We invite you to read some of our Senior Parents reflections on their child’s Everest experience:
Mr. and Mrs. Lindsey Luttinen
For my husband and me, our children are our most precious resources. Our single most important prayer for them has been that they fulfill their God-given vocation in this life, and then go on to eternal life with God in Heaven. Because education is such a crucial part of their lives, we have struggled to send them to Catholic school. We were having difficulty finding a place that provided a quality education in a truly Catholic environment. Five years ago, we had the opportunity to move our children to Everest, and we have not looked back. Being able to send our kids to such a school has been a great gift, and as we get ready to send our first child onto college, we know she is well prepared to meet the challenges our world and our culture will give her. Everest has been a great compliment to our family life and our efforts to bring Sarah, Megan, Rebecca and Luke up in the Catholic faith. Thank God for Everest.
Mr. and Mrs. Craig Ireland
Seven years ago we made a leap of faith in choosing to move our family to Everest Academy, from our small parish school. It was our daughter, Christen’s experiences, having been involved with Challenge, that led us to be intrigued with the educational philosophy of the Legionaries of Christ and Everest Academy. Making the decision to enroll her in the “Founding Class of Everest Collegiate High School” was an easy one for us, as parents. We wanted to solidify the foundation that was laid during her earlier years at Everest Academy. For Christen, however, our decision wasn’t quite as easy, for the obvious preconceived notions of what high school “should be”. Today, four very short years later, we are convinced that our decision to bring her and her siblings to Everest Academy and Everest Collegiate was not only the correct decision, but in fact, the very Will of God for her life and our family. Our prayer intention for her as a child, and now as a young woman is the same; that God will create in her a desire to know His will for her life, as well as the desire and courage to follow His will. We have always been confident that this intention is shared by the faculty and staff, and we will forever be grateful to God for the instrument of His Will that is Everest Collegiate High School and Academy.
Dr. and Mrs. Miguel Lis-Planells
When Alexandra enrolled in the newly-founded Everest Collegiate, we were hoping to have our daughter continue growing and maturing in every aspect of her life. I have proudly watched her become a young woman of well rounded character, developing a closer relationship with Christ, excelling academically, in sports, and becoming an active, energetic young Catholic. Without a doubt, Everest Collegiate provides all elements necessary for the complete formation of future Catholic leaders. I am convinced that the Holy Spirit dwells in our school.
Mr. and Mrs. Lermit Diaz
In 2008 we as parents, had a choice: Follow the common sense and enroll our daughters and sons in a well known High School, or be the pioneers to build the class of 2012 in Everest Collegiate. Without thinking about it too much, we chose the latter, based on the fact that Everest Academy exceeded our expectations, derived from the efficiency, competence, and professionalism of faculty and staff, along with the opportunity as parents to participate in building a noble and splendid project. But furthermore there was a hidden lesson for all of us involved, and the classes to come: risk, break new ground, and lead the way. In particular the class of 2012 has learned not to be afraid of the unknown and trust their instincts, a lecture that will accompany them forever.
As co-founder father, today, I could say that it could not go any better. Our daughter, Fabiana, has been accepted and will attend the University of Michigan to pursue a career in International Relations and Affairs. As co-founder alumni she is proud of all her achievements and accomplishments, despite the fact that everything was new and needed to be done at Everest, she has been part of student government, broadcast club, drama club, challenge club, tennis varsity team and had the opportunity to participate on mission trips out of state and moreover out of the country. Everest and its faculty delivered the four pillars, spiritual, apostolic, human, and intellect as promised.
Mr. and Mrs. Sam Bellestri
Julie-I remember holding Sam for the first time and being overwhelmed by how much I loved him. Often when I held him I would pray that every child is loved so much. In my head, though, I knew that not every child is loved by its parents. At Everest, I came to believe that God loves all of us equally in a way that is beyond our understanding and our capabilities.
What I am most thankful to Everest for is the way they taught Sam to love God back. It is because of the depth of that love that I know that Sam will stay close to Him while he is in college and for the rest of his life.
Sam- God has formed my son into a great man. Thank you to all the teachers, priests, coaches and staff who had a hand in his formation. I am so proud of him and his classmates. All of these graduates are great men and women. May they always strive to please God.
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Stafford
When Everest launched a High School we were convinced it was the right place for Jacob. The extraordinary experiences of our seven children at Everest Academy compelled us to stay and take a chance on a start-up high school, a decision we left very much up to Jake. While not without the growing pains of any new initiative, four years later Everest Collegiate has helped Jake blossom into a young man of character, commitment and faith.
