Times Worth Celebrating

Several people have faulted me for not celebrating enough.  When our school achieves a goal – reaching an average of 1400 on SATs for our senior class, enrolling 125 freshmen, securing enough jobs, or receiving a grant we’ve been hoping for – my tendency, according to a recent “360 degree” review from the staff, is to smile, say “great job,” and then get the group focused on the next goal.

As I was putting my children to bed the other night, our principal, Fr. Jose Medina, texted me:  “Please call immediately. Very, very important!”  I thought the worst and called immediately.  The urgent matter was thankfully good news.  He shouted, “Madeline Sención was accepted to MIT and Cornell!”

Madeline has always been a very strong student.  She lives in Roslindale with her parents, who were both born in the Dominican Republic.  Her older sister attended our school and is now a student at the New England Institute of Art.  Madeline went to Blessed Sacrament School in Jamaica Plain until fourth grade when the school closed, and she later graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic school that is also in J.P.

Madeline’s freshman year placement was a law firm, Hanify & King, and for the past three years she’s worked at State Street Bank.  “I like the experience we get working,” she told me. “It’s different than everywhere else.” She likes the smallest aspects of Cristo Rey, and her favorite class is Calculus, which is taught by a young, energetic second-year teacher named Rebeca Enrique.

I congratulated Fr. Jose on Madeline’s acceptances, finished putting my kids to bed, and then called him back. “OK, what are we going to do to celebrate?”

Prior to the start of our professional development day last Friday, we decided to toast ourselves and celebrate Madeline’s achievement.  Why celebrate? Well, Madeline is a member of the first class of students that took part in our redesigned freshmen curriculum with double block classes and after-school remediation of basic skills.  She came to Cristo Rey with enormous potential, and that potential was nurtured by our extraordinary faculty and staff.

On May 1st, we’re going to celebrate the achievements of our top scholars with our Second Annual Academic Signing Day.  The doors open at 6:00 p.m. and all are welcome.  That evening, our top five scholars will have three hats from potential colleges in front of them, and they will choose one to indicate where they are going to college in the fall.

Yep, we’re turning around the traditional signing day for high school athletes and emphasizing the most important part of choosing a college – the education.  Our Academic Signing Day not only celebrates the top five students, but the work and support of every staff member, corporate sponsor, and donor who played a role in the success of Madeline Sención and her classmates.

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 1st at 6:00 p.m. here at 100 Savin Hill Avenue and join us in a celebration of some of Boston’s most wonderful young people.

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