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The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia
Pennsylvania ranks 15th in U.S. for high school graduation rates. In Allegheny West, only 48% of residents completed high school. St. James School students work hard to beat these odds every day.

Pennsylvania ranks 15th in U.S. for high school graduation rates. In Allegheny West, only 48% of residents
completed high school. St. James School students work hard to beat these odds every day.

Valedictorian Ainyae Holmes speaks to her classmates.

Valedictorian Ainyae Holmes speaks to
her classmates.

July 17, 2015, students, families, and friends packed in under a tent on the cottage lawn for the school’s first 8th grade commencement.

Ainyae poses for a selfie with commencement keynote speaker William Penn Charter Head of School Dr. Darryl Ford, where she began in fall 2015.

Ainyae poses for a selfie with commencement keynote speaker William Penn Charter Head of School Dr. Darryl Ford, where she began in fall 2015.

The families of the founding class of 2015 had taken a risk and committed to this brand new school on West Clearfield Street only four years prior. The ceremony included remarks from students and school leaders, along with Head of School Dr. Darryl Ford of partner William Penn Charter School, who was the event’s keynote speaker.

Salutatorian Kwymaje Thompson spoke of obstacles.

Salutatorian Kwymaje Thompson spoke of obstacles.

Special remarks from salutatorian Kwymaje Thompson and valedictorian Ainyae Holmes resonated with fellow classmates. “There will be many obstacles in high school like maintaining good grades, not making the special team or club you wanted, or not fitting in,” said Kwymaje. “I’m here to tell you to keep your faith because you have friends and family who love you.”


commencement-booklet

ALL GROWN UP Our founding class began fifth grade on September 6, 2011, and grew in more ways than height. Here they pose at Baccalaureate Mass, their penultimate event at St. James School and the final time in their school uniforms.

ALL GROWN UP Our founding class began fifth grade on September 6, 2011, and grew in more ways than height.
Here they pose at Baccalaureate Mass, their penultimate event at St. James School and the final time in their school uniforms.

The choices you make in life will determine your outcome. If I hadn’t brought my daughter to St. James School, who knows where she would be today. I am so grateful.” — Leslie Murray, Parent