In a school year that called for resilience above all else, the Class of 2021 rose to the challenge and excelled. They moved gracefully from digital learning to hybrid learning and finally rejoiced together with the return of all-day classes, athletics, and activities. Their year culminated in the much-welcomed in-person Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation on the turf of Bullpup Stadium.
READ ON FOR SOME OF THE CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CLASS OF 2021:
A literal crowning moment came at the end of March when senior JULIA MCINTYRE was selected 2021 Lilac Queen after a rigorous process for an organization that shares the same commitment to community and service as does Gonzaga Prep.
ANDREW NORDHAGEN, the class's valedictorian sought the magis in academics AND creativity. The National Merit winner and Spokane Scholar—who also aced the ACT—happens to be the designer of the 2021 Bloomsday t-shirt.
Nordhagen was one of six Spokane Scholars. His for math ($2,000), along with ISABELLA DONAHOE in English; ELIZABETH SABATA in Fine Arts; SHOBHIN LOGANI in Science ($2,000); JOSEPH ELLINGSON in Social Studies ($1,000); and CASSIDY VOELKER in world languages.
Graduates navigated a world of virtual college visits in the fall that led to acceptance to top tier schools including Notre Dame, Clemson, Villanova, Stanford, and Howard University. More than two dozen will further their education at seven different Jesuit institutions including Marquette, Fordham, Boston College, and Gonzaga.
JONAH BROWN accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy where he will also play Division I soccer for the falcons.
Seven other senior student-athletes showed resilience in action during the topsy-turvy sports seasons and will compete at the collegiate level in the fall: JACYN BAMIS will play volleyball for Clemson, DAVID CORNWELL will run track for Belmont Abbey College, MADDIE DAVIES will play volleyball for the University of Northern Colorado, THOMAS KIMMEL will golf for UNLV, LYDIA MYERS will play soccer for Texas A&M University, Commerce; ALAINA O'CONNELL will play soccer for Cal State, Bernardino; CALLAH PRETI will play tennis for St. Mary's University in San Antonio.
SHOBHIN LOGANI and CARTER DOMINGUEZ showed command of the language, competing in nationals for debate. ANDREW NORDHAGEN and ALICE GROFFMAN demonstrated command of another language, earning gold medals in the National Latin Exam.
Seniors SHARMANDA JEAN-FRANCOIS, ANNA SHORTELL, and ZACHARY ROUND led the Food Drive Committee who delivered a check for nearly $20K to Second Harvest—bounty from the generosity of the Fall Food Drive.
And finally, in family matters, the Class of 2021 graduated five cousins in the broad branches of the DeCaro family tree: LUCIA DECARO, ADALGISA DE CARO, KATE SCELFO, JOSEPH DAVIDSON and VINCENT DECKER.
This school year will long be remembered because it fell squarely within the pandemic, but the Class of 2021 will be remembered for so much more.
AIR FORCE ACADEMY
ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
BELMONT ABBEY COLLEGE
BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY
Antonio De Felice
CALIFORNIA STATE, SAN BERNARDINO
John Paul Robertson
CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY
HAWAII PACIFIC UNIVERSITY
LEWIS & CLARK COLLEGE
LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY
MILWAUKEE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
MONTANA STATE UNIVERSITY
NORTH IDAHO COLLEGE
NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
Adalgisa De Caro
PACIFIC UNIVERSITY OREGON
PALO ALTO COLLEGE
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY
SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY
SPOKANE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
SPOKANE FALLS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY, COMMERCE
TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA
UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN
UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN COLORADO
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND
UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Jack van Loben Sels
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS
WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Aidan von Buchwaldt
YAKIMA VALLEY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Water is one of the most essential things to life on earth. It is simultaneously nurturing, flexible, and strong—qualities that the class of 2021 has come to exemplify. In spite of the social, mental, and emotional toll that the pandemic inflicted, a defining trait of the class of 2021 was the grace and poise with which we navigated a less-than-ordinary senior year.
As Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth.” Like a river carving its way through solid rock, our graduates flowed and adapted, carving their way through even the most unyielding obstacles.
That being said, I would be remiss to ignore the shortcomings we've experienced this year, from bigotry around the world to racism in our own halls. The division and polarization that have been pervasive in our country worked their way into our school, and efforts toward change were met with resistance and apprehension. And that's a pretty big rock, so to speak, in our collective river.
But that struggle and division leads to movement—movement motivated by love and justice—and this year, I strongly believe that we've taken more steps forward than back. The BIPOC coalition of students and alumni sparked a fire in the Prep community that had been a long time coming, challenging the school to take deliberate steps toward a more loving and inclusive community. Through the Christian Service office, student leaders and faculty have collaborated to provide resources for us to have the conversations necessary to facilitate real change. This fight for justice is far from over, and it's something that I, alongside those leaders, urge current students and faculty to continue here at Gonzaga Prep and something that I hope we, as a class, will take with us to college and beyond.
Now, I'm not sure there's anything I could say to the graduating class of 2021 that would possibly compare to the lessons we've learned this year just by living through it, so I'll borrow from Bruce Lee: BE LIKE WATER.
Graduates: as we step out into the world, be flexible enough to adapt to challenging circumstances, but remain strong enough to break down any obstacle you face. Most of all, though, be nourishing—strive for justice, and foster love and growth wherever your path takes you.
About three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have lunch with the
Provincial Assistant for Education of Jesuits West and a few other seniors.
He asked us what a Jesuit education means to us. Mason McGregor had the
best answer to this question: What makes Gonzaga Prep special and what makes
Prep Jesuit is the fact that ALUMNI KEEP COMING BACK. It's the “Once a Bullpup,
always a Bullpup” mentality.
