I would like to explain why I chose Purcell Marian. For some, our school is chosen as part of the continuing legacy of their parents and grandparents. For others, it's our IB program. Or it's our killer girls’ basketball team. But for me, it was the fact that everyone at Purcell is an individual.

While in many ways, PM is just like any other high school, the main thing I observed when I toured was the confidence and uniqueness of each student - and faculty member - I met. No two people I met were the same, and everyone felt at home in themselves.

Whenever I think of Purcell and the endearment I have for it, this is always the thing that comes to mind.

In a word, it felt authentic. Or in a phrase, it felt like the real world, where you never know who you’ll meet. And I don’t say that to be cliche.

Because I can truly say I have never met someone (at this school), whom I did not come to find something special about. Whether it was a hobby or the way they carried themselves. Heck, even our collective love for Uno.

Whether it be, playing sports, making music, creating art, serving others, studying for classes, praying for a fallen classmate, or being there for a friend, the students we are today are an exceptional group of individuals, whom I am very proud to say I have spent the past four years with.

But what fosters this community is the staff. No one here would have been able to thrive as they have without them. And I truly mean that– as I said before, every student here has brought something special to the table, but it was the staff community that set that table for us.

- Natalie, Class of 2023

Natalie was the Class of 2023 valedictorian. She is currently enrolled at Morehead State University.