Ursuline News

Seniors Reflect on Their Ursuline Experience

With Senior Picture Day on April 14, and the Class of 2023 Graduation around the corner, Kate Ryan, Avery Dupre, Tess Hovivian, Abigail Sanders, and Lizzie Buckley look back and reflect on the past four years of their Ursuline experience.

Many of their favorite memories included starting their senior year off at Senior Community Days, an overnight retreat at Lakeview before the school year began.

“It was filled with so many laughs,” said Avery. “Going into senior year on such a high note definitely set the tone for the year.”

“We had a lot of fun,” said Theresa. “It was a great bonding experience with the senior class, and it was one of the first moments it started to click that this was my least year with them.”

Lizzie agrees, “It helped begin the year in a fun and positive way and made everyone excited about spending our final year as Ursuline sisters together.”

As they head off to college next year, they also looked back on their teachers and classes and how those experiences inspired their career paths.

Mr. Braun’s AP Calculus AB class really reaffirmed that I wanted to do something in the STEM field,” said Kate. “I enjoyed his engaging teaching style and the different activities we did in class.”

She figured out that she enjoyed using different steps to solve problems and pulling knowledge from different sources to find an answer.

Similarly, Avery’s Physics and Chemistry classes challenged her critical thinking and she grew eager to piece together complicated problems. She also credits her English III Honors teacher, Ms. Davies, who led her to exploring careers that genuinely excite her.

“She values working one-on-one with us and her passion and love for her job was evident to all of us,” she said. “It allowed me to realize that I wanted to have that same impact on others through my excitement and care for my job.”

As for Abigail, Career Day inspired her future.

“I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do, but after hearing a few women talk about their experience in advertising and marketing, it became clear that this is what I wanted to do with my life,” she said.

And as Lizzie prepares for her college education, she thanks her Spanish teacher, Senora Casco, for inspiring her.

“She’s so passionate about sharing her native language and culture to her students, which instilled a desire and interest in me to pursue the Spanish language,” she said.

Kate, Avery, Tess, Abigail, and Lizzie, have all experienced many transformative moments – COVID-19, a tornado, ice storms, and major campus renovations, for example – at Ursuline over the last four years, which has shaped them as students.

“Although there have been many challenges throughout my high school career that were outside of my control, they have all made me stronger and more confident in myself,” said Kate.

“The last four years have felt like a rollercoaster,” said Avery. “But I learned to find stability by turning to the incredible people Ursuline surrounded me with. I was pushed out of my comfort zone, which challenged me to step up as a student leader.”

“I learned to advocate for myself,” said Tess. “I also learned how to be independent and responsible.”

They also reflected on how those moments have shaped Ursuline and its future. In terms of COVID-19, it was a period of adaptation.

“Microsoft Teams became central to our online learning,” said Theresa. “Now, I have witnessed how Teams have begun to supplement in-person learning, introducing students and teachers to the numerous resources available online. I can see Ursuline building off this in the future, enhancing education.”

And renovations and construction on campus have provided numerous opportunities as well. As an engineering student, Lizzie has had access to a Fabrication Lab with every resource she needs to innovate and ideate.

“I have created a poster stand, a cardboard chair, a 3D printed coffee caddy, and practiced using Arduino circuits,” she said. “I know that the future of Ursuline students is unlimited because of their access to new technology, science and engineering resources, collaborative workspaces, and so much more.”

Tess is thankful for the new areas on campus which have provided more spaces to sit in a group or individually to do work.

“All the new classroom and study sections are very convenient,” she said.

As soon to be alumnae, they all look forward to keeping in touch with friends and teachers.

Lizzie, a member of the Student Alumnae Association (SAA) has seen firsthand how important it is to stay connected with Ursuline and fellow alumnae.

“After I graduate, I plan on staying involved by attending alumnae events and watching my former Rangerettes teammates perform,” she said.

Avery sees Ursuline remaining a part of her life through the values of Serviam (to serve).

“I will strive to exhibit sisterhood, inclusiveness, and leadership the rest of my life,” she said. “I am already looking forward to being able to give back to the community that has changed my life these past four years.”

“I can’t believe that my four years at Ursuline have gone by this fast,” said Tess. “I am thankful for the amazing journey I had. The friendships and lessons will stick with me forever.”