“…over the years, our class became a family,” said Valedictorian Natalie Bragdon in her speech to the crowd. “Bishop Ward shaped us and will always be a part of who we are… once a Cyclone, always a Cyclone.”
Bragdon achieved a 4.48 G.P.A. and will be attending Regis University in Denver, Co. Natalie is the third sister to graduate from Bishop Ward; Rebecca graduated in 2008 and Emily in 2012. They are a strong legacy family as their father, Raymond Bragdon, also graduated from Bishop Ward in 1984.
"I am so proud of the achievements of the Class of 2017,” said Bishop Ward President Rev. Thomas Schrader, O. Carm. “They have worked hard to meet the goal of graduation that was set before them and to go on to college as moral leaders who will continue to mature in body, mind and spirit in Christ."
The Class of 2017 had 11 students recognized as scholars of distinction maintaining a GPA of 4.0 or above, 16 were National Honor Society member and 30 graduated from the Academy of Finance program. The entire 2017 Class earned over $1.6 million in college scholarship so far. Many are awaiting word on additional scholarship that will help to propel their dreams of college.
In addition to academic achievements, all seniors are required to complete Legacy service projects during their years at Bishop Ward. This class has completed nearly 3,000 hours of community service and mission trips throughout their time at Bishop Ward High School. These volunteer opportunities create well-rounded individuals who realize the value in giving back.
“I hope that each graduate becomes the successful, faith-filled person God created them to be. Good luck to each of the graduates of the Class of 2017,” said Principal Dr. Karen Hopson.
Michael LeDesma was one of two Salutatorians honored at graduation and he addressed the crowd expressing thanks on behalf of the class, “We would like to sincerely thank each of you for all that you do for us. Not only do you have loving hearts that you give to your family and friends, but you share your dynamic hearts with us… each one of you have been an amazing blessing to us.”