Published : Monday, December 22, 2014 | 12:06 PM
The great bell tower across the street, the many trees which are planted on campus, the quaint library where the students in Kids’ Club go to study, and the excited squeals of children running all over the yard all are features of a place I have known for only a year, but has become my second home. Other children may groan at the prospect of school and find it a mundane part of their lives, but school is one of my favorite places and I always look forward to going. This school is where several great memories were made, goals were achieved, subjects were taught, and people were met. It is where I, for the first time in forever, felt happy, safe, and loved at school. St. Elizabeth Parish School is a special place to me because I can learn there, it has a good-looking campus, and the people there are great.
Firstly, I am able to partake in academics and enjoy them. Where I went to elementary school, I barely completed anything and didn’t really take away any knowledge with me. I went to school just because I had to go. I had no academic goals, and did not feel challenged or motivated. At St. Elizabeth, I was able to be academically competent and competitive. I was able to participate in Academic Decathlon, an academic competition open to only the students who have good grades. In elementary school, I did not give my assignments a second thought when I left the school. In sixth grade, I learned to worry about my grades, often times a little too much. My concern really helped me. I was able to walk out at the end of the year with a 4.0 GPA for the whole entire year. I used to hate homework and refuse to do it, but in my first year of junior high at St. Elizabeth I’ve only missed one homework assignment, and it was due to a printer malfunction. I have experienced tremendous academic growth ever since I came here. The study and homework habits I gained in sixth grade will surely help me later on in life, and I want to thank the teachers for helping me every step of the way.
The school itself is also very picturesque. There are shade-giving trees planted all over the yard. They seem to give the school some personality. On hot days, I like to sit under the trees and read about the exploits of Yuki Cross in Vampire Knight or doodle quietly. My favorite tree in the whole campus was lovingly dubbed by me “The Great Oak”. This aptly named tree has its own special barrier made of bricks, which no other tree has. I think this barrier makes the tree seem superior to all the others on the yard. How could one forget about Saint Elizabeth, who has her own special spot outside? This statue of our school’s saint is standing next to a rosebush which is frequently visited by bees. She also draws the line between the junior high classrooms and the recess yard. The actual building looks quite charming too. There’s just something about the bricks in the elementary school portion of the school that I really like. From the asphalt to the many staircases around the school, the school’s campus really adds to its character and increases how special it is for me.
Finally, the school has a great community. The people are warm and welcoming, especially of newcomers, unlike most online gaming communities. Even when I first stepped foot onto the campus for a tour of the school, the eighth graders offering the tours were extremely friendly. When I peeked into Room 201 on the first day of sixth grade, shy and nervous, Mr. Galvez greeted me with a friendly, loud hello and led me to a group of girls at a lab counter. The kids there also were accepting of me. On the first day of school, a girl who heard from a former student that I would be transferring to St. Elizabeth greeted me enthusiastically and invited me to sit with her at the lunch tables to discuss topics such as television and what people did over summer vacation. I made several friends at Saint Elizabeth, which I didn’t have back when I was in the fifth grade. The teachers are amazing who not only teach well, but are just great people. They will help you if you need it, and, though strict, are nice. The people of St. Elizabeth are extremely generous and kind, and contribute to the school’s atmosphere. They make you feel proud to be at and feel like a part of St. Elizabeth School.
This school has significance in my life. It is a dear place to me because it is where I finally learned how to appreciate my education, the school has a charming aesthetic, and the St. Elizabeth family is like a real family- warm, caring, and accepting. St. Elizabeth School is the place where I have experienced many things and got to truly grow not only academically, but as a person too. I hope that someday, my brother will find this place special as well. I also wish that he gets to experience things that he did not get the chance to experience at his old school and find this place a loving and safe place where he can grow and have fun as well.
- Nia Nama
St. Elizabeth Parish School, 1840 N. Lake Avenue, Altadena, (626) 797-7727 or visit www.saint-elizabeth.org.