Vincent Memorial Catholic High School says goodbye to class of 2013
The Class of 2013 prays at the baccalaureate Mass during Vincent Memorial High School¿s commencement exercises at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Calexico on Friday. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / June 1, 2013)
“Most of them have attended Catholic school together for 12 years now, and they are very united. They have known each other since they were little,” Principal Sister Guadalupe Hernandez said. “They see each other like brothers and sisters. They help each other a lot.”
The 60 graduates talked and laughed together as they excitedly waited to walk into the baccalaureate Mass.
Graduate Daniela Martinez said it was a bittersweet experience to graduate Friday.
“I feel very happy we did it and are finally getting out of high school but sad at the same time to not return to the same thing we’ve always done,” she said. “I’m going to miss seeing my classmates every day.”
Martinez added that she’ll miss seeing her teachers and plans to be a teacher herself.
English teacher and senior class adviser Lourdes Ramirez agreed that the tightly connected school community will miss the graduating class.
“They really are a close-knit group, because they’ve been together their entire school life,” she said.
Ramirez herself had a daughter graduating Friday, and she is the last of her three daughters to graduate from Vincent Memorial.
The family received a Fidelity Family Award as customary at the school when the last child in a family graduates.
Ramirez said the family was just calculating the other night that her family paid for 42 years total of Catholic school.
“It’s all worth it. Catholic education has been wonderful,” she said. “I wouldn’t take it back.”
The class is dispersing all over the nation with one student going to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another to the University of Pennsylvania, yet another going to Princeton University, and others staying closer to attend schools like CETYS in Mexicali.
“They’ve been a strong class academically since grade school,” Ramirez added. “We were expecting great things and they proved us right.”
Andrea Perez graduated Friday and will go on to Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Her sister Anna Perez graduated from Vincent Memorial in 2011 and was excited to see all her teachers again.
“I’m really happy for her. When you graduate from here you are a family, not just with your classmates but also with your teachers and the school. It’s really a great experience,” she said. “They should embrace this new stage that is coming and get the best of it.”
The “family” excitedly hugged as they concluded their high school experience and began to embark on their new phases in life.
“Wherever you go and whatever you do, Christ will light your path if you turn to Him,” San Diego Diocese Superintendent Thomas Beecher told the students. “You’ll always have a home here at Vincent Memorial.”
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com