Class of 2017 Soars at Commencement | Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School


Class of 2017 Soars at Commencement

On May 27, SJND celebrated its 135th Commencement and conferred diplomas to 92 graduates sent out to lead joyful lives of faith, scholarship and service. Celebrating their spirit, academic excellence, and community contributions, the graduation ceremonies included distinguished guests who shared their words of wisdom.

View the photo album on Facebook (a link to professional photos will be emailed to families)

Salutatorian Rebecca Rochlin '17, attending UC Berkeley in the fall, provided fellow graduates with shared memories and aspirations for the future at the at Baccalaureate liturgy:

“Write your own story, at your own pace, in your own time, in your most loving and giving self. Be present, and keep your hearts open and fill them with things that make you feel good and happy and complete. May we always continue to live out our fourth day, and embrace its open-ended expression of love, friendship, and trust, and may you always be proud to be a Pilot.”

During commencement, Betsy Norris, retired and beloved Spanish and English teacher at SJND for 34 years, spurred the graduates to activism with a resounding “¡con ganas se puede!”

Class of 2017 Valedictorian Emily Stehr, who will attend Dartmouth College, also addressed her classmates. Her remarks were inspired by the class’ mascot: the wolf, a fitting symbol for the students it represented. She alleged that her class' collective experience taught them how to feed the good wolf within, the wolf of purpose, compassion, and love. She encouraged her class to be scholars and lifelong learners, to honor new challenging perspectives, and to solve obstacles through knowledge and compassion. She also reminded the class of their duty to one another, and to service:

“In the coming weeks, months, and years after we step off campus as graduates of SJND, we must pay our incredible privilege forward by ensuring that others may be impassioned with the same capacity to dream that we hold today. We must take our gifts and use them to fight for truth, justice, and personhood for those who cannot fight the battle on their own. Every day should feel like the hectic few weeks in which all of our Justice and Peace service projects were going on at once-- a joyful frenzy of altruism that allows the impact of SJND to radiate far beyond Chestnut Street, farther than any of us could have imagined.”


The following students recieved high academic honors in 2016-2017. Click here to see the complete list of Academic Awards and Scholarships.

  • Valedictorian of the Class of 2017: Emily Stehr
  • Salutatorian of the Class of 2017: Rebecca Rochlin
  • Highest GPA:
    • Katherine Carino 4.53
    • Emily Stehr 4.53
  • National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation: Emily Stehr
  • National Merit Hispanic Scholars: Mary Carmen Reid, Diego Sanchez, Anna Victoria Serbin
  • Santone Scholarship for College Success: Stephanie Sanchez, Emily Stehr

Special honors were bestowed to the following graduates during the Commencement ceremony:

  • Principal's Leadership Award: Rachel Hungerford
  • Spirit of the Pilot Award: Nicole Bermudez
  • Inspired by Christ Award: Rebecca Rochlin
  • Fides et Caritas Award: Lea Akima
  • SJND Award for Excellence: Emily Stehr

Class of 2017, SJND’s newest alumni community members, we look forward to hearing about your college experiences and seeing you back on campus as your adventures continue. Congratulations!

The Class of 2017 earned admission to a variety of distinguished public and private colleges and universities. See the complete list here.