2017 Commencement Exercises

 

The President, Board of Directors, Principal, Faculty and Graduating Class
of the Academy of Notre Dame
cordially invite you to the 
2017 Commencement Exercises
Saturday, the third of June,
two thousand and seventeen at
eleven o'clock in the morning on
campus at 180 Middlesex Road, Tyngsboro, MA.

 

 

Senior Profiles

The following list of seniors is not complete as profiles are still being compiled. We will update this page as more become available. 

Jacqueline Michelle Bethea

By Marketing Student Alexis Kirkland

Jacqueline Michelle Bethea of Hudson, NH, will be attending Pace University, the Pleasantville campus in the fall and will be studying communications, marketing and advertising.

During her years at the Academy, Jackie has been the director of the Drama Guild during her senior year and the Social Media Correspondent of the Drama Guild her junior year. Additionally, she has been involved in A Capella, NDance, NDALDA, NHS, and the marketing program. She has also served as the the Swim Team manager.

Jackie had the honor of receiving the Bradley Scholarship. She consistently volunteers throughout the NDA community and works on projects around her hometown. Jackie said, “I think my biggest challenge was developmental.” She said she has grown a lot during her years at the Academy, she has become more mature and she has learned to be more confident in her capabilities and talents. She said, “I have learned to better assert myself and I have been able to hone my own creativity in ways that I never thought I would.” She concluded by saying that it took a lot of effort to get to where she is today but she is grateful for the support and encouragement she received along the way.

Jackie said that her greatest personal achievement lies with her simplest memories at the Academy. She will always remember the satisfaction of getting an “A” that she strived for. Jackie said, “I’ll always feel content with the amazing friends I’ve met who have carried me through my worst. I’ll always remember the standing ovations, the final bows, and the tears. It’s been a good four years.”

She made a point to say that she will never forget the stress, despair and overwhelming pride that came with directing a student written play for the first time ever. She concluded by saying, “I won’t forget how this environment pushed me to be my best self.”

Radhika Shreyas Bhagat

By Marketing Student Alexis Kirkland

Radhika Bhagat of Lowell is one two Academy students to receive the prestigious Boston University Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship this year.  She became a Student Council representative her junior year and was elected to the position of secretary her senior year. She is the editor-in-chief for Damies Digest, the student newspaper, and is a member of the National Honor Society. She has also been involved in the 1804 Society all four years. Radhika also earned the Distinguished Senior of the Month Award in September 2016.

According to Radhika her greatest challenge has been time management. “At first, it was hard to manage school life (academics and extracurricular activities) and my life outside of school. I started to feel like I was giving importance to one over the other, but I was soon able to effectively manage my time with the help of family and friends.” Outside of the Academy, she volunteers at Lowell General Hospital.

Radhika says the Academy has helped her become a more open and approachable person and fostered her skills as a leader. “NDA is a community that has helped me grow in many ways and has prepared me for overcoming challenges and obstacles that I will face as I move on to the next stage of my life.”

Bhagat will attend Boston University in the fall and hopes to study law, delving into political science and the U.S. Government.

Melanie Mai Boo

By Marketing Student Alexis Kirkland

Melanie Mai Boo of Lowell will study communications, media and marketing at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Melanie has held many leadership positions at the Academy including being the Sophomore Class Secretary, and 1804 Society Ambassador, International Thespian Society Troupe 77595,  Drama Guild Board and an NDA Drama Guild Member. She has also been involved in many clubs, including, the newspaper, yearbook committee, literary magazine and Book club. Melanie played on the basketball team and ran for the track team. She was a student council officer sophomore year. Melanie is also active in her community, she dances with a group called Adam project and she volunteers at the Lowell Humane Society. To boot she is an intern with a clothing company called Cultural Shock Apparel.

 

Melanie’s greatest challenge was becoming confident in herself. Her greatest personal achievement was conquering her leadership roles and proving to herself that she was capable of those positions. Melanie described the Academy as, “a place of growth and potential.” It is where she not only learned about who she is as a person, but how she could change for the better in such an influential environment. Melanie gave some advice to the Juniors, “Plan ahead, take each day one day at a time and don’t wait till the last minute to finish your college application or anything involving the process. Melanie said she will definitely remember her friends and how close the senior class got this year.

