One of the fundamental creeds of the Jesuit order, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, is to seek “excellia in omnium”, or “excellence in all things”. That’s a good goal for all of us at Montgomery Catholic as we move forward in our institution’s history.
If you’ve been keeping up lately, there are a number of students, school organizations and athletic teams who’ve exemplified excellence in their endeavors, all worth mentioning here:
First, congratulations to our band under the leadership of Mr. Kerry Palmer. In just their third year of existence, they have qualified for the second time for state competition, this time by scoring straight “superior” scores in all categories at district competition. Last year at state, they scored an overall “superior” rating. These are remarkable accomplishments for such a young band, indicative of their hard work and the excellent leadership of Mr. Palmer at the high school and Mr. Valient at our elementary campus. Together with the “Marching Knights” band that started this fall and entertained at football games, our band program has been an unparalleled blessing to our school community.
Second, congratulations to our elementary campus’ Science Olympiad teams. Under the able leadership of Mr. Larry Meiers and Miss Melanie Grayson, the students of St. Bede placed second overall in the state competition in Jacksonville in February and first and second place in competition at the University of West Alabama earlier this fall. These teams learn advanced science in a practical, hands-on way, and their success reflect both their teachers’ and their commitment to excellence in science education. We are proud of them.
National Merit finalists were recently announced, and Montgomery Catholic is proud to have three students who qualified: Thomas Herge, Trey Griffith and Cynthia Weber. (Though Trey left after his junior year due to his parents’ transfer, we’re still taking credit for him since he took the test with us and has been a member of MCPS since his St. Bede days!). These students are three of the top 16,000 students in the nation, now eligible for merit scholarships. Thomas’ first choice of college is Ohio State, whereas Cynthia and Trey aspire to go to Notre Dame. A fourth MCPS student, Emmy Profio, was named a National Achievement semi-finalist earlier this year. Having three finalists and one semi-finalist for a school our size is a great credit to these students, their parents and their teachers.
Kudos again to our world-class speller Ben Szatanek, who for the third straight year will represent Montgomery County in the state spelling bee contest. You may remember that Ben won the state title last year, and competed at the National Spelling Bee contest in Washington, D.C. In case you think it’s just talent, you need to watch Ben around the middle school, using just about every available minute to drill words that few of us have ever heard, much less used in speech!
Finally, if you’ve been reading the sports pages closely, you’ll notice one of our spring athletic programs is off to a tremendous start. Our boy’s team, with young alumnus Timothy McCormack as their coach, is currently 7-0, whereas our girls coach, led by (older) alum Brian Belsterling, is 7-3, having recently won the “MA invitational” this weekend. A combined 14-3 record having played top-flight competition bodes well for our soccer program for the rest of the spring!
We are, then, blessed to be around so many students, coaches and teachers who aspire for excellence in all things. May their example encourage all of us to strive for excellence "ad majorem deum glorium" ("for the greater glory of God", another Jesuit saying, often abbreviated A.M.D.G.).