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Austin Prep Graduates Reminded To Appreciate The Joy In Life

Jun 03, 2018 01:44PM ● By Theresa Gilman

Austin Preparatory School

(Editor's Note: the following information was provided by Austin Prep.)

Choose your actions wisely, use your gifts to help others, and be sure to appreciate the joy in everyday life, was the advice the 142 graduates of Austin Preparatory School received during commencement exercises on May 20.

Their “joy” began at baccalaureate Mass on May 19, as the graduates, parents, faculty and leadership of Austin Prep, when asked by the Rev. Ray Dlugos to “show your joy,” responded with thunderous applause and cheers. Rev. Dlugos of Andover is Vice President of Mission and Ministry at Merrimack College and an Austin Prep Trustee.

The school’s headmaster, Dr. James Hickey of Andover, learned the same valuable lesson about joy from his grandmother.

“Whatever you do make sure to find or – even better – create fun, and joy will certainly follow,” Dr. Hickey said. “Be intentional about it, make time for it, otherwise ‘life’ will get in the way of living a ‘happy life.’ ”

In addition to technical skills, every person has “Human to Human,” or “Heart to Heart” skills which are more important, as those skills define us, Mrs. Barbara Marchetti, the graduation keynote speaker, told the graduates.

“The majority of hiring decisions lean toward the ‘Human to Human,’ ” she said. “It is the ultimate tie breaker. If someone is deficient with a technical tool but makes up for it with his/her ‘Human to Human’ tools – guess who’s selected?”

Mrs. Marchetti is the founder and president of C-suite Corporation, a retained executive search firm which specializes in the talent acquisition of executives from the C-suite down to the director levels. She has more than 30 years of experience impacting the executive infrastructure of business and industry, and is an internationally known business strategist, trainer and public speaker who has worked with hundreds of companies and thousands of executives globally. Mrs. Marchetti is an Austin Prep Trustee and parent of an alumnus from the class of 2017.

Her sentiment was echoed by the class of 2018 valedictorian Caitlyn Leonard of Peabody, who remarked that as adults they should choose their actions carefully.

“We will be defined in our everyday actions –– and those actions we make are our choice,” Caitlyn said. “So, will we choose to be defined by our open hearts?  Our service to our country or community? Our love for our family and friends? Our hard work and determination? Our commitment to our faith? As we walk through those doors, we each have a choice, but as Austin Prep graduates I know the choice we will all make.”

The class of 2018 has already started implementing many of the ‘Human to Human’ tools learned during their years at Austin Prep to help others and live a life filled with joy.

“Take the pen and write your own story,” Bridget Kelley of Melrose, class of 2018 salutatorian, told her fellow graduates. “Continue to make it a story of kindness, of spirit, of dedication, of acceptance, and of a love for life. I think that we as a class have already changed the world, because you have changed me, and we have changed each other, for the better.”

All 142 graduates were accepted to numerous four-year colleges and universities. Congratulations to the following:


Alexis Nichols will attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall.

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