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Class of 2011 Says Goodbye to Notre Dame-Fairfield

Jessica Harper said she had one fear Saturday afternoon. As she stood in front of 115 classmates in Notre Dame Catholic High School’s Class of 2011, she tried to avoid one thing — “I don’t want to be boring,” she said.

“After all, the meaning of this afternoon is to see everyone graduate,” Harper said. “Not to hear me rambling on about my four years at Notre Dame or the importance of education.”

The Class of 2011 at Notre Dame celebrated its graduation Saturday afternoon. A group of 116 seniors received diplomas. Harper, class valedictorian, offered some words of encouragement. Through she forced herself to avoid clichés in her speech, the Oxford resident said there was one she couldn’t leave out — that her school is “a family.”

“It is important that we remember that in four years, this school has brought us together to bond and grow up, and learn from each other,” she said. “You are forever connected as Notre Dame graduates, and one of your fellow Lancers will always have your back.”

Harper wasn’t the only student who took center stage Saturday. For the first time in the school’s history, Notre Dame honored one graduate with the Outstanding Senior Award. Caitlin Shea-Vantine earned the honor for her academic achievement, her work as the Drama Club’s stage manager and her love for the school.

“We were looking to honor the most well-rounded, the most outstanding senior,” said principal Christopher Cipriano. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the award.”

Cipriano saw his students off with some words of advice: “As you move on to the next chapters in your lives, strive to make a difference in the lives of others,” he said. “If you do that, I truly believe that our mission in educating you for the last four years will be successful.”

Do you know a member of Notre Dame’s Class of 2011? Congratulate them in the comments below. And send your own graduation photos to .

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