Brianna Donabedian, ’05 SRCS graduate, talks about how SRCS laid the foundation for a career in teaching.
Please share some of your memories of your time at SRCS?
It’s obvious as soon as you step in the door that there is an essence about Saint Raphael that makes it stand out among all other schools.
It is the family-like environment, leadership development, and academic rigor that helped shape me into the person I am today. Saint Raphael is a school whose values and morals imparted remain ever present in its alumni.
It is this strong foundation that holds my classmates and me to higher standards and to make everlasting marks on society at large.
The smaller school environment at SRCS enabled my teachers to know me and care about who I was as an individual. I was fortunate to have the same teachers throughout my middle school years, allowing for strong connections to be made.
When I run into some of my former teachers, I marvel that they have chosen to remain at Saint Raphael because they love the school and the students. Equally remarkable is that they still remember my name and are genuinely interested in what I’ve been doing.
We reminisce about moving into the new school building, organizing pep rallies before the traditional Shamrock Tournament, and decorating the halls in celebration of the last day of school.
My teachers also learned with me; I was not just another student sitting in their classroom, but rather, I was an individual.
There was never a time when I felt inadequate because my teachers took the time to figure out how I learned best and catered to those needs. Their commitment to developing leaders while respecting their individuality was clear.
The school’s support of my involvement with Student Council throughout middle school and being captain of my volleyball and soccer teams showed their belief in me and I continued my leadership roles at Cardinal Gibbons High School.
How did attending Cardinal Gibbons H.S. further enhance your leadership skills?
With the help and support of my teachers at Gibbons, I was appointed Editor and Chief of our 100th Anniversary Yearbook. I was also appointed a Junior Marshal and received the Bishop Burbidge Award for graduating in the top 10% of my senior class.
In addition, I was 1 of only 30 seniors out of a class of 300 selected to attend the annual Principal’s Leadership Conference. I credit this intensive training conference for helping me to gain acceptance into the college of my choice, UNC Chapel Hill.
What degree did you decide to pursue at UNC?
While at UNC, I was accepted into the School of Education, proving I was not only a distinguished leader on campus with exemplary grades, but that I also had the potential to educate others.
Upon acceptance into such a distinguished school, so many doors were opened to me. It was at this point where I began to realize exactly what it was about Saint Raphael teachers that made them so effective.
Saint Raphael laid the groundwork and gave me the opportunity to be whomever I wanted to be, and I would not be where I am today if I had attended another school.