Gráinne Rachael Casey

By Marketing Student Angie Nguyen

Gráinne Casey of Pepperell will be majoring in computer science when she starts classes at Northeastern University in the fall. A natural leader, she has served as Student Council representative all four years at the Academy and was elected president this year. She is a member of the Cross Country team and became captain in her senior year. Gráinne is a familiar face around the school, as she is involved in numerous clubs and activities such as Damies Digest (student newspaper), Book Club, Drama Guild, Technology Club, Track & Field, Indoor Track, and Cross Country. Outside of the Academy, Gráinne continues to busy herself with activities like robotics, programming, ice hockey, and violin. A member of the French Honor Society, National Honor Society, and Student Council, Gráinne is no stranger to a challenge. However, she believes her greatest challenge at the Academy has been taking on numerous roles of leadership despite her quiet personality.

 

Kaylen Chou

By Marketing Student Eunji Choi

Kaylen Chou of Nashua, NH, has been an active member of the Academy taking part in the Yearbook Committee, 1804 Society, A Cappella, Glee Club, and Drama Guild. Achieving honors for Academic Excellence in Algebra II and New Testament, Kaylen says the NDA has been a special place for her.  “The Academy is like a second home to me. Over the years, the school becomes not only a community, but a family.” Kaylen also volunteers at her family’s food both during the Lowell Folk Festivals.

In September, Kaylen will attend the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with a major of Pharm D.

 

Carsyn Fisher

By Marketing Student Eunji Choi

During her years at the Academy, Carsyn Fisher of Ayer has been involved in the Diversity Club, 1804 Society, and many other student groups. She was a Student Council officer, Model UN co-president, Cross Country co-captain, and Damies Digest editor.  Carsyn is also a member of National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society.  As a student athlete, she has participated in Cross Country, Indoor Track, Ice Hockey, and Track & Field.  

Outside of school Carsyn has been active as a member of New Hampshire Campaign Volunteer, Iskwelahang Pilipino (Filipino cultural school), Market Basket cashier, Athena Mentoring Program for Gender Empowerment at Harvard University, Fostering Racial Justice Group, Groton Public Library Young Adult Advisory Council, and Lowell Folk Festival.  Her hard work has been recognized with many distinctions at Model UN conferences and she is also a published poet in the American Library of Poetry’s 2016 compilation of best poems, Accomplished.  

Carsyn says NDA has been her second home for the last thirteen years. “The memories I have made here and the personal growth I have experienced here are things that I will treasure for the rest of my life.  I will never be able to express my gratitude to the Academy for providing a safe space to grow up, challenge myself, and explore the world around me. The last four years here have been especially transformational.  They were sometimes messy and chaotic, but I was able to find joy in every part of it.  The sense of community you find here at NDA is unlike anywhere else.”  

Carsyn will attend Fordham University with a major in International Relations in the fall.

 

Amanda Keefe

By Marketing Student Eunji Choi

Amanda Keefe of Westford is a thirteen-year student here at the Academy who says learning to play piano is one of her greatest achievements during her years at the Academy. One of her greatest challenges has been successfully balancing her academic work while maintaining a part-time job.

“NDA has been a second home to me for 13 years.” Her advice to members of the junior class on their upcoming senior year, “Save up, Senior year is expensive.”

Amanda will attend Rivier University in the fall where she will major in Elementary Education.

Emily Keefe

By Marketing Student Grace O’Connell

Emily Keefe of Westford enjoys being involved with the Drama Guild where she serves as vice president, and the Muse, a student-run art magazine, where she serves as president. She also loves to be creative when it comes to animation and illustration.

The Academy has transformed Emily into a leader, a role in which she never saw herself. She explains that being a part of the Drama Guild has impacted her life in a huge way and turned her love for drama into a passion, a passion that will continue to grow wherever she finds herself in the future.

One of Emily’ great achievements while at the Academy is the friendships she has made. Her friends and growing her friendship through the experiences and opportunities that have been afforded at the Academy are among the most important things she values. Emily credits an Academy teacher for steering her towards her career goal. “I would have never thought that pursuing art as a career would be possible without Mrs. Shaw, the upper-school art teacher, who was a phenomenal teacher to me. Because I went to NDA, I feel that I have been unified with my class and progressed into the artist I wish to be.”

