BSM Grads Reflect on Their Most Significant Takeaways From Their Time in High School


Courtesy of the BSM Instagram

Graduating seniors look forward to their future, and the years to come after BSM.

As a college preparatory school, BSM’s duty is to prepare students for their lives beyond high school. As BSM alumni take on the challenges of college and beyond, they appreciate and recognize the skills they learned in high school.

The class of 2022 cherish their memories and takeaways from BSM as they come to the end of their first year in college. They reflect back at their time in high school, and are reminded of the major role BSM has played in their lives even beyond graduation. BSM offers a large variety of classes as well as sports and activities. All these opportunities given to the students allow them to branch out and figure out their style before going into college. “During my time at BSM, I tried out a lot of the clubs and activities. Though not all of them stuck, I think that practicing being open to all sorts of new opportunities has helped me develop a solid foundation in college,” 2022 graduate Fiona Lynch said.

Graduates see their time here at BSM as more than valuable. Not only what they learn, but who they meet and the bonds they build. “I had Rob Epler as my Latin instructure for all four years of high school; by senior year, there were only five of us in the class. This made it easy for us to get to know Mr. Epler, and for him to get to know us. Building good relationships with your teachers is invaluable, and Latin taught me how to do that,” 2022 graduate Max Jackson said.

During my time at BSM, I tried out a lot of the clubs and activities. Though not all of them stuck, I think that practicing being open to all sorts of new opportunities has helped me develop a solid foundation in college,

— Fiona Lynch

Prioritizing time and energy is another important skill that BSM builds into many of the curriculums here. Being a Catholic school, teachers and staff make sure to incorporate the importance of caring for others and how much it makes a difference in a school and community. “I think BSM did a good job of setting the idea of doing service as a regular part of one’s schedule. Through RKVC and theology classes, service became regular and is something I think people from BSM will continue to fit into their schedules outside of high school,” 2022 graduate Emily Zagaros said.

Class of 2017 graduate Gracey Scott elaborates on the fact that although it may have seemed tough and overly rigorous at the time, the skill of useful study habits significantly benefits her time in college. “During my freshman year at Boston College I leaned entirely on the study habits I had developed at Benilde. Advanced Chem and Benilde’s Spanish Department forced on me the lessons of sufficient preparation. APUSH taught me time management and organization. AP Calc pushed me to ask for help and to integrate office hours on a regular basis. The combination of these lessons gave me a diversified set of study habits and a strong work ethic which I think left me very prepared going into Boston College. When I started college, the academic rigor and workload increased quickly and significantly, and I think I got through that transition because of those skillsets I’d acquired at Benilde,” Scott said.

Jackson would add onto that remark, agreeing that BSM teaches more than just the material itself. BSM teachers care about each student, and they want us as students to take honor and pride in how we are learning. “AP Composition & Literature taught me how to write, and beyond that taught me to care about what I wrote,” Jackson said.

Being an advanced high school academically, it’s important to not shy away from the leadership skills students are taught throughout the sports and activities they participate in. “Dance team for sure taught me how to be a leader and advocate for myself and others. Seeing the impact I was able to make on the team over my six years made me confident I was able to make changes in other activities,” Zagaros said.

Brady Giertsen, class of 2020, agrees with Zagaros and feels that through his time at BSM, he grew significantly not only as a student but as a person. “Red Knight hockey definitely helped me grow into a more disciplined version of myself. It taught me to hold myself accountable and create trusting relationships with the people I’m working with,” Giertsen said.

As seniors graduate and come to the realization that a brand new school is in their near future, it can be a scary and intimidating process to say the least. College comes with challenges indeed, however Jackson assures students that BSM does well exposing them to what they should know going into college. “BSM does a great job of progressively moving toward college-level writing and test-taking/grading standards as you progress toward graduation. The school does this so well that my freshman year in college feels like a natural academic progression from my senior year in high school,” Jackson said.

BSM’s teachers are on your team—that’s a luxury that most high schools do not afford to their student bodies,

— Max Jackson

Looking back at their time a few years post graduation, alumni overall feel BSM does a great job, yet no school is perfect and graduates have a few pieces of advice for the BSM curriculum moving forward. “I also think there is a lack of diversity in Benilde’s curriculum which leaves students with a less robust ability to think critically, and I think the community, the school, and its students could benefit greatly from a more cultured approach to its undertaking of educating and shaping young adults,” Scott said.

Zagaros thinks her academic and leadership capability was well trained at BSM, however some of the social scenarios as well as class layouts were a bit of a challenge as she first was welcomed to college last year. “What I felt more unprepared for was the social aspect and going to classes with no one I knew. I think something that could have been helpful would have been more lecture style classes. While some classes are sit and lecture and that is not very interesting in high school, that is how basically every class is in college.” Zagaros said.

Decades of dedication, industry, and changes made to BSM have not gone unnoticed to the students that were once students here. Each and every teacher, class, and activity is beloved and admired by the student body, and no student would trade the world for the experiences they had here at BSM. The staff here really does make BSM stand out from the rest. “BSM’s teachers are on your team—that’s a luxury that most high schools do not afford to their student bodies,” Jackson said.