The six students of the Class of 2022 at Sacred Heart School in Gervais are diverse in some ways and united in others. These five young women and sole male classmate have persevered through historic times. They have emerged from strict COVID precautions like distance learning, masking and social distancing with strong ideas, big dreams, an even stronger faith, and bonds of friendship that will endure.

Brianna Traeger has attended Sacred Heart for most of her elementary years. “A Catholic education has taught me so much and helped me to prepare me to live a more faithful life and to grow and become a stronger Catholic.” She is close to her classmates, also. “I am glad to have all the friends I have today. I love them so very much and there are very good people who have impacted my life in many good ways.”

Other than distance-learning during the two COVID years, Damian Ventura has attended Sacred Heart from kindergarten through eighth grade. “The Catholic education I received at Sacred Heart has helped me prepare for the life I will live outside of school, following Christ and his teachings that help us to better ourselves in general and will bring us closer to God.”

Sophia Astorga was new to Sacred Heart this school year and the new friends she has made also have been important to her. “Some of the best times I’ve had at Sacred Heart were when I made friends with [other students in her seventh- and eighth- grade classroom. Other good times at Sacred Heart were when we had the luncheons and the tea party.” The seventh- and eighth- grade teacher, Jessica Bromley-White, who is affectionately called Mrs. B, incorporated home economics skills like cooking and sewing into the curriculum.

This is Maggie James’ second year at Sacred Heart, and she says, “When I was little, I wanted to be a cook when I grew up, but now that I'm older I think I would like to act. Same of the best times I've had at Sacred Heart are the luncheons. The person who I admire is my mom because she is a hard-working person”

Ava Spencer joined Sacred Heart in fourth grade. She describes herself:, “I'm really adventurous and I like to take risks if they're good risks. I just don’t like to goof off or tell jokes that distract my classmates. I prefer to focus on my work.” Ava’s dreams have evolved over time, from nun to archeologist and, “Now that I am even older, I want to become an author and write a few books, and also maybe become a historian, or at least someone who works with history and the past.”

Exy Wurdinger returned to Sacred Heart in seventh grade. “One of my greatest strengths is singing; I love singing. I like how when you sing, the sounds flow from your chest like a train at midnight when nobody is around and the night is silent, or like birds singing when you wake up on a summer morning. I simply love it.”

Despite the dark times of COVID, these six are ready to face high school and beyond, following their faith and excited for the future.