The thing I like most about the Saint Paul faculty members is how they do not give up on the student’s education, even throughout the COVID pandemic. Though many schools provide remote education, Saint Paul has been offering students two in-person learning days per week. The school spirit is great! When I enter the building, the overall atmosphere of the school is bright because of the hard-working faculty and cooperative students.
I am part of the math team. I have practiced math since I was young, and it is one of my most engaging extracurricular activities. However, my favorite class is music/band because music simply gives me something different, and I am addicted to harmonic sounds. My favorite teachers are those who are experts at giving satiric or humorous lectures, rather than those who bombard students with loads of information to process.
Being a junior is always challenging because it happens to be the year right before preparing for college. Our grades are more important and there are many more things we need to take care of than in freshman or sophomore year. If the COVID burden is increased, it is likely for us to stress out easily. In terms of school, the only thing that the pandemic has given me is extra time of morning sleep, but I was heavily demotivated for a while. However, the Saint Paul community has kept motivated and encouraged me to not give up.
Without a doubt, this has been a weird senior year. A lot of the schools I’ve applied to aren’t allowing visitors on campus, much of our college search process was virtual, AND our guidance counselors were now trying to both meet students for the first time and get them ready for college. Overall, it has been rough so far. But, like all things at Saint Paul, we are making it work!
I applied to nine schools, and have already heard back from five. I applied to Simmons University, Emmanuel College, MCPHS, Regis College, Merrimack College, Endicott College, Worcester State University, Northeastern University, and Becker College. So far, I have gotten into Emmanuel, MCPHS, Regis, Merrimack, and Becker. I am anxiously waiting for the rest of my decisions! Applying to colleges was hard. I had to choose which schools to apply to entirely based on what I learned about them from their college websites. One of the pros of doing this all during COVID is that now we have new opportunities! Even though in person events have been cut down, colleges have come up with so many more virtual events. It makes it a lot easier to talk to current students and admissions, something that may not be as accessible with in person events.
I have received a lot of help along the way. Many of my friends who have graduated and are now in college helped me with the search process. All of my teachers gave me recommendations based on my major (nursing). I also got a lot of help from guidance. I remember one day I went to guidance freaking out trying to figure out what a FERPA waiver was. I sat in Ms. Maurello’s office worried about what I was signing, and if it would affect my decisions at all. Even though I was super frantic and very worried, Ms. Maurello and Mr. Watson took the time to sit down with me and explain it in terms that I understood. It made me feel so much better about the whole thing, and more confident in my college journey.
I do have a few more people I wanted to mention. One of the things most important to me in this whole process is scholarships. I have worked really hard for years to make sure I can qualify for scholarships, and that's working well so far. I have applied for two full ride scholarships, and received so much help along the way. With my first full ride, for Simmons University, Mr. St. John sat down with me quite a few times to go over my essay. He would tell me what I was doing well, and what I could do better. By the time I had to submit the application, I was very confident in myself, thanks to Mr. St. John. I also recently got an email from Ms. Reyngoudt about applying for a full ride at Regis. I never would have known about the scholarship if it weren’t for that email. Now, I’m a finalist to receive the presidential scholarship, and I have an interview with admissions! To put it simply, I am more than grateful for all of the help I have received from Saint Paul so far, and I know I will continue to get in the future.
Hello! My name is James, and I am writing about my experience here at Saint Paul. I am first going to start out by talking about how my classes have been going. One of my favorite classes is Junior High Art Class. My teacher, Mr. Fleming, is really nice. I have always been interested in art, but I could never get the hang of it. No matter how much I tried, I simply was not an artist. When I joined this class, I was hoping that I could not only improve my skills, but also have fun along the way. I think I accomplished both of those things to be perfectly honest with you! I have made many new friends and Mr. Fleming has been such a big help. I would like to say thank you to him and the rest of the Junior High Art Class.
The second thing I wanted to talk about was my experience with the Chess Club. Like art, I have always been interested in Chess, but was never as good as I wanted. When I joined the Chess Club, Mr. Leonard, the moderator of the Chess Club, taught me so much. He inspired me to study more. So far, my only loss in the Chess Club has been to Mr. Leonard. I would like to say thank you to him, and the other members of the Chess Club, for making it a great experience. Lastly, I want to give a special thanks to my classmate, Jack, for being a great friend. Jack and I are in Junior High Art Class and the Chess Club together.
I go into school on Mondays and Tuesdays. I’ve chosen to take seven classes again this year, including my elective which is Intro to Web Design. I haven’t had any issues with my schedule yet, which is great. However, the Guidance Office is also open if you need adjustments made to your schedule.
After school is over, I head home and do some homework, so I don’t have as much to do when I am remote on the other days of the week. However, on Tuesdays I must join a Zoom call for Mock Trial, which is the extracurricular I participate in. Because of the climate, it is hard for us to meet as a whole group with the two different cohorts, so we use Zoom.
To explain the main principles of the club, each year we are given a packet explaining the case principles, witness affidavits, and the actual law behind the case. The students decide whether they want to be a witness, or an attorney, and we need to prepare a case that we’ll use to compete with other schools across the state.
For example, this year our case is about an accident with a self-driving car. This year I decided to be an attorney, and my job is to prepare an examination for my assigned witness. Also, Mock Trial is a great way to improve your public speaking skills, whether you’re a witness or an attorney. It has helped my public speaking and presentation skills drastically in the short time that I’ve been doing it. Thankfully, Mock Trial can be translated easily to online and through zoom, so we can still compete with other schools.
When the merge was first announced, I was really worried about being at a new school my senior year. We all had to adapt to a new name, mascot, and colors. For me personally, the building I had been in for 3 years was going to change, and I would have teachers I had never met before. At first, getting used to all of this was a challenge. But, as the school year has started and our first quarter at Saint Paul has progressed, these challenges have started to fade! We’re all able to see the positives that come with these changes.
I have some teachers this year from St. Peter-Marian that are amazing, and I never would have had the opportunity to have them if it weren’t for the merge. I’m really enjoying Concepts in Leadership with Mr. St. John. This wasn’t a class we had at Holy Name, and I’m super grateful for the opportunity to take it! There are some things we did have at Holy Name that didn’t carry over to Saint Paul, like Cafe 144. It was always the senior hangout, so missing out on that is hard. But, I know our administration is working behind the scenes to make our senior year special, despite all the challenges COVID brings them.
My favorite thing about Saint Paul so far is that it’s a blend of both schools. While a lot of St. Peter-Marian rules and practices carried over, we also kept some of my favorite parts of Holy Name. Our clubs and activities are all the same. The mock trial team (my favorite extracurricular) is the same team, but even better. We just gained a few team members, which makes the team so much better! At the end of the day, Saint Paul is a mixture of two great schools, making one even better, stronger together school.