In the midst of her junior year, Monica ’24, looks back on her formative years spent at Oakcrest School with gratitude for the opportunity to learn fully what it means to be herself.
“Oakcrest provides an environment where we can learn who we are and learn to live that well,” she said. “Especially this year in 11th grade, as we take on more challenging content and workloads in our classes, we have started to really learn more about ourselves. Through our academic, social, and personal challenges, Oakcrest has given us the means to grow from that. Oakcrest has provided myself, and the whole school, with the perfect environment to explore what it means to be ourselves. Oakcrest has given me the tools I need to understand what is truly good for me and to actually execute the good for myself and others, whether this be through the sacraments, our classes, sports, or extracurriculars. All of these have given me the formation I need to be the kind of person the world needs right now.”
One particular class that Monica remembers from the sixth grade is her Ancient Civilizations class taught by history teacher Ms. Ginny Boles. Each day the class started with a poem recitation before reviewing their notes and testing their knowledge with a game.
“I really love how we were able to have such a fun time in class each day while still learning so much and retaining all of that knowledge,” Monica remembers. “Even today, I still remember a few of the poems we memorized from the class, such as “Ozymandias” by Percy B. Shelley.”
Outside of the classroom, Monica is a member of the Respect Life Club, National Math and English Honors Societies, helps organize the Service Initiative Program Cole’s Closet, participates in indoor track and field and lacrosse, and performs in the concert choir and liturgical choir.
Her work in the two honors societies has allowed Monica to deepen her understanding of various topics and ideas, she said.
“For each honor society, we are also required to complete a number of service hours which include tutoring, creating a problem of the week (Math) or writing a poem or literary piece for the literary magazine (English), or creating a presentation on an interesting topic about something Math or English related,” Monica explained. “Through these two clubs I am able to connect and help others in the Oakcrest Community, while also learning more about two subjects that I enjoy.”
Running the Oakcrest Service Initiative Program Cole’s Closet has allowed Monica to help an organization that provides support for families and children in area hospitals.
“Helping to run this SIP has taught me the importance of constant organization and communication with both students and teachers, in addition to giving me an opportunity to help children and their families in our area in a very tangible way,” she said.
Most recently, Monica played the role of Maria in the Upper School theatre production of The Sound of Music.
“Being in the Oakcrest production of The Sound of Music was truly incredible,” Monica said. “Performing in this musical was so much fun! I am so grateful to have been able to spend so much time with such amazing people and to share my love of singing and acting with the Oakcrest community. It definitely was not easy, though. It was challenging having to put together and focus on so many little pieces such as acting, singing, and dancing, doing this beloved musical justice, and finding time to complete my homework amid it all. But with the incredible support and prayer of my family and the incredible work of Dr. Ricci, Ms. Tilley, Dr. Hussmann, Mrs. DeLisle, our amazing stage managers, and our awesome cast and crew, we were able to pull it off.”