|From left: The 2022 DHS award recipients included Rose O’Keeffe (Matthew 25 Award), Ben Lozano (Partnership Award), Josie Balistreri (Truth Award), Noel Morales (Justice Award), Saron Weldemariam (Compassion Award), and Parris Saffold (Community Award).|
DHS Graduation: Together Again
by Nate Friday, Campus Minister at Dominican High School
The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!
After two years of holding our commencement ceremony in an outdoor tent with only the graduates and their immediate families in attendance, the James and Virginia Wheeler Auditorium at Dominican High School (DHS), Whitefish Bay, WI, was packed this year in celebration of the class of 2022. The DHS community was elated to return to our beautiful auditorium where cheers, applause, and joy radiated from the balcony to the stage in honor of our graduates. The sentiment shared by everyone was how great it felt to be together again as a family!
The class of 2022 had a very unique four-year journey, which included an abrupt transition to virtual learning for the final weeks of their sophomore year; a return to the classroom as juniors but with a strong emphasis placed on social distancing throughout the entire school year; and, finally, a senior year that had some semblance of the typical DHS experience. Through it all, what remained steady within the entire DHS community was our focus on faith and our dedication to living out the Sinsinawa Dominican five core values of truth,
justice, community, compassion, and partnership.
A highlight of our commencement ceremony each year is the announcement of the Sinsinawa Core Value Award recipients. These recipients are chosen by their peers, and the awards are given to the seniors who best demonstrate the qualities of each Sinsinawa value. During the presentation of the awards, four or five peer comments are shared prior to each recipient being named. Comments this year included the following:
|•||“This student is brilliant but matches her intellect with the kindest of souls. This student uses what they have learned to better the DHS community.”|
|•||“Whether through campus ministry, theater, work, in class, or just with friends, this student works tirelessly to expand his understanding of other’s point of view and is caring and advocates for their needs.”|
|•||“This student has made me a better student, a better athlete, and a better Christian.”|
|•||“This student is a listener, someone who helps everyone feel comfortable and who deeply and genuinely cares about the well-being of others.”|
Alongside the Sinsinawa Core Value Awards, the final award presented at graduation is the Matthew 25 Award, which is given to the student who truly lived the Gospel during their four years at DHS—giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, and service to others. Like the value awards, the Matthew 25 Award recipient is also selected by the senior class.
The Class of 2022 continued to carry out the Sinsinawa core values in spite of the unique and challenging experiences they faced during their four years of high school. Our seniors are a beautiful example of what it means to be a people of faith—
a family of faith—facing challenges together.