Through the Could 28 graduation ceremony for The Avalon University, just about every senior, prior to acquiring his diploma, rose and stood upcoming to the school’s headmaster Kevin Davern, as he introduced the graduate for his brief shining instant in the commencement spotlight. Graduating Avalon senior Giovanni Ratti could be viewed as a “Lifer,” meaning he put in his elementary, center and superior school decades at the Catholic all-boys K-12 university in Wheaton, Maryland.
Indicating goodbye to the tight-knit university local community Ratti’s attended because he was a young boy will be bittersweet, but he stated he’s searching forward to the future major phase in lifestyle – attending the College of Maryland in College or university Park, where he will key in engineering.
“I’ll miss Avalon which is for positive, but I’m excited to do engineering at UMD next fall,” he mentioned, including that likely from a smaller Catholic personal faculty placing to a massive point out faculty will be an adjustment, but he reported getting a number of former Avalon classmates there as well will make the transition less difficult. “It will be really distinctive, but it’s like there is a little piece of Avalon at Maryland,” said Ratti.
Previous March, just as all Catholic schools in the archdiocese did, Avalon shut for the remainder of the faculty year to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. Though the 2020-21 university calendar year started on Sept. 1 for all Avalon pupils and faculty with in-person courses five times a week, it was a school calendar year like no other and not with no its challenges because of to the rigorous COVID-19 basic safety precautions.
Masks, six-foot social distancing, everyday temperature checks and sanitizing of desks amongst each individual course speedily grew to become section of the daily faculty day schedule. He and his classmates, he said, had been grateful to be in the school creating with every single other each individual day and took the new methods in stride.
“We just bought applied to it. I was really happy to be (attending courses) in-individual this yr. It was a large amount more difficult on the web, quite distinct to work by you. It is pleasant to be equipped to perform alongside one another with your classmates as an alternative,” Ratti mentioned.
In the classroom, Ratti mentioned he enjoyed his calculus, chemistry and biology topics, but he also appreciated his English and Apologetics lessons, as perfectly as Avalon’s emphasis on college students memorizing and reciting many instances a year a variety of kinds of poetry, these kinds of as Shakespearean sonnets. “It brought me out of my ease and comfort zone,” he stated. “…Committing something to memory, retaining it beneath strain and then reciting it in front of people can help with general public talking, and that’s an crucial point.”
His lifelong Catholic faith, he reported, was nurtured via his yrs at Avalon, and he explained his academics as “role styles for the faith.” He also credits his family’s participation in Communion and Liberation, a Catholic lay motion launched in Italy in 1954, and its counterpart for youth, Gioventu Studentesca, which aims to form associates in Christianity in purchase to make them co-personnel in the Church’s mission.
An Avalon varsity soccer player through all four yrs of substantial university, Ratti served as crew captain in his senior calendar year. Though, this past time was scaled again thanks to the coronavirus limitations, he said he was grateful the staff was nonetheless ready to play various games towards location rivals.
Avalon Headmaster Davern describes Ratti as just one of the most gifted Avalon college students in the school’s 18-yr heritage. “Giovanni is interested in items, effectively-rounded, and an extreme competitor on the soccer subject,” he said. “His humor and lively spirit make him a enjoyment to educate and account for the point that he is so favored by his friends.”
All through Avalon’s graduation ceremony, Ratti will obtain the Puno Loved ones Prize, the school’s maximum honor in recognition of the graduating senior who ideal exemplifies all those attributes of “great-hearted generosity and cheerful liveliness.”
Ratti, alongside with his mothers and fathers, Stefano, a native of Italy, and Michelle, and young brothers, 10th grader Alessandro and 8th grader Adriano, also Avalon learners, are parishioners at Holy Redeemer Parish, Kensington. His mother teaches chemistry, anatomy and Italian at Brookewood Faculty, Avalon’s sister faculty in Kensington.
He and his spouse and children love the outdoor, heading mountaineering and rock climbing. One of the most memorable encounters of his daily life, he mentioned, came previous August when he and his father and just one of his more youthful brothers hiked and backpacked for two weeks by means of the 200-mile John Muir Path in California. “It was an amazing expertise,” he explained. “We hiked 15 miles a working day with all the things on our backs…It was incredibly serene, just the mountains, the most pristine lakes and no telephones.” They slept in tents, coyotes followed them at moments, but the most unforgettable second came when they hiked to the top rated of Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 ft, to enjoy the sunrise.
Although he will shortly be leaving Avalon, Ratti will go on to be guided by his quickly-to-be alma mater’s university motto, “Duc in Altum!” (Place out into the deep!), as he anticipates his life’s new journeys – higher education and his subsequent big trek – maybe the By way of Francigena, the historic pilgrim road via France and Italy – to ponder the wondrous elegance of God’s generation.
“It’s so tranquil. I like going for walks in wonderful places, obtaining spots and the check out at the major,” he stated.