St. Catherine’s Montessori graduates first senior class

June 9, 2020

Photo courtesy of St. Catherine's Montessori

HOUSTON — For the first time since it was established in 1966, St. Catherine’s Montessori had a senior graduation on Friday, May 29.

Sophia Devereux, Umberto La Matta and Ruth Scherschel are the first-ever senior class.

Susan Tracy, Head of School, said she is extremely proud of this inaugural graduating class.

“These are the students who said ‘Yes!’ to launching St. Catherine’s Montessori High School and they came through their journey of the unknown with vision, faith and courage,” she said. “It has been amazing to witness who they have become and all that they have achieved.”

Devereux will attend Rice University, where she will major in Latin American studies. This was sparked by her classwork over the years in local, national and international current events. Her biggest love outside of academics is horseback riding, especially vaulting, which is like dancing and gymnastics on horseback.

Devereux chose to be in the inaugural class because she knew the guides (teachers) would continue to support her and her interests.

“I will forever remember and be grateful for the dedication and knowledge of our guides, the loving and supportive St. Catherine’s Montessori community, and the excitement that I felt every day going to school,” she said.

Recently, she interned with Danielle Getsinger, CEO at Community Lattice, researching cancer in the Fifth Ward. As a ninth-grader, Devereux did an environmental internship at the University of Idaho’s McCall Outdoor Science School.

“I am most looking forward to having the opportunity to further explore my interests and passions in college,” she said. “I am excited to learn from professors who have dedicated their livelihoods to researching, publishing and teaching, and I know my college experience will be yet another opportunity for me to further nurture and develop my love for learning.”

La Matta looks forward to studying computer science, a passion of his that he was able to expand on throughout his entire high school career. When he is not working on computers or reading about current events and politics, La Matta plays the piano, plays the saxophone in the school’s band, sails in Italy and helped coach the St. Catherine’s Montessori soccer team.

La Matta chose to be in the inaugural class because he knew that due to the small class size, he would have a one-to-one connection with both the guides and his classmates, and could do an internship that was meaningful to him.

“The one thing I will remember the most from St. Catherine’s is the close connection that students have with the teachers,” he said. “I have not been to any other school that is able to have this close connection.”

He completed two internships with Windhover Labs studying drone technology, and as a ninth-grader, he interned at NASA.

“I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I always trust that the years that I spent at St. Catherine’s will help me become a better person in the future,” he said.

Scherschel will attend Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Her favorite class at St. Catherine was a literature/Socratic seminar where she was able to explore answers to questions she had, which subsequently brought books to life.

“I will always remember the kindness and support that my guides gave me,” she said. “Their love of teaching made my classes much more enjoyable and encouraged me to seek out knowledge on my own.”
She is learning to play guitar, has a second-degree black belt in martial arts and thoroughly enjoyed the youth leadership program, HANG, at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH). One of the projects she worked on at the MFAH was a computer program to corollate the colors on a canvas to musical notes, thus playing a composition based on the painting.

Scherschel chose to stay at St. Catherine’s Montessori because of the type of attention and energy the school extended to her to ensure her experience in high school met her expectations. Her most recent internships were with Jordana Korsen at Hot Glass Art Center in New Hampshire.

“I am looking forward to meeting new people and hopefully discovering a major that I am passionate about,” she said. “I am also excited to explore a part of the country that I’ve never really been to!”
Montessori is a method of education for all ages that focuses on the unique potential of each person.