Why I Became a Shamrock: Jonas Dargis
Dear Prospective Shamrock,
My name is Jonas Dargis and I am a junior at Saint Patrick High School. My decision to go to St. Pat’s was one of the most important choices of recent memory, and one of the best decisions in my life. Eighth grade is a genuinely exciting time. As you look out at the end of your time in middle school, a chapter of your life is ending. High School is that next chapter, where you will make new friends for life and memories you will cherish forever. So, obviously, it might feel like there’s a lot of pressure to make the right decision on where to go to meet new friends and make those unforgettable memories.
When I was in 8th grade at Queen of All Saints School, I visited a few different high schools to see what they were like, but also to see what they felt like. I chose to attend St. Pat’s for a number of reasons but, perhaps, the most compelling difference for me was its welcoming community. Since my first shadow day, and every day since, I have felt the “brotherhood” of St. Pat’s around me. It is unmatched to any other high school experience out there, in my opinion, and I know every Shamrock student and faculty member would agree with me. It’s something you hear all the time, the brotherhood of St. Pat’s. It truly makes a difference.
When I was a freshman, I was the only student going to St. Pat’s from my elementary school. I’ll be honest, that was frightening. It didn’t take long at all for me to find my place, though. Everyone was so friendly and willing to help me. The staff, teachers and the other students are always trying to help one another out. That is something I cannot stress enough about St. Pat’s, there is a place for everyone. Whether you are a three-sport athlete, into art or music or even if extracurriculars aren’t your thing, there is a place for you. I remember going to my first football game as a freshman. I have never experienced such comradery as I did at that game. That was the first time I truly came to realize and appreciate just how close Shamrocks are. We won that game and the way everyone was celebrating afterwards exemplified the Shamrock spirit. Any sort of grade divisions melted away and we were one student body, one brotherhood.
Community is only one of the many aspects of St. Pat’s that I can attest to. And as a junior, I have come to appreciate things I did not yet understand the value of when I was a freshman. Smaller class sizes have led me to be more comfortable in class. There are different levels of classes and different types of classes, so every student can follow his interests in a challenging and supportive place. You really get to know everyone in your grade, even if you don’t have class with them, which again ties into the brotherhood. All of the teachers and administrators are approachable and kind, wearing a smile on their faces as though it’s part of the uniform.
There are so many different sports and clubs to get involved in. I’m on the varsity swim and water polo teams and was inducted into the National Honor Society as a sophomore. I help out in campus ministry and I am a member of the book club, Chinese club, our service club and, this year, I joined the school newspaper. I never knew much about photography but, after taking a class in photography, I discovered a hidden interest and talent I never knew I had. St. Pat’s helps you discover things you never knew about yourself. Outside of school, I caddy during the golf season and I have also been working at my parish’s rectory as a student worker since the summer after my 8th grade year.
My advice to you is to look at different high schools to see which one makes you feel like you found your place. I’m happy I found mine and I know St. Pat’s is preparing me for a great future. I’ll leave you with this quote from our president, Dr. Joe Schmidt, who says he loves watching every class graduate and seeing them go out into the world and positively change or impact it, on what it means to be a Shamrock, “St. Pat’s produces the best of men, men who follow the Lasallian ideals of faith, service and community, men who believe in something more.”
I wish you good luck in your high school search and hope to see you as a fellow Shamrock next year!
Jonas Dargis ’22
To learn more about Saint Patrick High School, including ways to connect with our Admissions team in-person or virtually prior to the Class of 2025 Placement Exam on Saturday, December 5, click here.