WINNETKA — Sacred Heart School’s graduating eighth graders were honored and blessed by the student body on June 8 in an all school assembly. In keeping with tradition, the eighth graders said goodbye to their younger schoolmates, faculty and staff at the Preschool through 8th grade school in Winnetka.
On June 1st, the student body, parents and faculty held their hands in a blessing over the 21 graduates, including 14-year-old Dylan Kerrane, who was the recipient of the Suzanne May Gerlits Award. The award is given in memory of Suzanne May Gerlits, a Sacred Heart student who passed away suddenly in 1981. This award is given to the graduating student who is sensitive to the needs of others, has the courage to meet those needs, and who is willing to befriend those who need a companion or an advocate.
After the assembly, eighth graders wove their way through the crowd, high-fiving and hugging siblings, friends, reading buddies and teachers. Patrick Adler, a Winnetka eighth grader who has attended Sacred Heart since Junior Kindergarten, had a mix of emotions leaving the school for the last time as a student. “On one hand, I am ready to start a new chapter in life at high
school, but I will miss the close relationships we all had at Sacred Heart in classes, sports, trips and theater.” Adler’s family has been a part of the Sacred Heart family for 17 years. As the youngest child, he is the last of his family to graduate, following brothers Aidan (Class of 2016) and Conor (Class of 2009). “It has been our boys second home,” said mom Kathy Adler.
“We will miss the closeness of the community.” The Adlers were honored at Sunday’s graduation Mass for being the family in the class with the most years at Sacred Heart.
The very next day, Sacred Heart celebrated another special graduation: the Kindergarten Class of 2017 held a program for families where the students sang songs and said prayers, showed off their artwork and demonstrated their speaking skills. Lynn and Mike Hanley, of Winnetka, had the special distinction of being the only parents who were celebrating BOTH graduations.
Their son Teddy is an 8th grade graduate, and their son John is a Kindergarten graduate.
“Having ended nine years at Sacred Heart with Teddy, it’s exciting knowing we get to do it all over again with our youngest, John,” said Lynn.
The Kindergarteners are excited to be moving on up to first grade, and the eighth graders feel ready to move onto high school. This year’s graduates will be attending Loyola Academy, New Trier High School, Woodlands Academy, Regina Dominican and Notre Dame High School.
Submitted by Sacred Heart School