Tuesday, February 1, 2011

'St. Raphael’s totally prepared us'

Photo by Jane Winstead

Emily Pingleton graduated from St. Raphael Catholic School in 2010. She is a student at St. Petersburg Catholic High School. She gave this talk at Mass recently in advance of Catholic Education Week.

Hi, my name is Emily Pingleton and I was asked to speak to you today about my experience at St. Raphael’s Catholic School. I started at St. Raphael’s in the middle of kindergarten when I moved here. I made a lot of great friends that I’m still close with today. The teachers were amazing and I made so many memories.

I participated in all the sports available for girls in middle school including: volleyball, basketball, soccer, tennis, and track. I’ve been in the school choir since fourth grade and I was in student council for two years.

All these activities helped get me more involved in the school and better prepared for high school. I also played the clarinet in the school band since fourth grade. St. Raphael’s has an excellent band program that allows each student to learn more than one instrument and perform twice a year in the school concerts. By going to Catholic school, you grow closer to God as well as your classmates. Each grade has only one class so you become like brothers and sisters over the years.

Every Thursday at St. Raphael’s, Mass is celebrated with the whole school. I really enjoyed going to mass with my classmates because we celebrated the liturgy together. At Mass, I always sang with the school choir and that was one of my favorite things about the school. Sometimes at mass I would altar serve or be a lector. I also enjoyed religion class a lot because I got to learn more about Catholicism and how to grow closer to God.

In second grade I received my first Reconciliation and Communion at St. Raphael’s and currently I am preparing for my Confirmation.

St. Raphael’s provides so many opportunities for students to get involved, whether it is sports, choir, or just meeting new friends. It also presented me with the opportunity to go to President Obama’s Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Eighth grade was probably my best year at St. Raphael’s. My graduating class became so close that we were really sad to be going our separate ways.

I’m now at St. Petersburg Catholic High School and I really like it a lot. St. Raphael’s totally prepared us for the transition to high school. They guided us the whole way through the long process of applying, testing, and waiting.

St. Raphael’s great academics helped me get into all honors classes at SPC. I also had a lot of confidence going into high school that I probably wouldn’t have had without going to this school. I am involved in many activities at SPC like: I’m on the basketball and volleyball team, Excel club (which is a service club), and I am the secretary-treasurer of the freshman student government.

Without having gone to St. Raphael’s I probably wouldn’t be who I am today. The school has changed my life. Even though I love St. Pete Catholic, I would do anything to come back and spend another day with my graduating class of 2010 and remember all the memories I’ve made at this school. I now appreciate how much St. Raphael’s has done for me.

Thank you.

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