We could not be more pleased with the “end product” of an Everest Education for Jacob. He now faces his next four years at Hope College (and the many years beyond) with a quiet, self-assured worldview and confidence that few young people possess. Everest Academy and Everest Collegiate have truly poised Jacob for success in whatever future endeavors God has planned for him.
Dr. and Mrs. James Mastromatteo
On Everest Academy and Everest Collegiate: Educating our children on a campus full of devoted, disciplined and God-fearing teachers produces students devoted to Christ, disciples who will then go forth to bring the Light of Christ to a weary world. The effect of these years upon our children, our families, our communities, and our children’s children is too deep for words; it is beautiful.
Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Toohey
Tonight, May 17, 2012, we honor 17 young men and women who are members of Everest Collegiate first graduating class. We thank the Bloomfield ladies for their tireless effort and vision in support of Fr. Gomez and a preschool program called Mary’s Little Lambs. Such was the humble beginning of Everest Academy and Everest Collegiate High School over twenty years ago.
Twenty years ago, there were 14 students enrolled at Everest when the Toohey family moved to Clarkston from Sioux City, IA. Our three son’s made it 17. We hoped that the high school would open by the time Tim, our oldest and the first graduate of the Academy would be a freshman. Seventeen years later, Annie entered as a freshman.
Wisely, the high school began on God’s time. Our Senior’s and their families are to be congratulated for believing in the Everest Mission. Most importantly, we were sending young souls to be nurtured in their faith. They have also experienced academic excellence, participated in a variety of sports, theater and other traditional high school activities.
We are thankful for all of the Priests, Brothers, Consecrated and Co-Workers who have been available for Spiritual Direction, the Sacraments, friendship and their holy example of Christian witness. We are thankful for the presence and support of other Everest families that share our faith and belief systems. While we were always concerned about our children’s safety on the roads, we knew they were always safe in fellow student’s homes. We hope they remember all the neat times they had when they went to movies, bonfires, parties or just hanging out together as EC’s first class.
We are so proud of everything these graduates have accomplished. For our family, it was watching Annie singing and acting on stage, being able to participate in Competitive Cheer following reconstructive surgery on both of her feet during her freshman year. We are thankful that she stood and prayed with us during 40 Days for Life in front of an abortion mill that opened in Clarkston a couple of years ago. It closed about a year later. Thankful that she went to Holy Week Missions in Mexico and Chicago. Overwhelmed by the unity and support the girls gave Tory as she experienced the loss of her father this winter. Grateful for the Holy Land Senior trip and desire of the Seniors to go to Confession in the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre.
And yes, we are excited that she will be going off to Hillsdale College in the Fall, accompanied by two of her Everest classmates, knowing that there is a strong Catholic presence and identity on campus. This is a college that embraces God and the importance of Truth in all things, picking up where Annie’s education and formation at Everest leaves off.
We have been so blessed by all those who help found, financially support, teach, coach, guide and pray for our children, these outstanding young men and women we honor tonight. We ask that God Bless and keep these graduates close to His heart forever.
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Nalepa
It is a privilege to be invited to provide our reflections on the founding of Everest Collegiate High School. Actually, it has been a privilege to be a part of the founding, especially through our son, Patrick. Four years ago the details of the high school years were sketchy for him and his classmates, as well as us parents, with many unknowns and much inexperience. The steady and consistent direction, guidance, and support from administration and teaching staff from the very beginning enabled these children to aspire . . . and to succeed. As we were looking over photos of the past four years to submit for the Senior Video we recalled the emotions we experienced at each new event, situation, opportunity: a little apprehension, then anticipation, some sadness, but mostly pride, success, happiness, hope. Overall, the gratitude and joy that our son, and the entire class, has been given the opportunity to be confident in who they are, who God created them to be, and confident in their future as His children. Yes, the students in this Senior class have experienced, grown, and learned so much. Yet, as parents we have also grown and learned a great deal about our children, our role as the parents of emerging adults, and our faith in the One who is in charge.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the founders of ECHS who saw in our children the potential we are realizing today. From Fr. Gomez, Mr. Copland to Mr. Reichert, those few first teachers to the staff we have today, the priests and consecrated women serving our children and us, and all the benefactors who have made it possible for this high school to be launched and continue to develop as an institution. The mission of Everest is to shape Christian leaders that will transform society according to the standards of the Gospel. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! THANK YOU!