Student Stories

Grant

Class of 2017 - Ready for the United States Naval Academy!

"I believe that St. Mary’s Ryken specifically helped to prepare me for the United States Naval Academy by placing an emphasis on character. The academy’s honor concept states: Midshipmen are to be persons of integrity and stand for what is right. I've seen that modeled day after day while a student at SMR by our coaches, teachers, administrators and students. These morals and values, along with the college preparatory curriculum, has helped to prepare me for the expectations of the Naval Academy." Out of 16,000 applicants, Grant was one of 1,200 accepted to the USNA Class of 2021.

Grant was a member of the National Honor Society, and varsity football and track teams, and he received the Ryken Award for a top athlete who demonstrates character and high academic standards.

Rhys

Class of 2017 - Off to Stanford University!

"I am confident that my time at St. Mary's Ryken will enable me to be successful at Stanford. The academic rigor of the AP classes and the Scholars Program prepared me for a competitive university. The inspiring SMR community and welcoming campus have made my high school experience memorable!" ”

Rhys completed the biomedical track in the SMR Scholars Program. She also was a member of the varsity volleyball team, National Honor Society and Interact Club, and she tutored younger students.

Erin

Class of 2017 - Continue Performing at Shenandoah Conservatory

"The SMR Fine Arts department really helped me discover and explore my creativity. The dedication of the fine arts faculty has impacted my life decisions, and I will be an acting major at Shenandoah Conservatory this fall!"

Tiffany

Class of 2017 - Class Speaker

Class speaker, Tiffany Tran was chosen by faculty and staff from the group of students with the top 10 cumulative GPAs over their four years at SMR. Tiffany is attending the University of Maryland, Honors College in the fall.

Jacob - Earns Top GPA

Class of 2017 – Scholars Program Student-Athlete (Ice hockey and Lacrosse)

Senior Jacob O’Hara spoke to SMR graduates, their families, faculty and staff during the Baccalaureate Mass at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Solomons, Md. The senior who earns the top cumulative GPA over their four years at SMR receives the prestigious Xaverian Orator award. Jacob is attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall.

“Should you take the honors class and get an A, or should you take the AP and get a B? I say, 'Take the AP and get an A!' I believe that students rise to the challenges that they set before themselves, and, especially at St. Mary's Ryken, students who embrace challenges are able to thrive. At SMR, if you want to fill your schedule with AP courses, you can. I have never been a limit in my academics here, and subsequently I've found that my own limits are nowhere in sight. SMR students have control over their academic career, and that kind of autonomy allows students to test their own boundaries and find new passions that they never knew they had. "

Colin

Class of 2019 - Campus Ministry

Attending SMR retreats is both a very social and personal experience. It is a great time to get to know new classmates, and also to get to know yourself a little more at the same time. The last retreat that I attended was a very peaceful and relaxing experience, and I look forward to many more retreats throughout my years as a SMR student.” Colin, Class of 2019

Julia

Class of 2019 - Stage Guild

I like being part of the stage guild because it gives me the option of being more involved. The fine arts faculty wants me to be the best that I can be, and will go out of their way to help me make it happen. I also love that my classes include upper and lower classmen who share like interests, and who can help me to improve.

Gavin

Class of 2020 - Scholars Program

I’d always looked forward to attending SMR. Now that I’m a student here, I know that all the amazing things I’d heard are true. You get to meet new friends that come from many different schools. The teachers are always willing to help if you’re struggling and they truly care that you are learning. I’m so proud to be a KNIGHT!

Caroline

Class of 2020 – Fine Arts Dance Scholarship Recipient

The diversity at SMR means that students with all interests and backgrounds have an equal chance to create independent experiences. For me, being able to study dance, while also studying the liberal arts, will keep my options open for college, since I have not yet chosen one career path. Many things interest me, and at SMR I can study them all


Michael

Class of 2018 - Student-Athlete (Football and Wrestling)

Being a student at St. Mary's Ryken is a great experience. I believe that it is great for the high level of academics and the sports program, and everything in between. Coming to SMR introduced me to many different social groups of people. This allowed me to grow as a person and really see where I want to belong in the huge scheme of my life. Attending SMR was the best decision because of how I have grown since my freshman year, and gotten closer to the person I aspire to be. I am very happy here and am excited to see what is to come throughout my time as a St. Mary's Ryken student!

Isabella

Class of 2018 – Fine Arts, Dance Student

I'm a sophomore at St. Mary's Ryken. As a student first and a dance student second, I knew that SMR was the right place to continue my education after middle school. The confidence in my decision increased and solidified once I completed my freshmen year. I was able to find the perfect balance between my passion – dance and school work as they were both in one place at SMR. SMR offers a dance curriculum as well as fine arts scholarships. Both of these attributes played a major part in my decision to attend.

What I like most about the dance program is that it is modeled after a collegiate program. I love the freedom to select my own music and creation of choreography. I plan to dance in college and the atmosphere and instruction my teacher provides is such great preparation.

Our dance classes are very different from the traditional studio setting. The creativity that is necessary for a productive environment in class is something that has forced me to grow as a person and a dancer. I plan to attend additional intensive dance classes in New York City, and I'm very excited to take the new skills I’ve learned at SMR with me. I will return to school as improved dancer and continue to improve, as I partake in the SMR fine arts experience!

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