St. Xavier Graduation Essays 2024

St. X aims to form men of faith, men for others

Connor Klimek

As a freshman entering St. Xavier, I was greeted with so many opportunities: Tradition unequaled, a standard of excellence, and a lifelong brotherhood were all promised to us. This culture was initially intimidating for my younger self, so I tried my best to keep my mask up, head down, and simply fit in. Yet, as I have grown over these past four years, I am grateful for the man St. Xavier High School has shaped me into, through service, academics, faith, and extra-curriculars.  

As my classmates and I transitioned into high school, we entered challenging classes and were given more accountability for our academic growth. With this new responsibility, our teachers, counselors, and administrators were there for us every step of the way to guide us. We were pushed, and the class of 2024 answered. With multiple National Merit Finalists, perfect ACT scores, and countless scholarships granted to universities throughout the nation, we proved that our academic growth would live up to the legacy set before us.  

Naturally, the rigor did not cease with academics. St. X strives to be the best, and there is no exception to that in athletics here. I vividly remember being a part of the baseball program that made a run and won the state championship during my sophomore year. That win at Kentucky Proud Park marked St. X’s 7th state title of that academic year, a feat that encapsulates the work ethic of everybody involved in our athletic programs. I also greatly appreciate my experiences with the arts. Whether it was being involved with our drama department or our morning news program, I enjoyed making lifelong friends while being able to express myself in creative ways.  

While championships and awards are great recognition of the outstanding men here, they are not the overarching goal of the school. Rather, St. X aims to form us into men of faith, men for others. This was especially true through service and retreats. Through mission trips, Tigers Care food drives, burials for the poor or homeless, and tutoring, my fellow brothers and I were able to use our blessings as a way to benefit our community.  

I especially witnessed the power of the St. X community during my time with the Christian Awakening Retreat. This four-day retreat let me take a step back and evaluate myself, my faith, and my goals. In addition, it truly showed me those people in my life who love and care for me.  

As I reminisce on my time at St. Xavier High School, the lessons I learned on retreat summarize and demonstrate everything this place has taught me. I am not alone; I am a part of a band of brothers that is so much bigger than myself. There’s a phrase occasionally used around St. X: “It’s a great day to be a St. X Tiger.” As my brothers and I get ready to depart for our next journeys in life, I am thankful for my time here. It was a time of adversity, of success, of failure, but mainly of formation. I have grown from a timid freshman to a young man ready to make my way through the world. I will always be grateful for all that this school has given me. I will always remember just how great it is to be a St. X Tiger. 

St. Xavier is brotherhood in action

Nico Sanchez 

We, the class of 2024, left middle school during a strange time for the world. As of the beginning of high school, that strange time was still going on. From the moment that half of our class walked into school — as the other half watched on Zoom at home — we had been thrown into a new environment and had many things we needed to adapt to: daily temperature checks, trying to make friends while wearing masks, and everything else that people had to do in 2020 to meet in person. The struggles of Covid-19 only amplified that which is already difficult about starting high school — leaving behind an old community to join a new one, organization with your schedule, and a laundry list of new responsibilities. To make the most of it, we had to rely on the brotherhood. 

Brotherhood is, to many, what binds St. X and keeps us together. So, what is our brotherhood? St. X’s brotherhood can be seen in members of the class of 2020 showing us as freshmen how to open our lockers and helping us find our classrooms for the first time. It can be seen in our teachers and faculty changing lesson plans and making more time for students, rallying to make our first year special while trying to make it seem a little less out of the ordinary. It can be seen in our guys from the St. Joseph of Arimathea Society assisting with burials for those with no one to do it for them. It can be seen in so many of our teachers, who graduated from St. X and decided to come back. It can be seen in our seniors stepping up to lead our junior brothers through the Christian Awakening Retreat. It can be seen in our Tiger Mentors program that pairs a junior or senior with a freshman to guide them. Everywhere you look at St. X, you will see the brotherhood in action.  

The greatest feats that come from the traditions of our brotherhood are those that continue our school’s longstanding history of excellence. These victories are seen in the class of 2024’s two perfect ACT scores, eight national merit finalists, and the thousands and thousands of service hours completed by our class. These victories are seen in the swimmers continuing a decades-long run of domination, the soccer team capping off this year’s state tournament by lifting up the trophy after being sent home in the final last year, and the hockey team making the program’s first-ever state championship game. Across all fields, and in every classroom, we have been winning together.  

In the end, after these past four years, I know that everything we have grown through is going to stick with us. Our time at St. Xavier High School was painted with many unique experiences that we get to take pride in. We were also molded into the men we are today and the men we are becoming, by the traditions and values of St. X. — compassion, humility, simplicity, trust, and zeal. Five values that we repeat each morning and afternoon as a part of prayer. These five values have been guiding principles for young men for 160 years, and they have been for us the past four. Now, as St. X has prepared us so well, we get to embark on our journeys to see the world, put these values into action, and spread the good word.  

St. Xavier teaches students to be giving

Hamilton Atkins 

When you hear about St. Xavier, you typically only hear about the brotherhood or the tradition of excellence, and, as incoming freshmen, that’s all we knew about St. Xavier as well. We knew only the surface level. Little did we know, the halls we were stepping into would not only open up new opportunities for us, but they would also help to create the men we are today.  

Mr. Ben Kresse has a saying: “Give what you have been given as a gift.” It’s one of the first things he teaches to the students in his theology class. If you ask him, it’s the most important lesson they’ll learn. It embodies the mission of the Xaverian Brothers. Use the abilities and blessings we have been given to benefit those who have not been as fortunate. The greatest acts of kindness are the ones we do for those who can offer nothing in return.  

St. Xavier creates men of character, men of excellence. In our time at St. Xavier, we were lucky enough to be taught by teachers who embody what it means to be men or women of character. They show us how in many ways.  

Mr. Ashby uses his Universal Man Club to help students become more well-rounded individuals. Ms. Jaffe greets every student with a smile every day. It takes great men and women of character to create and influence new ones.  

It’s strange to know that we’ll not be coming back to St. Xavier in the fall. This school has given us everything we need for a successful future. It not only saw the boys we were, it saw the men we could one day become. It has given us countless opportunities for life moving forward. It has given a massive support system to fall back on. And it has given us friendships that will certainly last a lifetime.  

Four years ago, we came here as strangers. Many of us didn’t know anybody else in school. Many of us wanted a fresh start. Whatever the case may be, we are no longer strangers. We are brothers, and we are a part of this brotherhood for life. We have been taught to attack every day with compassion, humility, simplicity, trust, and zeal. There is no doubt that we will go out into the world and wherever we end up, we will leave it better than we found it.

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