Skip To Main Content

St, John's Prep Sends 115 Eighth Graders Off to High School

St, John's Prep Sends 115 Eighth Graders Off to High School

A celebration of the Class of 2028 affirms there’s a time for every purpose


View Photos from the Grade 8 Celebration

St. John’s Prep promoted its 115-member eighth grade class on Thursday evening. It was a program that students had anticipated for as long as three years. But the newly minted, rising high school freshmen didn’t wade too far into nostalgia before looking ahead.

“What’s most exciting thing about being promoted is all the activities that the high school experience provides,” said Tagg Mercier ’28, who also noted his forthcoming greater freedom to roam about campus. “Having had two brothers who have gone through the Prep, I know there will be high expectations and I’m looking forward to the challenges and the variety I’ll have at the High School.”

Classmate DJ Graham was just as focused on his future. “The most exciting moment about getting promoted from the 8th grade is seeing that my hard work paid off,” he said. “I now have the opportunity to apply a lot of what I learned in middle school to be a successful high school student-athlete. I’m also looking forward to meeting new students and forming great friendships. I am a little nervous about learning a new rhythm of time management and getting to know new teachers. But the positives outweigh my nervousness and, overall, I’m excited to make the most of my time at the Prep.”

The event serves to recognize the Class of 2028 for its resilience, leadership, and focus throughout this school year as well as to honor individual and collective achievements. The John Carnevale ’81 Scholarship Award, presented to a grade 8 student who models enthusiasm for the Prep Community, went to Harrison Cassidy. Marcus Magloire received the Multicultural Affairs and Community Development Advocacy Award, while Richard Masterpol was recognized with the Grade 8 Campus Ministry Award. 

Six students were honored with the Brother Benjamin, C.F.X. Student Leadership Award: William Figulski, Liam Garland, Charles Krause, Quinn Panos, Riley Selvais, and Nicholas Sica. Selvais wasn’t immune to a little reflection.

“Over my two years at St. John’s Prep, I have made many memories that will last a lifetime, but one that sticks out to me is being with the whole eighth grade on the last day of school this week. All of us were playing games together, eating together, and laughing together. That made me realize again how powerful the St. John's Prep community is when we come together as a whole.”

To kick off a program that included multiple student performances, reflections, and a class video, Prep Principal / Associate Head of School Keith Crowley told the assembled students, “It is with gratitude and pride that we gather this evening to celebrate your individual and collective achievements and wish you well as you transition into high school. 
“You have been challenged and supported to recognize your gifts and limitations as well as appreciate the gifts of others,” he added. “You have forged friendships with your peers and positive relationships with faculty and staff that have contributed to a wonderful learning community in Brother Benjamin Hall and beyond.”

Aiden MacKay was selected to give the primary student reflection. A Middle School Student Counselor and member of the Drama Guild, he spoke about his initial reluctance to attend St. John’s, preferring to stay at his local public school, followed by a gradual awakening once he got to campus. 

“Since 6th grade, we have pushed ourselves more than we could ever have imagined, tried new sports and activities, learned to advocate for ourselves, and made new friendships that will last for years to come. From not wanting to attend St. John’s to becoming a proud Eagle, I have learned that this beautiful place changes us in many ways. It pushes us to be good people who are caring and compassionate, people who do the right thing, and people who encourage one another spiritually and academically. The more time I spend here at the Prep, the more life skills I learn.”

Head of School Ed Hardiman P’19 ’21 ’26 closed the ceremony on an appropriately hopeful note.

“As a student at St. John’s, it’s important for you to remember you are carrying on a legacy, a legacy of service, a legacy of honor, a legacy of faith, a legacy of values, and a legacy of servant-leadership,” he said. “As you walk (this campus), I ask you to remember something that’s really important: The world is bigger than you. There are many who have gone before us and set a path for us. They have empowered us to have the privileges and the rights that we have today. And we need to give thanks to them and give thanks for them. 

“I strongly encourage you to open your eyes to the symbols (and key learnings) around this campus,” added. “You can get an amazing education in faith, an amazing education in citizenship, and an amazing education in what it means to be a good person.”

The first day of classes in the 2024-25 school year is September 4.