Ever since freshman year, we were taught the Profile of the Graduate: Open to
Growth, Intellectually Engaged, Religiously Alive, Loving, and Committed to Doing
Justice. We were taught the ideals of the Jesuits and had those ideals ingrained
into us from day one. As we walk out into the world, we take these ideals with us.
The ideals that make us loving, open, caring, intellectual, religious—good and empathetic people. That's why people come back. That's why alumni choose to send their kids to Prep.
Because Gonzaga Prep graduates BULLPUPS.
A Bullpup isn't just a mascot or a logo on a t-shirt. A Bullpup is a person who is good and will go and set the world on fire. We will all go our separate ways next year, and we will mature into real adults, eventually. As we do this, don't ever forget that you are a Bullpup, backed by thousands of Bullpups before you. “ONCE A BULLPUP, ALWAYS A BULLPUP!”
LEADERSHIP, ACADEMICS & SERVICE
CLASS OF 2021 VALEDICTORIAN
CLASS OF 2021 SALUTATORIANS
Duncan Cooper, Joseph Ellingson, Shobhin Logani, Tamara Njagi
NATIONAL MERIT STUDENTS
Joseph Ellingson and Andrew Nordhagen
NATIONAL MERIT COMMENDED STUDENTS
Evan Duchesne and Shobhin Logani
SENIOR CLASS LEADERSHIP AWARD
Owen Manfred and Zachary Round
OUTSTANDING SENIOR SCIENCE STUDENT AWARD
Joseph Ellingson and Adalgisa De Caro
BARTHLEMESS MATHEMATICS STUDENT AWARD
OUTSTANDING ENGLISH STUDENT AWARD
OUTSTANDING WORLD LANGUAGE STUDENT AWARD
French: Kaitlyn Toland
Spanish: Meghan Nulf
Latin: Alice Groffman and David Cornwell
OUTSTANDING PHYSICAL EDUCATION STUDENT AWARD
Jayden Blewett and Shannon McGuire
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY APPOINTMENT
PRESIDENT'S VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
Tamara Njagi and Zachary Round
Sharmanda Jean-Francois and Jayne Bamis
CATHOLIC COMMUNITY SCHOLARSHIP
Owen Manfred and Julia McIntyre
Joseph Ellingson, Jayne Bamis, David Cornwell
Adalgisa De Caro
Antonio De Felice
Aidan von Buchwaldt
2021 EAGLE SCOUT
ENGLISH: Isabella Donahoe
FINE ARTS: Elizabeth Sabata
MATH: Andrew Nordhagen $2000 awarded
SCIENCE: Shobhin Logani $2000 awarded
SOCIAL STUDIES: Joseph Ellingson $1000 awarded
WORLD LANGUAGES: Cassidy Voelker
SPOKANE LILAC ASSOCIATION QUEEN
Zachary Round, Anna Shortell, Tamara Njagi, Sharmanda Jean-Francois
NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY OFFICERS
Siri-Amélie Birrer, Tamara Njagi, Adalgisa De Caro, Alaina O'Connell, Kaitlyn Toland
Owen Manfred and Zachary Round
Jayne Bamis, David Cornwell, Claire Eckhardt, Soleil Jeffery, Ana Lillie, Julia McIntyre
SENIOR CLASS COUNCIL
Bridget Murphy, Harrison Wells, Rebekah Boyd, Joseph Ellingson, Kristyn Simpson, Mason McGregor, Daniel McKeirnan, Grace Groshoff, Avery Tee
CHRIS BABCOCK MEMORIAL DEBATE AWARD
Carter Dominguez and Shobhin Logani
NATIONAL SCHOOL CHORAL AWARD
JOHN PHILIP SOUSA BAND AWARD
Kaitlyn Dugger and Allia Wing
DRAMA SPOTLIGHT AWARD
VISUAL ART AWARD
OMNIA ART SHOWCASE
BLACK AND WHITE 2-D
Gold: “Prom 2020” Hailey Landkammer
Silver: “Olivia Captures” August Nelson
Silver: “Kitchen Sink” Kate Lelewski
Bronze: “X” Antonio De Felice
Gold: “Neowise” Andrew Nordhagen
Silver: “Portrait in History” Alice Groffman
MULTIMEDIA AND 3-D
Gold: “Ugborough” / Erin Dougherty
Silver: “Trefoil Knot” / Daniel Hughes
Bronze: “Venus” / Madeleine Fridenmaker
ATHLETICS & ACTIVITIES
BOBBY ETTEN AWARD
Summer Ambute and Owen Manfred
DAVE MACHTOLF AWARD
Garrett Gores and Brock Molenda
DENISE SCHLEPP LEADERSHIP IN WOMEN'S ATHLETICS AWARD
Adalgisa De Caro
JOE KEOGH AWARD
GSL SCHOLAR ATHLETES
Claire Eckhardt and
NECA/IBEW SCHOLAR ATHLETES
Kyah Le and James Franz
VARSITY KNOWLEDGE BOWL
Andrew Nordhagen, Shobhin Logani, Duncan Cooper, Joseph Ellingson, David Cornwell, Aiden Dougherty, Alice Groffman, Aine Hurley
HISTORY BOWL TEAM
Duncan Cooper and Alice Groffman
STEAM/DESTINATION IMAGINATION TEAM
2nd place at the Virtual State Competition
Daniel Hughes and Blake Lempka
NATIONAL LATIN EXAM AWARDS
GOLD MEDAL: Summa Cum Laude
Andrew Nordhagen and Alice Groffman