Messages for the Class of 2023

One last chance to impart some wisdom, wish some luck, but, most importantly, say thank you to the class of 2023


Taylor Seager

Seniors sliding down the hill are able to enjoy one of their last official days on campus.

Daniel Kent, Reporter

With Seniors graduating in a mere four days, some educators and administrators were asked to share their fondest memories, best advice and what they will miss most about the Senior Class. The following is a compilation of their responses:

Religion teacher Mr. Cole Hepp said, “It’s been a joy to witness, and to be a part of the energy, passion and joy that the Senior Class brings to the classroom, to assemblies, to their sports (and) to their activities over the last three years that I’ve been here. I hope and pray that they can take that same passion and energy with them to their college campus, their next community, to their next place of work or wherever they’re heading.”


Spanish teacher Señora Kathy Darnell reflected on the class’s strengths saying, “I will miss their energy, their perspective and their leadership.”


Math teacher Mrs. Christine Koers advised seniors saying, “My best advice for the Senior Class is to go to class when you’re in college.”


Science teacher Mrs. Dawn Gilmore shared this sentiment, and she said, “Attending your classes is 80% of your success.” She also said that she will “miss seeing them every day”.


Religion teacher Mr. Nick Jamell ‘14 reminded seniors, “Don’t forget that the Cathedral family is still here for you after you graduate. A lot of great connections go on after (high school), but also coming back here, leading retreats, getting involved in other ways or just coming back to visit—we teachers always enjoy seeing old students and seeing what you are doing going forward.”


Science teacher and commencement speaker for the Senior Class Mr. Howie Fogel said, “The way they’ve always acted is that they’ve always been one giant group. Once they came back from Covid, they embraced every moment, (and) that’s my best memory of them. They’ve spent their whole time just trying to lift each other up.”


French teacher Mr. Gary Spurgin said, “Two things (I will miss) is their compassion and their ability to laugh when things are down or low.” He encouraged the class to “always treat people with dignity and respect—treat them fairly and right”.


Girls Basketball Coach Mrs. Lisa Finn advised, “Keep in touch with all the friends you made on the Hill and cherish those relationships.”


Spanish teacher Señora Marybeth Morris said, “I’ve loved these seniors. I hope they enjoy every moment, keep a positive attitude and know that they can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it. I’ll miss them a lot, but I love it when people email me when they’re in college or when they come back to visit.”


Director of Marketing Mrs. Grace Trahan-Rodecap said, “I will miss the Senior Class students who always stop by to visit me in the marketing office. Their visits are often the best part of my workday. They’re beautiful souls who are incredibly smart, kind and funny. My office won’t be the same without them.” She advised the class saying, “Don’t panic if you don’t have it all figured out yet. Honestly, no one does at 18 or 19. It’s okay to change your major or change schools. This is the time to explore, learn, grow and figure out who you want to be. Take your time and enjoy the journey. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.”


English teacher Ms. Irene Wilson said, “Take time for rest in the midst of your freshman year so that it’s not just bogged down into craziness and exhaustion from college,” she continued, “I will miss everything (about the Senior Class). I taught a lot of these seniors, and I’m going to miss their joy and laughter and ‘hellos’ in the hallway.”


English teacher Mrs. Kim Carver put it straight and said, “Don’t freak out.”


Campus Minister Mr. Dave Neeson commended the class for their perseverance, and he said, “There was a lot of pressure for the Senior Class to keep the traditions going after a chaotic couple of years here at Cathedral. Only having two years with the Senior Class, I have to say I was really grateful that they embraced the changes and the opportunities that Campus Ministry brought to them, and I hope that their faith remains a mainstay in their life when they’re taking the next steps into whatever they do, whether it’s professional or personal. I know that I’m going to truly miss them around campus.”


English teacher Mrs. Lizabeth Bradshaw had many pieces of advice, but her most pertinent ones were, as she said, “Go to church, call home, don’t sleep past 10 a.m. (and) get a library card.” She also said that she will most miss her daughter, Sally Bradshaw, who is graduating. 


Sr. Mary Ann Stewart said, “My biggest advice, especially for kids going to a big state school like Indiana (University) or Purdue (University), (is to) be sure that you advocate for yourself. You’re going to be one of thousands of people, so be sure that you get the right classes and any help you need.”


Latin teacher Ms. Lainey Adams implored the class to “remember to always be kind when meeting new people, especially when you realize that somebody thinks differently than you—you have to try to see it from their perspective. Most of the time they’re a person who has their own set of circumstances, and they can help challenge or change you.” Adams also said, “I will miss seeing their smiling faces and their rambunctious energy.”


Science teacher Mrs. Meg Ahnert said, “The advice I have for the Senior Class, as they go on to college and careers, is to stay true to who you are, and make sure that your beliefs and values are upheld as you go through your ventures,” she continued, “I’m going to miss the positive presence that they have on campus and the energy that they brought.”


