Woodlands Academy graduation: ‘I see women who shine’

Members of Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Class of 2022 received their diplomas during the 163rd Graduation Ceremony held June 2 in the school’s chapel.

Classmates selected senior Charlotte Sparks to address the assembly on behalf of the graduating class. She began by reflecting on some of the unique issues that came to mind as they entered an all-girls high school. For example, would they miss some necessary high school experiences? “I’m happy to answer that question with a no,” Sparks said. “Although we didn’t realize that from the start, teachers, staff and administration created the best environment that I know no other school would be able to achieve. … The Sacred Heart mission and its five goals have given us the tools and purpose to live meaningful lives in service to others.”

English teacher Erin Brysiewicz was chosen by students to be the ceremony’s faculty speaker. “When I look at you, I see women who shine,” she said. “Women who encourage one another, women with amazing talents, who speak out when you see something that isn’t right and follow through. Women who are brilliant and empathetic, enthusiastic and fearless.” 

Brysiewicz said she feels lucky to have worked with her students during the past two COVID-19-impacted school years. “And even though, for some of you, I have only seen your full faces a few times, I see who you are. You, each one of you, are shining brightly,” she added.

Members of Woodlands Academy’s Class of 2022 departed their graduation ceremony en route to various enriching futures. A total of 120 institutions worldwide accepted college admission applications they submitted – from nearby ones such as University of Chicago, Notre Dame and Northwestern University to those further away, including nine other Big 10 schools, University of Glasgow, American University, The George Washington University, William and Mary, Drake University, Tulane University, and Wake Forest University.

“I am so proud of these very motivated, talented young women who worked so hard on their college and scholarship applications,” Jessica Rosenberg, Woodlands’ director of college counseling, 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.”

Woodlands Academy’s comprehensive College Counseling program is an important reason –year after year – 100 percent of its graduates are accepted into college, including some of the most prestigious schools. The program features Woodlands’ unique College Skills class in which the director of college counseling guides students through the college process both junior and senior years in a classroom setting. It is an example of how Woodlands Academy provides the support students and their parents need in the competitive college-selection process.