JCA bids farewell to the Class of 2013, welcomes Class of 2017

Whether welcoming a new class of freshmen or saying farewell to each year’s graduates, the traditions of excellence and hospitality are hallmarks of the JCA experience. In May, Joliet Catholic Academy graduated 163 outstanding seniors. Of those students, a very impressive 68% were awarded scholarships. JCA’s senior class accomplished some amazing things, producing nearly 40 Illinois State Scholars (23% of the class), receiving more than $15 million in scholarship offers, and achieving an average ACT score of 27 for the top 50% of the class. Michael Bannon, who, as a junior,  scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test, was the Class of 2013’s valedictorian. Michael, like his classmates, knows the hard work put into making the grade. “It is a commitment every day for four years.” Olivia Blake was this year’s salutatorian and also a National Merit Commended Student. About her time at JCA she said, “I am so proud to say that I am a part of this family at Joliet Catholic. It isn’t just a school.” The graduates crossed the stage at Joliet Catholic Academy, closing a chapter and leaving a legacy for the future leaders of JCA.

Not very long after, the Class of 2017 was already preparing to embark on a new journey. Every summer, Joliet Catholic Academy hosts a series of events specifically for incoming freshman students geared at making the transition from junior high to high school a seamless one. Among these events were a bowling night in June, a mixer in July, and a family BBQ and mass in early August. The bowling night took place on June 26th at Crest Hill Lanes. This particular event serves to help students who are entering JCA from a junior high with five or less students make friends and socialize with their new JCA family. Next came the Freshman Mixer on July 24th. More than half of the incoming class attended this event, as well as 59 of JCA’s Student Ambassadors and members of student council. Several faculty members were in attendance as well, including Theology Department chair Joe Burke who boogied right along with the most lively students. The last event in the series was the freshman mass and BBQ on August 11th. This is the culminating event for JCA’s incoming freshmen before they return for orientation. Fr. Jeff Smialek, O. Carm. of Campus Ministry delivered an encouraging word to both students and their families in preparation for the upcoming school year before members of administration doled out some very useful information and families shared a meal together in the practice gym. Commenting on the evening’s activities, Mary Ragusa, Director of Admissions, said, “My favorite part about the mass and BBQ is that it brings the families together. It epitomizes what JCA is about – faith and family.”

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