Nearly 100 Seniors Say Goodbye to Sacred Heart

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, the all-girls Catholic school at the top of the hill overlooking La Cañada, held its graduation ceremony on Crane Field Sunday with an exquisite view of the San Gabriel mountains behind the gorgeous seniors

By Justin Chapman, La Cañada-Flintridge Patch, 6/6/2011

While the stunning seniors, dolled up in their pure white dresses gloves, lined up for official graduation photos, the eight-year president of the school, Sister Carolyn McCormack, talked to Patch about how she feels blessed to run what she called "the most beautiful school in the world."
Before moving to Southern California, Sister McCormack grew up in San Francisco and became a principal of another all-girls Catholic school there.
"We have a beautiful, beautiful campus, but by far the beauty of our school is those beautiful girls you're looking at," she said. "And not just physical beauty, which they have, but also they're intelligent, articulate, well-rounded, and they're going to great schools across the country next semester. Our programs provide an education for them that allow them to step out into colleges and universities with confidence, with self-knowledge, and with excitement. So it's a great day for us today."
Several of the 98 graduating seniors of Class of 2011 spoke with Patch as well about their challenging yet rewarding experience at the school and their plans for next year. Their level of excitement was palpable and contagious.
"It feels good to graduate," said Anna Ramirez. "I'm definitely done. I'm ready for college. I definitely think they prepared us, and I'm definitely ready to leave."
Ramirez plans to attend Glendale Community College for two years and then transfer to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study engineering.
"It feels really great to be graduating," said Kristine Locker, who attended Sacred Heart all four years. "It's awesome! Next year I'm attending SMU and I will be studying I-have-no-idea-what yet, but it's OK, and I'll try to figure it out there."
Locker agreed that Sacred Heart prepared her for college but hopes the first year will be a breeze. Ali de Oca, one of the ceremony's Valedictorians and the winner of the Tolog Award, noted that Sacred Heart was no breeze.
"It's amazing to be finally graduating because these have been a really stressful four years and now that it's all over, it feels really great," said de Oca. Next year she's going to Berkeley to study business.
Two long-time friends who went to grade school and Sacred Heart together, Alanna Piros and Sara Rosenberger, were especially excited to be graduating because their paths will continue to parallel when they both room together next year at UCLA.
"We're going to have a really good time," Piros laughed. She also added that she will miss the high school on the hill. "I love this place. It was very challenging but the teachers are absolutely wonderful and the girls are magnificent. I love them. I'm excited to move on, but it's kind of nerve wracking, so we'll see how the ceremony goes."
"I feel like I'm ready," said Piros' friend Rosenberger. "I'm excited about graduating and I plan on majoring in economics."
Another pair of friends, Alex Lopez and Elie Franks, who will both be studying business at the University of Colorado at Boulder and UCLA, respectively, spoke to Patch about the friendly and welcoming environment at Sacred Heart.
"I love the whole all-girls environment," said Lopez. "I was really active. I was on the ASB, I ran cross country, and I just love the community here."
"It feels like home," added Franks. "I think since it's an all-girls school we all feel like sisters. We're all comfortable around each other."
"We all have our group of friends," said Lopez, "but you can mix and be friends with everyone."
Before the sun dipped behind the mountains and the cold wind swept through, the graduation ceremony went off without a hitch. Sister McCormack gave the invocation before the Valedictorians and the student body president gave their speeches. A few of the seniors joined a couple other musicians to perform the song "I Hope You Dance."
Tears of joy and nostalgia filled their eyes as the Sacred Heart Class of 2011 threw their red roses into the air and officially graduated from high school, ready to enter the next phase of their lives.