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On June 21, 2022, Nativity celebrated the graduation of the 2022 Class of St. Teresa of Calcutta! The Nativity community of teachers, administrators, volunteers, families, students, and supporters attended the ceremony held in St. Boniface Church.

Along with the presentation of diplomas, scholarships, and awards, the program consisted of student reflections about Nativity, speeches from President, James C. Smith, Principal, Jennifer Kremer, Director of Student Support, Anna Doerr, and a graduate from the class of 2017, Makaylah Brooks, who returned as our commencement speaker.

Makaylah shared lessons she learned at Nativity and Our Lady of Mercy and gave encouragement to our graduating 8th graders as they begin high school. Makaylah will be starting at Canisius College this fall, where she will be studying accounting. We are so proud of Makaylah and are grateful she was willing to share her wisdom with our graduating students!

Congratulations to all of 2022 graduates for their achievements. We are proud of you!

Here’s where they are headed next:

Aquinas Institute: 4 students

Bishop Kearney: 4 students

McQuaid Jesuit: 2 students

Our Lady of Mercy: 2 students

Rush-Henrietta Central Schools: 1 student

School of the Arts: 2 students

School Without Walls: 1 student

Newton High School (NJ): 1 student

In case you missed the ceremony, here are some words from our student reflections:


Congratulations Class of 2022.

It is finally the end of the school year and we are graduating.

It is a bit unsettling to leave Nativity considering I have been here for 4 years. Every day I have walked into Nativity knowing the teachers here are so willing to teach every student.

Even though some days haven’t been the best for our class, we got through them. The teachers helped us when we had a bad day and just needed to talk or some extra help on work. They tried their hardest to make sure you weren’t falling behind.

The four years I stayed here I built this sense comfortably. I realized that we grew up and matured together. We worked as a class and had lots of school spirit. Our wonderful homeroom teacher, Mrs. Adams always kept us in check.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta, the Saint our class is named after, once said,

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

Sometimes it’s hard to always try your hardest and be on your best behavior all the time considering we are with the same people almost every day for years. But a small act of kindness could make someone’s day.

Everyday events happen in everybody’s daily life, good or bad.

It’s your decision how you react to that event.

As you transition into high school unfamiliar things will happen to you.

 If you ground yourself in kindness and faith, you will be surprised how much you will accomplish. 

I am excited for a new path as my family moves to New Jersey this summer.  I will take a bit of Nativity with me wherever I go in life. 

Thank you to all the teachers, my classmates and my family who showed me how to do small things with great love.


Joining Nativity was definitely a learning experience.

 I learned a lot not only educationally but also socially.

I was able to feel comfortable at this school and have a close connection with the other students and teachers, as if we were a family.

I got a lot of help in classes and work by tutors and teachers and I wouldn’t be here today without them.

I know a lot of students are excited to leave, and even though there are days where I was tired of this school I still feel emotionally attached to this place.

And I wish luck to my teachers and classmates.

This quote of Mother Teresa of Calcutta moves me:

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

It Helps us understand that if we are always in the state of opinion or critique, we will never be able to accept and love.

 Nativity has taught me that I must take time to understand and consider the circumstances of others.

We think before we speak.  We listen before we respond.

Learning to always spread kindness, love and compassion instead of hatred.

I advise students to love one another, and treat each other how they would like to be treated.

There is already enough hate in the world and it wouldn’t hurt to give some love.

This golden rule is one we can all strive to live by – here at Nativity and beyond.

And from Ms. Makayla Brooks, Nativity Graduate from the class of 2017:

Hi, my name is Makaylah Brooks. I’m an alumni here at Nativity Prep, and recently became one at Mercy High School as well. As I start the transition from being a high schooler to an adult at college, I reflect on my times at each place and think about what I choose to carry with me on my next journey.

For me, it was at Nativity that I learned the respect we showed to those who came and visited. Having to keep eye contact, having a smile, and shaking hands with confidence. I also remember Ms. Stell helping me write my first essay because I didn’t know how to write one. I will always remember Nativity because everyone here has helped me grow into the woman I am now today.

Now some things I learned at Mercy that I will bring along with me are the organization I had with assignments and classes which I had to keep track of, and also knowing that going to teachers for help isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a way to help you understand the topic more clearly. I think these few things and a couple more will help me in college and throughout life.

When it came to picking a college, I felt the need to know what to major in to choose a school. I chose Accounting because math is something I enjoyed through high school. When looking at schools that teach Accounting, I looked at Canisius College because my sister went there and it’s a number one school for this major. I went and visited the campus and fell in love with the place, the community, and the people in it and knew right there and then this school is for me.

Some advice I would give to the new high schoolers is to go to teachers for help, find a group or just one person who you trust and stick to them like glue, and don’t give up on what you believe because you can always find a way to achieve it with hard work. Thank you. Congratulations Nativity Class of 2022.

Nativity Preparatory Academy
15 Whalin Street
Rochester, NY 14620