Ten years ago, I graduated from Saint Xavier High School. As I sat with the graduating class of 2019 looking at the untold potential that lies before them, I stand in awe at what my alma mater has done for me and countless others.
As a student, I learned from teachers whose passion for their subject could be heard echoing down the halls. On days when I might have been less than enthused, I recall a firm “ring” to the back of my head by Coach Cooper calling me to attention. His firm calling me to attention because he knew his students could and were better and capable of so much more. On retreats, I was shocked by the reality and capacity of love. In extra curricular activities, the slogan “band of brothers” came alive as I witnessed friends tearing up on the final moments of their activities and the pride in having accomplished so much.
As an Alumni, I more fully began to appreciate the value of my Xaverian Education as I sat in challenging college courses more than prepared for success. As the echos faded from the halls of Poplar Level, the brotherhood of St. X continued to be alive as friendships continued to stay united even as people moved around the country. Spiritually St. X continued to support me in times of needs when my grandfather died, and former teachers and members of the community reached out and comforted me even though my diploma had sense been conferred. It was then that I truly appreciated how uniquely special Saint Xavier High School is.
As a teacher, I witnessed the true depth and breadth of the love that the faculty and staff have for their students. The faculty often staying late into the evenings and spending most of their weekends grading papers, lesson planning, and discovering new ways to support the needs of their students. Each teacher holding the lives of their students close to their hearts. It is also alive in the students in how they show up for their community. Cheering at games, laughing in the cafeteria, supporting each other on retreats, and serving one another. Each St. X student goes beyond the expectation and graciously supports and loves one another in countless ways. Each day I was inspired by stories where friends would help each other through some of the most difficult of life’s circumstances and show up to school the next morning without batting an eye. Even personally, when my dad died, I am still brought to tears recalling the numerous students and colleagues who attended the visitation and comforted me through that difficult time. It is moments such as those that remind us how deeply connected each person is to other another and our need for companionship.
Saint Xavier High School is more than just a college preparatory school. It is a community. A microcosm for how the world ought to be.
Four years as a student and 6 years as an educator, over one-third of my life has been spent in the halls of St. X. To all my classmates, to all my students, to all my colleagues, I cannot thank you enough for these grace-filled years. Who I am I is owed to the transformation you have inspired in me. It is difficult to put into words the tradition that has seeped into my skin.
To be allowed the opportunity each day to walk the halls of Saint Xavier High School, to learn from and in a community formed in the Xaverian Tradition and to serve one another with Gospel mission is truly a humbling honor. There have been countless days when tears of joy, admiration, pride, and love have been shed because of moments experienced with the students, faculty, and staff of St. X.
As my heart swells in knowing my days are numbered and the love pours forth from my eyes, I humbly express my gratitude to each member of this expansive community. May you know I will never be able to fully repay you for the impact your lives have made on mine.
I will ever love thee, Dear Saint Xavier High.