Emily’s advice to the rising class of 2018 is to let things unfold as they will. “Just relax, breathe; you're going to be fine. I remember stressing out about college acceptance, but it's all going to turn out fine.”

Emily will attend the New Hampshire Institute of Art in the fall.

Hannah Kirstel

By Marketing Student Grace O’Connell

Hannah Kirstel of Chelmsford enjoys being a part of the Academy’s Glee Club, A Capella Club, and Guitar Club. “Being a part of all the music clubs at NDA will definitely stay with me outside of school because it's something I want to continue in my future. I've learned how to communicate with the people around me in the group, and I've acquired new skills surrounding my musicality.”

Hannah found many activities and people within the Academy’s community which made her feel welcomed and helped encourage her to become the woman she is today. She considers her growth as a student socially and academically on of her greatest achievements. “I challenged myself during my years to study hard no matter the obstacles. I've also grown socially by meeting new people and stepping outside of my comfort zone as much as possible.”

For Hannah, the Academy means opportunity. Here she has been able to take the courses she was most passionate about and was able to express those passions in the real world through study abroad trips to Germany and Switzerland. She believes that since the Academy is a smaller school, students are able to express their talents and abilities in a more personal way. The close relationships she has developed with her teachers and the guidance counselors have allowed her to reach her full potential.

Hannah’s advice for upcoming seniors is to take everything day by day and to try to make the best of every moment. “You'll get into college, so don't freak out. It's the last year to make high school memories, don't take it for granted because it does go by fast. Also, don't forget to keep working hard, because it's always important to finish strong.”

Hannah will study International Business and Musical Theatre at Emmanuel College in the fall.

Brooke Krehbiel

By Marketing Student Grace O’Connell

Brooke Krehbiel of Lowell enjoys being involved with the Upper School community taking part in Model United Nations and Varsity Basketball. She also serves as the National Honor Society co-president and has worked hard to earn first honors honor roll throughout junior year and principal's list throughout senior year. Outside of school, Brooke spends her time teaching Sunday School and acts as a personal care associate.

Brooke is proud of the strong community she grew up with and became a part of here at the Academy. She will remember the Veteran’s Day event she helped plan with the National Honor Society and taking part in pep rally.

Brooke hopes to study biology and pre-med in college. She will attend Macalester College in the fall.

Priya Kumari

By Marketing Student Grace Manley

Priya Kumari of Tyngsboro is one two Academy students to receive the prestigious Boston University Cardinal Medeiros Scholarship this year.  Priya will be studying business administration and management next year with a concentration in finance and computer science after she finishes her time as the Class of 2017 Salutatorian. Throughout her years at the Academy, Priya has been involved with Student Council, Damie’s Digest, 1804 Society, National Honor Society, French Honor Society and Amnesty International as well as being on the principals list honor rolls for all four years.  In her spare time, Priya volunteers at Shishu Bharati, a Sunday school teaching Indian culture and basic learning skills to children.  Priya also has a passion for dancing - both Indian classical and folk dancing. Priya has preserved and met the challenges posed by her course workload with fortitude.  Whether it is the supportive community, friends that she has made or the impactful relationships with the teachers at the Academy, Priya will always remember her high school years. 

Olivia Lee

By Marketing Student Grace Manley

Olivia Lee of Bedford will be pursuing the field of psychology as she begins her college career next year. Throughout her years at the Academy, Olivia has been involved with Glee Club, Amnesty International and Mission and Ministry. Olivia has also been awarded with several academic awards, including: Academic Excellence for All Subjects, The Lise Meitner award for Best in Honors Physical Science, Scholarship Award for Academics from Clarkson University and Exemplary Peer Support Award. She is also a member of the National Spanish Society.

Although her junior year was a challenge, she says that was the year that her classes revealed her true interests such as writing and critical thinking skills. Since Olivia’s first language is not English, Olivia’s biggest accomplishment in her years at the Academy has been maintaining good grades in both English and Spanish. Olivia has learned these languages so she can do more global work and communicate effectively with all types of people.

As an international program student, Olivia says people were as welcoming and respectful to her culture and herself as a person. This kindness helped Olivia adapt into a new culture and school. Olivia’s advice on personal success is to dedicate five to ten minutes a day to thinking about who you are, what you want for your future, and your relationships with other people. She says this practice will help students to better adapt into a new environment when heading off to college.

