Middle school amazing


Recently graduated 8th grader says she loved her middle school experience at Notre Dame Marist. Now she looks forward to ND Prep.

As the leader of Notre Dame's middle-school student council, 8th-grader Elizabeth Housey received the opportunity to address her class as well as the other attendees of the May 24 8th-grade graduation ceremony at St. Mary of the Hills church in Rochester Hills. She said that her time at Notre Dame's middle school was awesome and that she was glad she got the opportunity to talk about it at the graduation.

"Middle school has been such an amazing experience for me and I was proud to be able to express that during my graduation speech," she said. "In addition to my classes, my classmates, my teachers, the movies, the field trips, the parties and the no-homework days, I will miss being on the middle school student council and leading it."

While Housey is sad she's leaving what she said were three wonderful years at ND Marist middle, she's nonetheless eagerly anticipating the future. 

"I truly loved my time at the MD," she said. "We went on amazing class trips and I also liked just going across Walton to Carnival Market and the fun parties we had in our language classes."

Housey noted that art — both visual and performing — was a big fave for her throughout her years in the middle division. 

"I am excited to be able to take my knowledge from the visual art classes in the middle school to my high school art classes," she said. "One of the other things that I really love is acting, so I loved being in all three middle division plays."

Meredith Gifford, who is a teacher and director of the NDPMA theatre program, said Housey is a natural on stage.

"Elizabeth has been a huge part of the Notre Dame theatre program," Gifford said. "When she was in 6th grade, she walked into her audition for The Lion King Jr. and I remember her knocking my socks off with a perfect British accent and having everything memorized for the role of Zazu. She cast on the spot beating out students who were older than her."  

Gifford also said Housey is a very dedicated leader. 

"I am not sure if she always realizes how much the underclassmen watch her and follow in her footsteps," Gifford said. "Whether it's helping a kid who is having issues learning a dance or helping me put away props after a rehearsal, she's always been a great example to others."

Fortunately, Housey, who also attended Notre Dame's lower school, will be able to work with Gifford and the theatre program in high school, but she wished she could also take some of her other middle-school teachers to high school. 

"I will miss the teachers who made an impact on me over the past three years because it's because of them that I feel so prepared to enter NDP where I can make new memories and get ready for college," she said. "I am also excited to meet new people and make new friends in high school."

As a veteran of student council in both the lower and middle divisions, Housey would like to participate in student council in high school as well. "I really enjoyed stuco in the lower and middle divisions," she said. "I am also looking forward to high school Irish Week because I think it will be different and even more exciting than it was in middle school."

A strong Catholic faith also will accompany her to high school, according to Housey.

"Faith and religion were by far the most important factors in my success in middle school," she said. "Every day, before school and before each class, we said a prayer. At the end of the day, we also said a prayer. It is so nice to be reminded throughout the day to be thankful for our blessings. Our retreats also were based around prayer as well and we learned a little more about our faith in the everyday activities in and outside of school. In addition, I will be making my Confirmation this fall at my church, Christ Our Light, and I feel fully prepared to make this commitment to God."

Housey's commitment to God and her faith has not gone unnoticed.

"Elizabeth embodies the Marist mission in all that she does," said Kelly Patterson, middle-division vice principal and 7th-grade language A teacher. "She not only is an exceptional scholar, she is a model of Christian living and citizenship. She cares for others and for her work, and she is humble enough to know when to reach out for help or assistance. She has this unique ability to laugh at herself and push herself along all at the same time. She never looks for praise, but she does the work of Mary without needing recognition, and she has a deep faith that guides her. 

"She is a student I'll never forget," Patterson added. "Truly a light in our school community and I look forward to watching her grow throughout her high school years."

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org.