Woodlands Academy grads celebrated in ‘new way’ ceremony

The 36 members of Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Class of 2020 participated in a community-wide senior celebration via Zoom Meeting on June 11, the originally scheduled date for our 161st annual Commencement Ceremony. Highlights of this virtual alternative included: a nostalgia video made especially for the Class of 2020 marking their time on campus, a moment for each graduate to be spotlighted, and a special commissioning of the class.

This year’s “new normal” routine also provided opportunities for seniors and their parents to visit the school to have photos taken in cap and gown, pick up honors awards, and special surprises. These on-campus visits were carefully orchestrated to adhere to all appropriate social distancing guidelines.

On August 6, the Woodlands Academy community hopefully will gather for an in-person graduation ceremony – subject, of course, to any COVID-19 guidelines that may be in effect at the time.

Meanwhile, it’s been announced that the 36 members of the Woodlands Academy Class of 2020 are heading off to college this fall having earned more than 100 scholarships with a total value exceeding $1 million.

“I am so proud of these very motivated, talented young women who worked so hard on their college and scholarship application processes,” Mike Ford, Woodlands Academy college counselor, said. “This demonstrated dedication to their futures is a true testament to their families as well as the education and preparation they received here at Woodlands.”

Outstanding individual achievements include the prestigious Posse Scholarship awarded to Miracle Tapia, which was announced at the June 10 virtual Honors Assembly. The Posse Foundation identifies recruits and trains students with extraordinary leadership potential. Less than 7 percent of the students nominated nationwide are chosen as recipients of the four-year, full tuition scholarships from Posse’s partner colleges. Selection follows a rigorous application and interview process as well as a six-month seminar.

This is in addition to Elizabeth Coughlin’s previously announced National Merit AbbVie Inc. Scholarship awarded by the North Chicago-based pharmaceutical company. She was one of about 1,000 winners of corporate-sponsored scholarships financed by more than 150 companies and business organizations. Recipients were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level of the 65th annual National Merit Scholarship Program competition and met eligibility requirements set by the sponsors of their scholarships.

Woodlands Academy’s comprehensive College Counseling program is an important reason why –year after year – 100 percent of its graduates are accepted into college, including some of the most prestigious schools in the country, as well as the impressive scholarship successes this year’s total represents. The program features Woodlands’ College Skills class in which the instructor guides students through the college process both junior and senior years in a classroom setting. For example, each student works with the college counselor to develop her own individualized testing plan for the ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests and TOEFL.