What It Means…

On the first day of school this year, we began with a service in the church, which I believe is the perfect place to begin the journey of a school year. At the end of the service, I asked students to reflect upon what it means to be a student at St. Mary Magdalen. Being a member of this community distinguishes us in a number of ways, and it is important for us to keep those at the forefront of our minds.

I want to share the message I delivered to the students with you.


What does it mean to be a student at St. Mary Magdalen?


Of course it means following the rules of the school.

It means walking in the halls.

It means wearing the proper uniform, including socks, and for the older students, even proper finger nail polish.

It means walking on the right side of the hall and the right side of the stairs.

It means trying to put a book back into the pew without making the slightest sound.

It means putting the kneeler back so carefully that no one hears it.

It means putting the balls away after recess.

It means singing at Mass, even if you are uncomfortable with the sound of your voice.

It means leaning over to a classmate to tell them that you thought their idea was really interesting.

It means trying your hardest on all of your assignments, quizzes, and tests.

It means knowing when you can give a little more… and then doing it the next time.

It means being proud of your effort.

It means putting on an Irish uniform and feeling pride.

It means listening to your teacher and your classmates.

It also means raising your own hand to share your opinion.

It means inviting someone to sit at your table at lunch.

It means being kind to a classmate.

It means doing the right thing-even when no one is looking.

It means owning up to your mistakes.

It means saying you’re sorry.

It means telling someone “it is ok” when they tell you they are sorry.

It means doing something, or being a part of club or sport that is new to you.

It means standing up for someone if you think someone is mistreating them.

It means trusting your teachers.

It means thanking your teachers. Do it every day. They work harder than you can ever know to make sure you have the best education possible. And they care about you more than you can imagine.

It means thanking your parents.

It means that when you have the opportunity to be right or to be kind. You choose to be kind.

It means that when you see someone who is feeling left out of a game at recess, you invite them to join.

It means holding the door for a classmates, teachers, and anyone who is coming through that door.

It means thanking someone for holding the door open for you.

Being a student who does all of these things matters.

Being a good person matters.

Being a student at St. Mary Magdalen matters.

It is an honor for all of us to say we are members of St. Mary Magdalen. We are a part of a legacy.

Let’s make every student and teacher who came before us proud. And let’s meet again at the end of this year and feel proud about ourselves.

We are the Irish.

We are members of St. Mary Magdalen School.

Let’s never forget that.

And let’s act like it every single day.


-Zack Cunningham