Sophomore, junior and senior members of the 2018-19 Villa Maria Student Council were installed in a ceremony on Tuesday, September 11. Jade Tortorice ’19 offered the invocation, and Harman Kaur ’19 presented the executive officers, who then took the VMA pledge of office and received their pins. Riley Miller ’19 administered the pledge to the other student council members, and Mary Willcox ’19 called each forward to receive her pin. Elizabeth D’Ascenzo ’19, A’sja Abron ’19, Magnolia Powers ’20, and Margaret Devine ’21 read Villa Maria’s mission statement and goals, and Elizabeth D’Ascenzo led the student body in the pledge.
Guest speaker Flannery O’Connor ’02, spoke to the student body about leadership in their lives and in the world at large.
“Women in leadership is of utmost importance in our world today,” she said. “Everyone in this room is a leader in your own life.”
O’Connor advised the students to look to to other women leaders for guidance, citing Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, Mother Theresa, journalist and activist Dorothy Day, and her own mother as women who, she said, “said ‘yes’ to a mission greater than themselves.”
O’Connor is the founding director of admissions at Cristo Rey High School. She has a undergraduate degrees in theology and philosophy from Boston College, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Notre Dame. She is currently working on her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of Pennsylvania.