Tess Censoni

God over grades

What school activities are you involved in?

I run cross country for the school’s team. I have been on varsity for two years and love every aspect of the sport and the environment our team created. This takes up most of the fall and I continue to run throughout the year.

During the spring I play for the school soccer team and was junior varsity captain last season. As much as I love the sport and the team, I want to challenge myself further and join the track team. I am lucky enough to be included in the National Honor Society community and the Champions for Life club. NHS focuses on pushing yourself further, to work harder. While Champions for Life forces you to look beyond our school and to try to protect those who cannot protect themselves. 

What does the school mission mean to you?

The school mission summarizes how you should live your life, how to be your best, and to follow Jesus’s example. The biggest impact of the school's mission is the order in which the three parts are said. Even though our school is so academically focused, we still prioritize God over grades. It is easy to get caught up in trying to be the best student or athlete, but even our school mission tries to help us prioritize our faith.

How do you strive to live as a Christian, citizen and scholar in school and in your everyday life?

The school mission is reflected in everyone's behavior at Notre Dame Prep. To pursue my faith, I teach child church at St. John Fisher Parish as well as partake in other service projects there. At school I can work with Campus Ministry on events such as Adoration.

Campus Ministry sets up time for us to step out of the classroom and to be with God. On a more personal level, I try to do the little things. Academically, it is not a question that Notre Dame is challenging. Notre Dame Prep challenges you but gives you the support system you need. Between community time, the wonderful counselors, and supportive teachers the class load becomes more than manageable. 

What is one example of how Marist values influenced/encouraged you to approach a problem or challenge differently than you might have before? How do you think those values/skills will help you in the future?

Going to Notre Dame has helped me to become more confident in my faith. I can defend my faith and explain my beliefs. I think that knowing my beliefs and morals will be very beneficial in the future. As I go to college and move on with my life, I will have a good foundation. Any environment you are in can influence your idea of right and wrong. Going to a Catholic school significantly changes how you see the world and the way you live your life. 

What is one of the best things about being a Notre Dame student?

One of the best things about being a Notre Dame student is the opportunities it brings. Going to this school means something. It prepares you for college and teaches you the importance of time management and taking responsibility. At Notre Dame Prep you have vast resources, but you also have the freedom and responsibility to take advantage or ignore them. I am surrounded by people who want to be successful, this environment in turn pushes me to be better. We grow and succeed as a class, all supporting each other and pulling each other up as we go.

What is your favorite school event, and why?

Like most students here, my favorite school event is Irish Week. Because Notre Dame Prep is academically focused, this week is a break from the intense studying. The face paint, music in the halls, and games in the gym make the week memorable. We get to bond with our grade while competing against our friends in other grades. By far it is my favorite week at Notre Dame.

Learn more about athletics at Notre Dame.