SJA Liturgy Choir, and Michael McDowell played the piano.
Kevin Landry was the coordinator of the Ring Ceremony. He was assisted by Sarah McCann, Yvette Aillet, Joanne Campbell, Kathie Hayden, Nicole Lane, Cord McKeithen, Lauren Morris, Shelly O’Dowd, Emily Peavy, Jennifer Prather and Stacy Rennhoff.
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos by Jennifer M. Fontaine