Woodlands Academy celebrates its junior class

Junior Ring Ceremony, one of the most significant days of a girl’s time at Woodlands Academy, marks the turning point in a student’s time at a Sacred Heart school. The class rings and Philippine Duchesne medals presented at the March 3 ceremony, planned and hosted by the senior class, are a reminder of the strong bond students feel within the walls of Woodlands Academy as well as the entire Sacred Heart community.

“This is the perfect time to reflect, remember and celebrate all that you have accomplished, all that you have learned, all the ways in which you have grown—both as individuals and also as a class,” senior Clara Bartusiak said in her opening remarks. “Look around. The girls sitting next to you have never left your side, and they never will. You will continue to grow and change and learn as you become young women, taking charge in our world today.”

Each ring bears the Sacred Heart symbol of two embracing hearts, which are signs of love, friendship and unity. Juniors wear it with the hearts facing in toward their hearts. Once they graduate, they turn the ring around, challenging students to reach out to others and share Sacred Heart traditions and values.

“The past three years have been building us up as mature young ladies who understand the meaning of being a part of the broader Sacred Heart community,” Aanya Sahu said in her acceptance speech on behalf of the junior class recipients. “Today, as we receive our rings, we must aim to pass on the same spirit of community that the seniors have passed onto us.  Let’s promise ourselves that we will not only do that as seniors, but also in our very own lives, long after we graduate Woodlands.”   

Based on Woodlands Academy tradition, each junior class member was tasked with asking family and friends to give her ring a turn. By the end of the day, each ring should have been turned at least 25 times – symbolic of the Class of ‘24 plus one extra turn for good luck.

The ceremony included a musical tribute to the junior class. “Have it All” was sung by seniors Ella Badger, Clara Bartusiak, Kennedy Cannon, Caroline Elliott, Sophia Gammel, Abby Pace, Frankie Werner and Nancy Zhang. There was also a message of motivation to juniors in the form of “What I’ve Found,” a poem of perseverance read by senior Eli Fortin.

A reception for members of the Class of 2024 and their families followed the ceremony.