Walsingham Seniors Celebrate College Success!

It is college acceptance season and the Counseling Department celebrated by organizing College Spirit Week last week. Each day of the week was dedicated in some way to recognizing the accomplishments of the seniors or opening up the discussion about college. Teachers were invited to share stories of their college experience and show their school pride! With only 18 more days until graduations for the seniors and 22 more days for the rest of the school, everyone is looking forward to graduation and summer vacation.

On Monday of College Spirit Week, teachers talked about the colleges they attended and answered student questions about their college experience. Outside the counseling offices was a "Parent College Conversations" survey, which could be filled out and returned by Friday to be entered into a raffle. This survey opened the door to college discussion between students of any grade and their parents with questions such as "What did you do after high school?", "How did you select your college?", and "Share one life lesson from your college years." This survey also allowed for discussion about options for after high schools that did not include going to a 4 year institution. Monday was focused on opening up a dialogue about college between students and their teachers as well as students and their parents about life after graduating from high school.

Tuesday was National Decision Day and the seniors wore t-shirts from the college they would be attending to show off their accomplishment. Teachers were also encouraged to show their school pride by wearing a shirt from the college or university they attended. This year's graduating class will be going on to many unique college experiences in the fall. With students going on to 25 different schools as close as William and Mary to as far away as University of California, Berkley, each student has found their best fit where they have chosen to attend.

Many of Walsingham's graduates past and present have gone to service academies or military colleges. This year, Greg Peterson, who also achieved a perfect score on the ACT, was appointed to the Naval Academy and will be attending in the fall. Chris Celli will be attending The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, where 1 in 3 cadets earns a commission into the United States Armed Forces post-graduation. Dive Eriatmojo has decided to enlist in the United States Air Force after graduation. Receiving a very competitive four-year ROTC scholarship, Jake Lobash will attend Penn State University. Finally, Clare Provoncha will be joining the Air Force Corps of Cadets at Virginia Tech.

Walsingham has taught many sets of siblings over the years, but very few attend the same school. In a rare feat, all three triplets Grace, Anna, and Julia Vidlak were accepted to University of Virginia. Grace and Anna will be attending the University in the fall, where Grace will study aerospace engineering and Anna will be attending the School of Nursing. Julia will be at University of Richmond where she plans on double majoring in business and dance and minoring in French. Another set of siblings in the senior class will also be attending the same college. Twins Caroline and Catherine Schumacher will both be Hokies at Virginia Tech in the fall.

Our graduating classes historically have strong athletic outcomes as well. This year is no exception, with 21.2% of the Class of 2018 who participated in athletics continuing at the college level after graduation. Two of our senior students will be continuing their athletic career in Division I programs. Isabelle LeJeune will be heading to the University of Cincinnati to play lacrosse for the Bearcats while Camryn Mann will play lacrosse for the Arizona State University Sun Devils. At the Division III level, many Walsingham students have signed on to continue their athletic careers. For women's soccer, Laiken Speegle will be attending Lynchburg College while teammate Delaney Riggs joins UNC Wesleyan. Emily Daigneault will join the Eagles of Bridgewater College as a member of their women's Tennis program. Jason Covaney will be swimming for the Tigers of Hampden-Sydney College, and Carson Cooper will be in the water for Christopher Newport University Sailing.

On Wednesday, there was a special assembly to announce the total amount of scholarship offers the class of 2018 had been given, which added up to $5,079,118! Individual scholarships were also announced at this assembly: Bailey Ward received a scholarship from Key Club, Grace Vidlack received the AIAA Future in Aerospace scholarship and a scholarship from the American Helicopter Society, and Kiely Curran received the Peninsula Sports Scholarship. With careful guidance and support from the counseling department, Walsingham students are well supported and able to find scholarships opportunities outside of those awarded by colleges.

Thursday was filled with more door decorating as students and their teachers prepared for the judging of the competition that took place on Friday during 6th period. Students have been working hard during class, lunch, as well as before and after school to make sure their homeroom is the one to win the enviable ice cream social. Not only has this competition allowed for students to work together and express their creative sides, but it has brought about the opportunity for teachers to talk about their college or university and give students their perspective on the college experience. The sophomore class held their annual college fair on Thursday as well. Sophomore students picked colleges that interested them during their seminar classes and then made informational posters to share with the 8th and 9th graders. This opportunity allowed the sophomores to research schools they may not have heard of and for the underclassmen to become interested in the college process that they will soon be apart of.

Friday was filled with last minute fixes for the door decoration contest before our Director of Admissions, Ashleigh O'Rourke, and Business Manager, Jen Cryts, went around school during 6th period to start judging the doors. Doors were evaluated on neatness, creativity, and most importantly, how well their represented their teacher's alma mater. The winning door, which was announced at the end of the day, was created by history teacher Ms. Rhoades and her homeroom class.

This first College Spirit Week focused on preparing underclassmen students for the college admission journey that soon awaits them during their time in high school and for making sure the accomplishments of the senior class are acknowledged before they graduate. Walsingham prepares all of their students for what lies ahead of them, whether that be enlisting in the military to going off to college across the country. The counselors work with each one of the students during their time at Walsingham to ensure they will be successful in whatever they chose to do after they graduate.

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