It is the last day of school.  The school is quiet–the students are gone–teachers are finishing up grading and cleaning out classrooms.  An empty school is not a happy place!!

However, thanks to Ms. Cerros and her talented band of videographers we have a reminder all Summer long of how really HAPPY it is to be at La Salle Academy.

Enjoy!!  Sit back!!  Have a laugh!!  AND join us in BEING HAPPY!!

Student Address–Graduation of Class of 2014

(Speech Given at the Commencement Ceremonies for La Salle Academy on the evening of June 5, 2014)

Your Excellency, Bishop Evans; Brother Thomas; Mr. Kavanagh; Representatives of the Diocese and the Brothers of the Christian Schools; Members of the Board; Faculty; Alumni; Parents; Guests; and fellow members of the graduating Class of 2014,

“It might seem crazy what I’m about to say, I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space because I’m happy. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.”


Congratulations Class of 2014. We truly have much to be happy about and proud of this evening. We are an amazing class: smart, curious, and quirky individuals. We are Merit Scholar intellectuals, All-State athletes, award-winning artists, National History Day winners, top rated actors, science Olympiads, and talented musicians.

Tonight, however, I would like to focus on not what makes each of us unique but rather the common bond we share. Now and forever more, when you Google yourself, you will read “La Salle, 2014.”

Tonight, we celebrate our graduation from La Salle Academy – a Lasallian school. This is what binds us – what will forever hold us together. This has absolutely contributed to our achievements, though more importantly, it must be what sets us apart in our world.


Graduation speakers offer advice for how to go out there and climb the ladder of success. At this moment, our society’s notion of success has become synonymous with wealth, power, and prestige. Tonight, I want to ask you, instead, to redefine success.

Our education at La Salle has made it clear that we are prepared and ready to take our place in the world. But what I urge us to do is not just take our place at the top of the world, but change the world.  Being LaSallian is at the core of who we are, and it should drive everything we do as we go forward. As Lasallians, we measure success by a different metric system.

We’ve heard that phrase, “Lasallian,” countless times over the past four years. But what does it mean to truly be Lasallian?

First, we are animated by our faith – our faith in the presence of a loving God. We begin and end each day in prayer – a practice given to us by St. John Baptist de La Salle himself, who teaches that the more you devote yourself to prayer, the more you will prosper in your work. He instructs us to thank God for the graces and many blessings He has given us. As we leave La Salle, we must continue to live by the spirit of faith. As St. John Baptist de La Salle reminds us, “in the light of faith, you see things quite differently.”  God is always near to us – waiting for us to call on Him, giving us His grace and wisdom, inspiring us in all we do. We will need this grace and wisdom for the challenges and life decisions that our future holds.


Being Lasallian also means we live the way of the Gospel – the way of love. We’ve experienced this love in action each day. Our administrators don’t hide in their offices, buried behind piles of paper.  They are out and about, reaching out, engaging us and extending themselves – always present to the student body.  We could count on Mr. Kavanagh’s cheerful greeting every morning outside the Student Life office and Brother Tom’s friendly hello as he roamed through the hallways. And our Dean, Mrs. Richard, has made it to our lunch in the cafeteria every day for the past four years… making rounds to each table, genuinely concerned about how we were doing and asking for our input on class events and activities. We always knew “they had our backs.”  Through their presence, they created a community of love.

And then there are our teachers. Teachers often arrived at 6:30 am to provide extra help in chemistry or math; other teachers stayed until five to help students write essays; and still others organized Google chats to connect with students or offer study sessions on weekends and vacations.  They taught us the Great Commandment of love, not only in words but through their example. And now we must follow the example they’ve set. This won’t be easy in today’s world.

We live in a society where we are hyper-connected – to ourselves.  We use Facebook as our own personal stage, posting our statuses and our pictures.  We “tweet” all day long about how we feel, what we are doing.   We have iPhones, iPads, and iPods; oh and don’t forget about “Selfies.”


While concern primarily for oneself might be the norm in our society today, as Lasallians we’ve been taught the opposite of self.  We’ve learned to focus on “the other,” particularly others who have so much less than we have: the poor, the marginalized, the neglected.  Being Lasallian means upholding the dignity of all human beings.  And we have done this in countless ways: through Christian service, mission trips, and donations of time and resources.  We have used our education to raise our voice on behalf of those who have no voice.

St. Paul warns us that knowledge by itself “inflates” while “love builds up.” We are called not just to excel, but to engage, not just to succeed, but to share, not only to create a life for ourselves, but to contribute to the communities around us. As we leave La Salle, we must take our essential experiences and lessons with us. Let us continue to nurture the values instilled in us – faith, love, and concern for others – because our world desperately needs them.

Four years ago, when we gathered at the Cathedral for our first liturgy, Mrs. Richard and Fr. Najim gifted us with Believer pins. These small dove pins remind us that the Spirit of God lives within us. We need to stay attuned to the movement of the Spirit within – it is this light inside each of us that will illuminate our way, wherever we go from here.

As we leave La Salle today, I suggest to you: don’t buy society’s definition of success. As Lasallians, we are called to so much more. Yes, definitely follow your dreams and chase success– but take up the challenge of forging an identity that transcends yourself. Care about something; work to solve the problems in our world; find the passion that you are willing to fight for. Don’t settle for the status quo.

