Matthew Waidelich, a graduating 8th grader at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, has been named the winner of the IB Scholarship at Trinity Episcopal School, beginning in Fall 2022. Matthew will receive full tuition for all four years of high school at Trinity.
We asked Matthew to give us a short reflection on this opportunity in his own words:
Q: What strengths of yours do you feel led to receiving this honor?
A: Some of the strengths I feel most helped me in receiving the IB Scholarship are my mental flexibility, perseverance, and my ability to make connections. Naturally I am not a very flexible person and when I was younger I felt very cemented to plans. Both as I grew older and during the 2 1/2 years I spent in Japan, being from a military family, I was able to develop more mental flexibility. Through this time in Japan we were lost much of the time, both figuratively and literally speaking this helped me develop my previously mentioned flexibility and perseverance.
Q: What skills or classes at Lourdes have best prepared you for high school?
A: The things about Lourdes that have best prepared me for high school are the rigorous curriculum in all the classes and the writing that we are required to do in almost all of our classes. No matter the subject I have felt that our classes are harder than they would have been in other schools. I have been constantly challenged which has in turn made me a more complete student. The steep amount of writing at Lourdes has prepared me for any writing intensive program I could have gone to, including Trinity.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in high school?
A: The things that I am most looking forward to at Trinity are a chance to spread my wings and that many opportunities that they offer. As much as I love the smaller class sizes of Lourdes I am looking forward to being able to go into a bigger school with more opportunities to explore.
Q: What will you miss most about Lourdes?
A: Some things that I will miss the most about Lourdes are the size of the classes and the connection that teachers and students can build. The small class sizes make it easy to build meaningful connections with almost everybody in your grade, even people you don’t share many classes with. For a student like myself who has moved and entered many different schools, Lourdes made it very easy to fit in and become part of the group. Another thing I will miss about Lourdes is having the same teachers for three years. I will miss this because it allowed me to build deeper connections with them than if I only had one year with them. It has also allowed me to understand how my teachers teach and better gain an understanding of their style.
Matthew is Lourdes’ fifth 8th grader in just six years to earn a scholarship that covers the full tuition for a local private high school. The other four- Jack Morgan (Lourdes Class of 2017), Lucia Fogler (2018), Bella Topich (2019), and Xavier Nelson (2021) were all awarded the Debbie Robson Scholarship at The Steward School.
Our Lady of Lourdes’ Principal, Carey Jacobsen, said, “Matthew and his family have been an incredible addition to our community since they joined Lourdes in 2019. Not only is Matthew an exceptionally strong academic student, he is a role model for our younger students and demonstrates how a young person can be a disciple of Christ. He is an asset to our school community, and we cannot wait to see how he will continue to thrive at Trinity. Our Lady of Lourdes creates a culture where students own their learning and are empowered to think critically and problem-solve. We seek to create student leaders who will go forth to utilize these skills in high school and beyond. We know Matthew is prepared to excel in this next stage, and we are proud of the time he has spent as a Lourdes Lion.”