"I Am St. Francis"
The Senior Student Perspective: Six Questions for Alyssa C. ’21 and Michael D. ‘21
1. What grade school did you attend? What activities have you been involved in at SFHS? What are your college plans?
Alyssa: I attended St. Walter School (Go Spartans!). At St. Francis, I have been involved in numerous activities, ranging from the Student Government Executive Board, Student Ambassador Leadership Team, Spartan Life Team, National Honors Society, French Honors Society, and dance team. I plan to attend Vanderbilt University, majoring in mathematics and secondary education. I plan to become a math teacher and work on a board of education.
Michael: For grade school, I attended St. Patrick Catholic School in St. Charles. At St. Francis, I wrestle and play football, and I am also involved in SALT, NHS, SMT, and Men’s Spirituality Group. For college, I will be attending the University of Chicago, and I plan to study Applied Mathematics.
2. Describe in one word your college planning/application experience.
Alyssa: Laborious, yet easy. Although writing many essays and submitting different applications was time-consuming, St. Francis counselors make the job so much easier by offering so much support. I talked to my counselor about different colleges and asked her questions about the application process, and she supported me, proofread my essays, and helped me with scholarship applications as well. St. Francis reduces the stress by offering so much guidance. The college application process is certainly not an easy task, but St. Francis made my experience so much smoother, and I would not have been able to do it without the help of my counselor!
Michael: One word to describe my college planning/application process: Contemplative.
3. Describe your relationships with faculty/staff. How did they help you in your high school journey to be the best version of yourself?
Alyssa: One of my favorite parts about St. Francis is the faculty and staff. All of my teachers go above and beyond to make sure that I am confident in the material. They are willing to stay before or after school to help their students, and they make learning fun. Last year in physics, my teacher wrote us a song at the end of the year encapsulating all of the material that we had learned before the AP test. Even during COVID e-learning, one of my teachers set up Teams calls with me to make sure that I was prepared for the AP test. Beyond success in just their class, they push us to become the best versions of ourselves and prepare us to be successful in college and beyond. Their drive is evident, and I am so grateful for all of the teachers that I have had during my four years here because I would not be where I am today without their help and support.
Michael: The staff at St. Francis surmounted my expectations as they never hesitated to reach out a helping hand. Teachers, as well as counselors and coaches, continuously conveyed their care as I progressed in my high school journey at St. Francis.
4. Describe how prepared you feel for the next level of education. What classes or resources have allowed you to feel confident to go to college?
Alyssa: I feel extremely prepared for the next level of education. Although my classes have been challenging, I have learned both critical and creative thinking skills, as well as writing skills. Although some classes like history require memorization for tests, in many of my other classes, I understood the material so well that I didn't have to memorize it for tests; rather, I would review the major concepts. In AP Language and Composition, I bettered my writing skills through timed write settings. I also wrote a research paper that taught me about notecards, bibliographies, and annotated bibliographies. In addition to the help from my English teacher, the librarian taught us how to use different databases to conduct research. I feel thoroughly prepared for writing any type of paper in college after this class. In AP Calculus, I learned how to properly study for math tests, and I was challenged to use critical thinking skills on many of my assignments. Overall, I am thankful for everything that my teachers have done for me, and I look forward to tackling my college classes!
Michael: I am confident that the classes I took at St. Francis have thoroughly prepared me for education at the next level. The Honors and AP classes at St. Francis such as AP US History (APUSH), AP Calculus BC, and Honors World Religions have not only enhanced my knowledge in varying concepts but have also taught me to apply these concepts in real-world present-day scenarios, which is a significant aspect of college.
5. What advice would you give to parents of middle school students that are considering SFHS for their child’s high school experience?
Alyssa: I urge middle school students and parents to come to St. Francis to experience the amazing community feeling that everyone talks about. I knew that I wanted to attend St. Francis after they talked at my middle school, and after shadowing and spending the day with a current student, my thoughts were further affirmed. At open houses, I was able to connect with teachers and learn about the various opportunities that St. Francis offers for their students. Attending St. Francis is more than attending high school. It is about forming bonds, supporting those around you, and creating lifelong connections. I have learned so much about myself while attending this school, and I hope that others can feel this way as well.
Michael: I encourage those who are considering St. Francis to visit us (Open House, Shadow, etc...) and observe the strong-bonded community within our hallways, as well as to reach out to Mrs. Isphording, Mrs. Wiborg, or Mrs. Dannheim in our Admissions Office; they do an outstanding job in making you feel welcome and answering any questions/concerns you may have.
6. What is one word that encapsulates your experience at St. Francis?
Alyssa: Wholesome. I have enjoyed all of my classes with my different teachers. I have enjoyed being a part of a team with those both older and younger than me. I have been able to learn about my faith through various retreats and service experiences. I have worked together with others to plan events for the school. I have learned about friendship, teamwork, service, and love. When I look back on my high school experience, my heart is filled with happiness because it truly was an amazing and wholesome experience.
Michael: One word that encapsulates my experience at St. Francis: dynamic.