On September 15, Saint Francis students and faculty gathered for the Holy Cross Assembly in the Burns Gym to discuss what it means to be Holy Cross and how to live out this year’s BRIC theme of Celebrating Family. The assembly, which began with remarks by Principal Katie Teekell (’00), included an immersion debrief, Associated Student Body (ASB) speeches, and much more.
Mrs. Teekell, a proud Lancer alum, shared that her high school years were an essential part of her identity. She pointed out that Saint Francis isn’t a school that students forget about when they graduate, but a home they’ll eventually come back to, just as she did as an educator. She mentioned that her kids will one day become Lancers, continuing the legacy and displaying the generational familial connections cultivated on campus.
Next, students who went on immersions this past summer, to distant locations like Puerto Rico and Houston, Texas, shared their experiences of serving vulnerable populations. The immersion in Houston, as Max Allen (’23) shared, involved helping construct houses damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Through testimonial videos, participants shared their memories that were not only limited to service but also discussed their new relationships with peers and educators.
Members of ASB also delivered speeches reflecting on their Holy Cross leadership on campus. They also shared their experiences from the Holy Cross Conference for Student Leadership in Austin, Texas, where they collaborated with other Holy Cross schools and learned from each school’s unique traditions. They further discussed their plans on campus to ensure inter-grade bonding and inclusive activities in Campus Ministry, SJEI, Rage Cage, and Rally Board. Ms. Grace Savinovich, ASB moderator, commented, “It was an important time to offer insight on ASB’s purpose and goals while highlighting the work we’ve been doing to help the whole student body feel at home.”
Last but not least, special awards were presented to students who are both actively involved on campus and demonstrate service to the community. Juan Becerra Jr. (’23) received the Peter Morey “Keep the Spirit” Award because of the values of inspiration, character, enthusiasm, optimism, and encouragement he brings to the Lancer community. Andrew Adkison (’23) and Antonette Oliva (’23) also received Holy Cross awards for demonstrating humility and diligence in their academic, spiritual, and social involvements on campus. Everyone in the gym cheered the award recipients, uniting in their congratulations to these Lancer leaders.
The first assembly of the year was a remarkable experience in which everyone gathered as a family and defined what Saint Francis is founded upon. This event reminded returning students of school traditions while introducing freshmen to them. Reflecting on the assembly, Miguel Malicse (’26) stated, “I’ve learned that Saint Francis is not just a place to go to get an education, but it is a place where you connect with other friends and find a new family. I think that’s what makes Saint Francis so unique.” The Holy Cross Assembly emphasized the importance of bringing hope, inspiring integrity, and celebrating family for the coming school year.