Vice President for Community Relations and Diversity Mr. Ken Barlow ‘82 said, “Never give up and to remember to give back.” He also noted that he is close with many students in the class, and he said, “I’m going to miss all of them. I’m hoping they come back, and I’m sure they will come back to say, ‘hello’.”


Theater Director Mrs. Jordan Fox said, “I will definitely miss the seniors who are in my theater and dance department because they are extremely passionate and talented.”


Vice Principal of Academic Support Mr. Brett Blondi said, “What you put in to whatever (you do) is what you’ll get out of it,” he continued, “They were a wonderful class to work with, (and) I’ll miss all of the interactions that I’ve had with them. They helped me grow, and I think that they left a mark on Cathedral that everyone will always remember.” 


Counselor Beth Brandes said, “My advice for the Class of 2023 would be to live in the present.” 


Director of Philanthropic Engagement Mrs. Jean Smith ‘97 said, “Find your way back to the Hill.” She also noted that she will miss her daughter, Kamryn Smith, who is graduating.


Academic Operations Manager Mrs. Shannon Braun said, “We love you Class of 2023, go leave your mark on the world; find and follow what you’re passionate about and follow your dreams,” she continued, “Never lose your faith (because) it will carry you through the most difficult times. Work hard—even when you want to give up; it will be all worth it in the end. Check (in) with your parents often and make them proud, they will worry about you, (and) never forget that your Irish Family is always in your corner.”


President Dr. Bridges reflected on the impact of many members of the Class of 2023, and he wrote in an email, “These ’Blue Lanyard’ seniors are especially near and dear to my heart, as this is the class of my youngest son, Sammy. I also go waaaay back with Jackson Edwards, Hunter Browning, Jacob Brey as I coached them in 6th grade hoops. I remember getting a fun selfie with Holy Cross Award winners Grace and Gabe Bragg. Also, Antonio Arroyo, Grant Shelton, Zach Miller, Quinn McClure, Luke Pehlman, Ben Dravis, Jake Cerar and Andrew Trobridge from their St. Simon days. And Kate the Great Phillips and Caiti Barthel, Kailie Swart and Gabi Blamey as well. Of course, once high school began, we all became a part of the Cathedral family, and I met large and extra-talented classmates Xavier Booker, Jake Davis, David Ayers, Jaron Tibbs, Kendrick Gilbert, Sincere Germany and Brennan Wooten. I will remember Samaya, Blair and Diamond and their friendliness, RJ and DJ always talking/arguing with each other about being twins, and Sterling Reyes, my birthday buddy; Brody winning the lip sync contest as a shark/Spongebob, and Zach Hopkins always showing joyful happiness. Jade and Cat with the camera, Jack with the Eagle Scout project, which I enjoy every once in a while. Robert and his excellent shooting form, Sharon and April for trying in vain to switch names on me, Ally Pea for your sassy and insightful Megaphone articles, and Joey for climbing the ladder on stage (a singing term, not literal). I remember fondly ‘See ya tomorra Kahmara’, Alejandra Mendoza on your way to Redlands, Cali, Sydney for being a classy and talented Sanders, like your siblings (but the BEST Sanders!), Sam for showing class on piano, Alanah Shaw for allowing me to call you one name, Gio, because he’s Gio, Ramon for having a coooool name, Marin and Amanda for having great, classy smiles on CHS Live, Van the Man, Hecyeni and Ivory, Nya for leading, Tyler for swimming, Megan H. for being my wife’s favorite swimmer, besides Tyler, and …um…Sammy. I thank Chris Hunt for being cool, and Ava for going to Ann Arbor, and Allie for being so kind, and Olivia Griffith for trying every CHS activity, Dearbhla for sharing your beautiful voice—same for Carson, and Cece, and Jane, and Scout and Gwenna. Thanks to Mark, and Bryson and Eli, for being calm and cool, and thanks to Elle, and Erin and Sophia and Michael, for smiling often, and thanks to Ben for swimming the backstroke, and to Ayden for kicking in the water and on the field. I will remember Sean Marbaugh for providing us one of the most memorable nights in the WAC, to Billy for being as kind as your parents are, and thanks to Adriel for helping after school. Ben Jones, remember me when you are rich and famous, and Dylan-keep jumping upward! Kyuss! The INT’s and the stolen bases! Anna, keep kicking strongly, and Aden, work hard and make your dad proud! Anya, and Danna, and Dayanarra-your steadfast spirits will take you far, and Maggie Thor: you have tremendous positive energy. I know I left some of your classmates out, but there is a word limit, believe it or not! I really do love this class and each of you. May you keep God in your lives wherever you go. And visit once in a while, but not too often. Go live your life and get to Heaven! Peace and out…Dr. Bridges.”


Thank you to all of the educators and administrators who gave stories, advice and more. Godspeed, Class of 2023.