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Dear Saint Patrick – Ryan O’Donnell ’21

Dear Saint Patrick,

One letter can not express the impact the previous four years have had on me while attending Saint Patrick High School. Even though time feels like it has slipped away, I cherish and treasure every moment I have spent in the classroom and in all that I have been blessed to have been a part of over the past four years.

When I first started at Saint Patrick, I was a shy, young kid who had a lot of growing up to do. Joining the Saint Patrick soccer team was the first school activity that I committed to, and it quickly taught me about the brotherhood that is Saint Patrick. Those first experiences with the freshmen soccer team were so enjoyable that it made me want to go “all in” and experience everything that Saint Patrick had to offer.

In addition to the soccer team, I quickly found myself getting involved with several clubs such as 3D-printing and the robotics team. The FIRST Robotics team, initially led by Ms. Bownds and later taken over by Mr. Newman, immediately became my biggest obsession. I spent many late nights and weekends working on the various components and robot builds as we prepared each season for our competitions. While my initial reason for joining robotics was to have fun and explore my interest in math and science in a less academic fashion, I soon realized that this was more of a passion than a hobby. With that as my inspiration, I made the decision to turn my love of robotics into a career path that I will now study next fall at Marquette University. These experiences at Saint Patrick have prepared me for my future with a great understanding of the basics of engineering. I have had the honor and privilege to work with many amazing teammates, teachers, and mentors here at Saint Patrick, and I will forever cherish those fond memories.

After my experiences as a student at Saint Patrick, I have learned many important lessons that will guide me throughout my time at Marquette University and beyond. However, the most important lesson that I have learned was not inside a classroom, but within the community of Saint Patrick High School. I have had the opportunity to serve as a member of the Saint Patrick Chapter of the National Honor Society and lead as the Treasurer during my senior year. In doing this, I have learned the importance of committing to goals even in the face of a worldwide pandemic. There were several hurdles that we faced this school year, which resulted in us working together tirelessly in order to meet them. Because of our focused mindset, we were able to create a stable tutoring system that worked for everyone, both in person and remote students, who wished to receive assistance. We also prepared a special virtual induction ceremony to welcome our new incoming members so they could enjoy their special night. I am proud of what we have accomplished.

Even though my time as a student here at Saint Patrick is coming to a close, I will never forget the many lessons I have learned in the classroom, or the connections I have made with my teachers and fellow classmates. I will keep my Shamrock family forever close to my heart as I embark on my many new adventures and begin the next chapter of my life at Marquette University. Thank you Saint Patrick for everything.  I will forever be proud to call myself a Shamrock.


Ryan O’Donnell ’21

To read more letters from the Class of 2021, click here.

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