St. Agatha eighth graders show new laptops, blessed by Father Nathan Zodrow, the pastor. Observers laud the school’s feeling of family.
St. Agatha eighth graders show new laptops, blessed by Father Nathan Zodrow, the pastor. Observers laud the school’s feeling of family.
Eighth grader Ryan Stephens knew when he started preschool at St. Agatha School 11 years ago that it was the place for him. It was his destiny to follow in his family’s footsteps and graduate from St. Agatha. Ryan’s father, aunts and uncles are all alumni of the 105-year-old institution in Sellwood. It’s a legacy that makes him feel good.

“I’m proud that my family has made such a big impact on the school,” said Ryan. “They’ve contributed financially, chaired the school auction for four years and given hours of service. They’ve done a lot to make the facilities better.”

When Ryan’s dad Mike Stephens graduated from St. Agatha in 1986, students went to class in a building originally constructed in 1911. Today, they enjoy music, art, technology and all subjects in a newer, bigger school built in 2003 after the parish raised $3.5 million.

Mike’s four siblings and their children have all gone to St. Agatha. At one point, his mother had seven grandchildren attending the school at the same time – quite a challenge for her on Grandparent’s Day.

“St. Agatha’s small class sizes, home room teachers in middle school and the community of people make everyone at this school feel like family to us,” said Mike.

Ryan’s family isn’t the only one that feels that way. According to a recent school survey, the top reason families said they send their children to St. Agatha is because they feel like they’re part of a family. A recent Western Catholic Educational Association’s accreditation survey found the same thing, writing: “Throughout the visit, the visiting committee was in awe of the strong sense of community and family amongst the faculty, staff, parents, and students.”

“Building a strong community for our children is one of the best ways to bring our mission of learning, faith, and service to life,” said Chris Harris, St. Agatha principal.

This year, 28 students are graduating from St. Agatha. Nine have been going to the school for 11 years, longer than they will likely be a student at any school during their lifetime.

Ryan’s favorite memory from his time at St. Agatha is last summer’s class trip to Washington D.C. “The school has given me so much,” he says. “It’s helped me get out of my comfort zone, make new life experiences and pushed me to be better.”

Here are the graduates: Elizabeth Margarete Blodgett, Ann Marie Bottita, Michael Joseph Bottita, Ava Aline Bruins, Christian Scott Burroughs, April Jacqueline Coyle, Ruth Ann Doneen, Cavossiea Dwayne Eason, Hayden Michael Fouts, Jade Rebecca Gilbert, Harry Mitchell Hanna III, Andrew Michael Harder, Milly Louise Held, Grace Katheryn Hutson, Oona Amelia Longstreet, Madison Katherine Lundahl, Sean Patrick MacNeela, Coulter Jerome McIntyre, Samuel Austian Meyer, Logan Kanoa Kyuka Nomura, Abigail Mary Claire Parra, Izabel Sophia Raab, Molly McCall Rohling, Seneca Blue Stacy, Ryan Gregory Stephens, Nina Rebecca Timmen, Braeden Michael Veary, Sasha Faith Zuckerman