SES Alumni Spotlight

Joseph Roussos, Olyvia Parenteau and Thomas Moore

Three SES Alumni were photographed at last month's Spaulding production of "Fiddler on the Roof"! Congratulations!

Hannah Bamford

Spaulding High School senior Hannah Bamford signed her national letter of intent to attend and play NCAA Division I soccer at the University of Maine.  She will play at UMaine with her sister and SES Alum Olivia, who recently transferred to Maine from URI.

Carrie Tazbir

Each year, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) sponsors the Multimedia Youth Contest- a tool for schools and parishes to engage young people in creative justice education and, in essence, to get them thinking about poverty. Student artists submit entries that reflect their skill and creativity and that also exhibit an understanding of the root causes of poverty.

The Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom that seeks to build a just society, one where people live lives of holiness amidst modern society’s challenges. Educating our St. Thomas Aquinas students in the seven main principles (Life and Dignity of the Human Person; Call to Family, Community and Participation; Rights and Responsibilities; Preferential Option for and with People who are Poor; Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers; Solidarity; Care for God's Creation) is a way to draw parallels between our school mission to transform lives and Catholics’ mission to be witnesses to faith by engendering hope for those less fortunate.

Over the course of several months, students worked on artistic entries that embraced this year's theme "Being Neighbors in our Common Home." As part of their studies, students researched poverty in the United States and in New Hampshire. They were able to choose their own multimedia format (video, photograph, PowerPoint presentation, painting, drawing, poem, etc.) and submitted their entries at the local school level. Winners moved on to the next level and had their work evaluated by Diocesan judges. 

At this year’s Annual Diocesan Multimedia Contest held in Manchester on Monday evening, St. Thomas Aquinas swept the grade 10-12 awards. Seniors Brenna Anderson came in 3rd, Peter Lampesis placed 2nd and Carrie Tazbir was awarded First Place. In addition to the recognition, St. Thomas Aquinas received $3500 in scholarship money from the bishop for its Financial Aid program. Finally, Carrie’s entry “Faces of the World” has been entered into the national contest, sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to our student artists whose work not only displays their talents, but helps support St. Thomas Aquinas and the Catholic Church’s social tradition and teachings. Their vision helps design a better tomorrow for all people.

Abby Olson

Nute High School student Abigail Olson, who was the winner of VFW Post 8393's recent Voice of Democracy essay contest, advanced to the District 3 final, held in Somersworth on Jan. 15, according to the Post's contest chairman, Doug Shute.

The theme of this year's contest is My Responsibility to America,

Olson was pronounced the winner of the Somersworth contest also, and will now join other district finalists from across the state of New Hampshire at the Best Western in Manchester on Jan. 29.

The chosen winner on this date will advance to the national finals held in Washington D.C. (all expenses paid) and will vie for a first place scholarship worth $30,000, VFW Post 8393 Quartermaster Bob Graham said.

Olivia Fennessy's winning photo

In celebration of Catholic Schools Week, we had a little fun here at St. Thomas Aquinas. Students were challenged to send in a photograph that, to them, represented Saints Pride. The guidelines were purposefully loose so that students would tap into their creative juices and submit an entry that was reflective and personal.

A panel of five judges reviewed the photographs and selected the winners.

Of all the things that make Catholic Schools Week special, the one common and consistent message is that Catholic schools are a one-of-a-kind institution. Centered on mission, alive with vibrancy and fueled by faith, St. Thomas Aquinas High School shines from the inside out. This was clearly evidenced by our students’ submissions. Their perspective- unique and distinct- presents as a larger metaphor for our entire student body. Each young man and woman that embarks on an educational journey at St. Thomas Aquinas is an individual- respected and remarkable as a child of God.

To all the students who “snapped and sent” a photo- thank you! Your acceptance of a simple challenge is noted and applauded.

Winners will receive a generous gift card to the restaurant or coffee shop of their choice.

1st place Tie: Olivia Fennessy '20

Olivia Bamford

Olivia Bamford is taking her soccer game to the next level.

The Spaulding High School senior signed her letter of commitment last week to play NCAA Division I women's soccer at the University of Rhode Island.

It's a level she's always dreamed of playing at.

"It all happened late in the recruiting process," Bamford said.

She went to a one-day clinic last April at URI. The coach, Michael Needham, came up to her and said he was very interested in her coming to URI.

Bamford was familiar with the school. She'd been there in the past with her church, and her older sister, Kaelyn, is a freshman there.

She also considered Boston University, UMass-Lowell and Sacred Heart.

"Everything fit at URI," she said. "URI plays the style I like. There is good team chemistry."

There is also the chance to play right away as a freshman.

"If you work hard and push yourself, you won't get overlooked," Bamford said. "They play to win."