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Why I Became a Shamrock: Ryan Cira

Dear Prospective Student,

My name is Ryan Cira and I am a junior at Saint Patrick High School. Thinking back on my high school decision, it was easily one of the best decisions that I have ever made. The transition from middle school to high school may seem stressful, but Saint Patrick made me feel comfortable from the first minute I walked into the school. As the door on your middle school life is ending, another door is opening when you go to high school, where you will make new friends and memories that will last a lifetime.

Even though my 8th grade year already feels like an eternity ago, I can still remember my high school decision vividly. Coming from Oriole Park Elementary School, my parents allowed me to choose where I wanted to go to high school. I remember visiting and shadowing at many different schools, but Saint Patrick is where it really felt like home. My brother was enrolled at Saint Patrick at the time, so he showed me the ‘brotherhood’ that our school exemplifies. It was shown inside and outside of the classroom, from teachers helping students understand the material to picking up dropped books.

My brother introduced me to the unity and Shamrock Pride that characterizes Saint Patrick. Whenever I wear our school’s clothing outside of school, alumni come up and tell me their stories or ask how the school is doing. They are proud that they chose to go to St. Pat’s and wish the current students nothing but success. Shamrock Pride is also shown throughout all events at our school. Whenever it is a sporting event or a club competition, the stands are packed with fellow Shamrocks ready to root the team onto victory. No matter the grade or age, the ‘brotherhood’ is shown. This unity makes the kids at Saint Patrick like my second family.

Saint Patrick has given me the best possibility to succeed inside of the classroom. Class sizes are accommodating so they are not overwhelming for students or faculty. This year, my largest class has a total of 20 students, in-person and remote, and my teacher is able to incorporate all of my classmates into the lesson. The teachers also care about our lives outside of school, asking us how our weekends were or if we have any upcoming plans.

There are many activities and different clubs that I have gotten involved in at school. Along with performing service hours, I am on varsity football and also played baseball for my first two years at St. Pat’s. In addition, I am involved in Student Council, Chinese Club, and I help tutor kids in Math and English. All these different clubs and activities really helped me establish a bond between my classmates.

While the idea of high school may still sound intimidating, it truly comes down to where you feel at home. I will leave Saint Patrick knowing that this is and will always be the school where I belong. I hope to see you next year in the hallways as a fellow Shamrock!


Ryan Cira ’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.


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5900 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60634