There were plenty of signposts along our path directing us to make money, and seek power and prestige. There will be few signposts reminding us to stay connected to the essence of who we are. Stay connected to that place from which everything is possible. Always remember that you are in the presence of a loving God.


The Greek mathematician Archimedes said, “Give me a place to stand and I will move the world.”  So, class of 2014, find your place to stand, be happy, and go move the world!


 Gianna M. Jasinski (Class of 2014)

Welcome Address–Graduation of Class of 2014

(Speech Given at the Commencement Ceremonies for La Salle Academy on the evening of June 5, 2014)

Your Excellency, Bishop Evans; Brother Thomas; Mr. Kavanagh; Representatives of the Diocese and the Brothers of the Christian Schools; Members of the Board; Faculty; Alumni; Parents; Guests; and fellow members of the graduating Class of 2014.

It is my honor to welcome each and every one of you to our graduation. It’s remarkable to think that our past four years here at La Salle are coming to a close. Let’s take a moment to think about this journey that we have taken together. It’s been full of twists and turns and marked by countless challenges to overcome, whether they were academic, athletic, artistic, or personal.

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It is a fantastic achievement for each of us to have made it here today, and I am proud to share this moment with all of you. But we have not made it here on our own efforts alone. On behalf of the class of 2014, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge those who have gotten us to where we are today, because the truth is, none of us could have made it here without them.

Our parents are here today to support us, as they always have. Parents, though I know we don’t often show it, and though many of you are probably ready to get us out of the house – I know my family already has plans to convert my bedroom into a dance studio for my sister- we are truly grateful for all that you have done for us, and are delighted that you are here to share in this occasion.

Our teachers, too, are here with us today. The distinguished faculty at La Salle Academy, and their dedication to their students, is a hallmark of La Salle’s tradition of excellence. These teachers do their utmost to ensure the success of their students, and we are excited to share this celebration with them. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the administration that has been vital to our success at La Salle as well, including Mr. Kavanagh, our principal, our president Brother Thomas and former president Brother Michael, and our dean Mrs. Richard, all of whom have worked arduously to get our class where it is today.

Through their efforts, with the support of each other, and by the grace of God, whose presence we recall several times each day, we have survived the past four years. But more than just survived, we have thrived here at La Salle. More than just completing our studies, we’ve become an integral part of the vibrant Lasallian community. We’ve clinched state championships, starred in fantastic theatrical productions, and put in hours of dedicated service to our community. We’ve grown close in the vast amount of time we’ve spent together, from relaxing at La Salle Bakery after school, to the one time we shared Pinkberry together on the lawn in front of the cafeteria, to the many occasions we’ve cheered on our athletic teams as part of the famous “Beehive,” a school spirit movement that is just one example of our class’s contributions to the Academy. By just looking around this assembly, we can pick out the faces of those friends who have been with us through the best and the worst; the people without whom most of us probably would have lost our minds by now, and the people who will be our lifelong friends thanks to our shared experiences at La Salle.

As we students know very well from our time spent here, La Salle Academy is a Catholic institution that follows in the tradition of St. John Baptist de La Salle’s ideals of faith, service, and community. Our education here at La Salle is rooted in the gospel values and teachings of Jesus. In essence, our Lasallian education has nourished not just our minds but our spirits, enriched not just our brains, but our hearts.

To borrow the words of the late Nelson Mandela, “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”


In this regard, we are here to celebrate the graduation of an outstanding class; a distinguished class; a formidable class. A class brimming not only with knowledge, but with compassion and ambition: the La Salle Academy Class of 2014. Thank you, and welcome to our graduation.

Naryan F. Murthy (Class of 2014)


(Final Address by the Dean of the Class of 2014 to her Class on Tuesday, 3 June 2014, at the Senior Convocation)

Good morning, this is a moment I have been thinking about for a long time because it is the last time I will have the chance to talk to you as a class.

“Example makes a much greater impression than words.”  This quote from Saint John Baptist de La Salle perfectly describes you, the Class of 2014.  As a class you have grown into a community.   Your community.  A Lasallian community, a family. To use the words of the senior video:

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“bonds, unity, community”

Each of you, through your own gifts and talents, has successfully completed your journey at La Salle Academy.You have demonstrated the ability to be compassionate and generous.    The class has shown respect and kindness to all. You have taken care of each other and have touched the hearts and minds of all of us.

The Class of 2014 has shared many great moments.  You have succeeded academically, athletically, and artistically.  Your accomplishments will never be forgotten but, more importantly, it is the way that you achieved these successes that will be your legacy.

The Class has earned the respect of the school community.  Your enthusiasm, diligence, and integrity have made a significant impression on the school.  It has also set the bar very high for all the classes that will follow you.

As your Dean, I am proud of each of you.  I know you will continue to grow academically and spiritually.  Take the lessons learned here at La Salle and carry them with you as you continue your journey.


I look forward to seeing where your path leads you.  I am confident you will be agents of change both locally and globally. It’s been an honor to be your Dean.

My prayer for you is that your life becomes all that you want it to.  I hope that your dreams come true and that you know we love you.  Never forget the place you left, the lessons you learned and the people who supported you along the way.  Please remember to give generously, to forgive others, and to handle yourself with God’s grace.  I hope you find love and happiness.  Know you will always have a home at La Salle Academy.

In the words of Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails..  Explore.  Dream. Discover.


Thank you.

Cynthia Richard (Dean of the Class of 2014)