Class of 2022 Commencement

Oakcrest celebrated its 43rd Commencement on June 4, graduating the Class of 2022.

Dr. Mary T. Ortiz, Head of School, opened the ceremony by calling to mind the past seven years at Oakcrest that shaped the Class of 2022 and their experience. Dr. Ortiz called the group of graduates “strong, well-defined women who have deep interests and strong convictions,” most especially shown in the topics that they chose for their individual senior thesis and presentations, she added.

“Savor this union of hearts and minds because it is a small but nevertheless true reflection of Heaven,” Dr. Ortiz said of the importance of the day. 

In the Class of 2022, seven students are Acorns, having attended Oakcrest from sixth grade to twelfth grade: Margaret Barvick, Anne Marie Branch, Meredith Klote, Therese McGovern, Caroline Naegele, Adele White, and Suzanna Zischkau. 

Rachel Fischer was named the class Valedictorian and Cassielle Sweda was named the class Salutatorian. They each delivered heartfelt reflections and remarks to their class during Commencement. 

Two seniors were recognized for their work on their senior thesis. The senior thesis is the capstone of an Oakcrest education. Senior Theses of exceptional quality are recognized with the Edwina Maksym Senior Thesis Award; two students received this award, Meredith Klote: “Women as a Source of Grace for Men in the Merchant of Venice and Crime and Punishment” and Margaret Rader: “Nostalgia for Heaven and the Journey Home in My Antonia and the House of Mirth”.

Molly Klote, MD, delivered the Commencement Address. Dr. Klote is a third generation retired Army Colonel with 30 years of service and a tour in Iraq; she is currently a Senior Executive with the Veterans Health Administration. As a wife, mother, military officer and medical professional, Dr. Klote has been a great role model for Oakcrest students. 

Several other graduates were recognized for their achievements and contributions to the school: Margaret Rader for Upper School Leadership, Katherine LeMaster received the Service Award, Grace Colangelo was honored for her Excellence in Music, Elizabeth Dunch received both the Golden Charger Award and was named Athlete of the Year, and five seniors received the Charger Award Abigail Adams, Grace McDonnell, Gabrielle Byrne, Ashley Schroder, and Reilan Garczynski. 

The graduates will attend universities and colleges throughout the world from University of St. Andrews and the Universidad de Navarra to the University of Dallas, The Catholic University of America, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The College of William and Mary.