Juliette Lessard

By Marketing Student Grace Manley

Juliette Lessard of Tyngsboro (formerly of Montreal, Quebec) will be attending the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec) next fall. She will be majoring in marketing with a minor in international business.

While attending the Academy, Juliette has been involved as a student ambassador, Drama Guild, Model UN and 1804 Society. Along with these clubs, Juliette has been involved with the indoor track team, outdoor track team, tennis and soccer teams. She is also a member of the French National Honor Society.

While a student at the Academy, Juliette has undertaken many volunteering opportunities such as the Lowell Humane Society and managed part-time work responsibilities. Despite feeling overwhelmed at times she never gave up and says the experienced has taught her about time-management and how to be more organized. “NDA has been a place where I was truly able to find myself, my passions, and discover my goals, and for that I am thankful,” says Juliette.

Gabriela Llanos

By Marketing Student Isabel Roy

Gabriela (Gabby) Llanos of Dracut will be attending the University of Central Florida this coming fall with a scholarship that will be covering her attendance. Gabby has chosen to major in criminal justice.

Throughout the years at the academy, Gabby has held many leadership roles such as captain of the soccer team, class president both her junior and senior year, a student council representative her freshman and sophomore year, and was part of the Mission & Ministry Core Team as retreat coordinator her junior year. Gabby has been very involved in the school community and has participated in many sports and clubs such as soccer, basketball, softball, Model UN, National Honor Society, among others. When Gabby looks back on NDA, her words are, “This school has given me so much. I’ve gained an advantage academically; I’ve gained mentors from my teachers and coaches; I’ve gained amazing friends who I will remember forever; and I’ve gained a community and support system I know I can count on for the rest of my life.”

Fiona Martin

By Marketing Student Isabel Roy

Fiona Martin of Andover will be attending Merrimack College in the fall and plans to major in elementary education. Fiona is a very well rounded student excelling at everything from being the National Honor Society co-president to being the varsity basketball team co-captain - nothing seems to stand in her way. 

Fiona is a three season athlete participating in volleyball, basketball, and spring track and field. Fiona has also received many rewards for her achievements, such as JV volleyball coach’s award, JV basketball coach’s award, track and field coach’s award and MIAA sportsmanship award, varsity volleyball co-MVP and Distinguished Senior for December 2016.

Fiona believes that the teachers at the Academy pushed her to reach her fullest potential and that is one of the many reasons why she has thrived in high school. She says the Academy has shaped her into the woman she is today.           

“I know you’ll see that post on social media that says how quickly senior year goes by and to cherish every second of it because it’s a year full of lasts, but don’t take that too seriously,” says Fiona as she shares some heartfelt advice with underclassmen. “Senior year has definitely gone by very quickly, but you have worked so hard to reach this point; don’t be too sad about how fast the end of the year is approaching. When you have free time during DLT, go talk to a teacher you really like about life in general. It may not seem like some teachers understand the things you’re going through, but they really do and they want to help in any way they can. By just relaxing sometimes and going to talk to teachers casually, I have made strong connections with them. Don't be afraid to do the same.”

Kayla Massicott

By Marketing Student Kathryn Tarantino

Kayla Massicott of Carlisle has engaged in the Academy’s community by participating in the 1804 Society, the Model UN Club, and additional class committees. Kayla values service and has helped her community through Academy efforts and those of her own initiative by serving at the Lowell Humane Society and by attending the Jamaica service trip. She reflected, “Both of these activities helped me figure out what my passions were, and who I wanted to be.” In fact, in one of the highlights of her journey at the Academy has been spending time with the children at Jamaica during recent mission trips.

“The teachers are definitely doing their job by pushing us,” says Kayla. “I am very grateful for that because it has helped me reach my potential and recognize that I am capable of a lot more than I thought I was.” Her hard work paid off by earning a scholarship to Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she will major in biology.

For the rising class of 2018, she advises, “Be sure to get your essay done, and college applications in early. Also, really think about what YOU want, not your parents! Find a college that is your dream college, because it is out there.”

