St. Paul Parish School in Eugene will graduate 31 eighth-graders this year.
St. Paul Parish School in Eugene will graduate 31 eighth-graders this year.
EUGENE — St. Paul Parish School here celebrated the graduation of 31 eighth-graders at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, at St. Paul Church.

The St. Paul Parish class of 2018 spent their time on Friday, April 27, at Catholic Community Services Springfield. CCS works throughout Lane County to provide food, clothing and housing assistance and helps those in need work their way out of poverty. The students have a close relationship with CCS, and the eighth-grade class was excited to have one more opportunity to work with them before graduation.

Students were broken into small groups to work on specific projects throughout the day, including making bags from T-shirts and working in the food pantry and distributing food to clients. Students also were tasked with spreading and leveling bark in the garden area of the campus.

Making bags out of T-shirts was a highlight for many.

“I enjoyed making bags out of the old T-shirts that we brought with us,” said Maddie McLaughlin. “It felt really good to be able to help those in need.”

CCS clients “are always asking for bags to carry their things around, especially their groceries” Mary Culver said. “I enjoyed my work there a lot. It felt good to go help out with all my classmates and teachers.”

For others, working in the food pantry was the most memorable.

“I liked the way the food pantry was organized,” said Sophia James. “The way it was laid out, we were able to get people the food and supplies they needed in an efficient manner.” Jackson Meyers agreed. “My favorite part about that service project was working in the food pantry,” he said. “I got to see people and talk to people. I got a real feeling that they (CCS clients) really appreciate the work we were doing. It was great.”

Many of the 2018 graduates have been together for the past 11 years — since preschool.

“Over the past few years you can really tell that our class has grown together and we all know each other better,” said Meyers. Projects such as this one cemented that bond.

Here are the graduates: Mia Beldner, Elli Clark, Sydney Clark, Mary Culver, Ella Dugan, Willem Ficek, Reese Fitzpatrick, Max Griffin, Mya Guerin, Ethan Hakala, Haley Haskins, Brendon Hauck, Ayden Herman, Kylie Hescock, Madeleine Hopkins, Sofia James, Kaila Kealoha, Jacob MacPherson, Madeline McLaughlin, Jackson Meyers, Ethan Nguyen, Nikolas Norby, Sarah Pearson, Benjamin Proulx, Kaitlin Roth, Logan Ruckwardt, Henry Shepard, Hayden Shoemaker, Jillian Thompson, Morgan Woodrich and Tessa Woodrum