To the editor:
After graduating from Newark High School (this summer), I was reflecting on my first 13 years of education. I have always known that my classmates and I have been blessed with outstanding teachers throughout elementary, middle and high school, but it has only recently become truly clear how great our fortune has been. Most remarkably, the teachers who guided my peers and me at St. Michael School provided us with the solid moral values, scholastic knowledge and sense of self-discipline that are crucial for success.
Proof the lasting impressions made by St. Michael’s staff members is evident among the SMS alumni who graduated from local high schools this year. Those staff members mentored the fourth-ranked Lyons graduating senior, Midlakes High School’s salutatorian and six of Newark High School’s top eight 2006 graduates — including the valedictorian and salutatorian — as well as numerous other accomplished students. These and other St. Michael’s alumni have won top academic honors — including generous scholarships to Clarkson University, the University of Rochester and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — have been accepted at such prestigious universities as Notre Dame and Chapel Hill and have proven the integrity of their collective character through active church involvement and diligent volunteer work.
I think I speak for several of my St. Michael’s classmates when I attribute much of our success to the top-notch academic and religious foundation afforded by our teachers. They have, with proficiency and consistent discipline, selflessly devoted decades of their careers to enriching their students’ lives. And so I thank Mrs. Loson, Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Ginder, Mrs. Hinkle, Mrs. DeCann, Mr. Owens, Mr. Lenhart and Mrs. DeCook for your gift of teaching. Your lessons, scholastic and otherwise, have been invaluable.