 

Amaya Murguia

Amaya Murguia of Hollis, NH, earned the distinction of becoming the top ranked student in the Class of 2017. As the class Valedictorian, Murguia will deliver an address to her fellow graduates during the commencement exercises on June 3rd. Her time at the Academy has been marked by considerable academic achievements including National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation in 2016, AP Scholar with Honor in 2016, Marie Curie Award for Best in Honors Chemistry and Best Position Paper at the 2015 Dartmouth Model United Nations Conference.  

Representing the Academy at both the 2015 Massachusetts HOBY Youth Leadership Seminar and 2014 Empowering Girls Conference are among the activities that have contributed to her leadership experience.

Murguia has been class secretary and co-president of Model UN for the past two years. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. For extracurricular activities at the Academy she is involved in Campus Ministry and Damies Digest (newspaper).

She was thrilled to receive early acceptance to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where she will be a student in the College of Engineering. A well-rounded student with broad interests that range from math and science to human rights and dance, Amaya says she was drawn to Cornell because of its academic diversity. “I decided to apply to Cornell because I wanted to study engineering, but I did not want to study at a technology school, where most people major in science or engineering.  I wanted to be in a more diverse environment, where I could be exposed to the social sciences and the liberal arts as well as math and science.  Cornell has a great College of Engineering, but also has multiple other schools and colleges where I could take classes and even possibly minor in other fields.”

Brigit O’Dwyer

By Marketing Student Kathryn Tarantino

Brigit O’Dwyer of Pelham, NH, is involved in many clubs and organizations at the Academy. She is currently a stage manager for the Drama Guild and serves as vice president of the MUSE, a student run newspaper. Her activity in both organizations has spanned all four years. Outside of school, Brigit is dedicated to service and has volunteered for cancer runs and Old Home Day.

Brigit has learned a lot from her time at Academy, and her experiences will stay with her forever. “I'll remember the experiences I had. The ones that taught me life lessons, and the ones that showed me that there is kindness in the world. I'll remember the people most of all. How they treated me and others.”

Brigit will be attending Middlesex Community College and then will attend a four year college. She will be going into the medical field, starting first with paramedic work, and then ER nursing, hoping to one day become a doctor.

Emily Paquette

By Marketing Student Keely Ford

Emily Paquette of Tyngsboro has called the Academy her home for the past 13 years. During these 13 years she has helped her community by being a part of the liturgy committee, senior retreat committee, social committee,  and as an Camp NDA counselor. She has honed her leadership skills as a service coordinator on the Mission and Ministry Core Team, as secretary and treasurer for Model UN, and as class president. Outside of the Academy, Emily prides herself on working various jobs, as well as teaching Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes. 

As an athlete, she has big shoes to fill. She is also an 11-season varsity runner who has qualified for state competition numerous times and was the CAC two-mile champion in 2016. She also participated in volleyball, cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track during her high school career.

Emily heads off to the University of New Hampshire in the fall where she plans to continue her education in either sport biology or athletic training.

For years, Emily has been an active participant in the Academy’s community and she says, “This school has been the foundation for my education, social circle, faith and development as a young woman.”

Lastly, if she could give a few pieces of advice to the underclassmen it would be “Love your friends, don't waste your senior and junior years, go have fun, and also pick a school that you want, because YOU want it.”

Samantha Phillips

By Marketing Student Keely Ford

Samantha Phillips of Dracut has shared her gift of theater and music while attending the Academy. After three years as a member of the Drama Guild, this year she served as president for the organization. Samantha has also been a part of Glee Club, National Honor Society, Blue & Gold Society, and 1804 Society. She is proud of her efforts in the classroom that have consistently earned herself a spot on the President List.

She says she will remember the Drama Guild and how much it has transformed her over the years. Outside of school, she has spent her time volunteering at Lowell General Hospital.

Next year Samantha will continue her studies at the University of Connecticut studying physiology and neurobiology.

Cassandra Valin

By Marketing Student Nicole Fina

Cassandra Valin of Wilton, NH, will study pre-veterinary at Berry College in Georgia in the fall. She has been very involved here at the Academy. She is treasurer of the National Honor Society and has participated in cross country, indoor track, and track & field. She also volunteers on weekends at the Greater Nashua Humane Society. Her greatest personal achievement as a 12-season athlete, has been being able to juggle academics and athletics.

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