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Cardinal Adam Maida Dedicates New Everest Catholic High Schools in Clarkston, Michigan
The girls’ and boys’ high schools officially open their doors with the blessing of the archbishop of Detroit.

Cardinal Adam Maida
Cardinal Adam Maida arrives to dedicate the two newest high schools in the archdiocese of Detroit.

By Kelly Luttinen

Clarkston, MI. September 15, 2008. Overcast skies and the threat of rain did not dampen the spirits of the approximately 440 students at Everest Academy in Clarkston, Michigan on Friday, September 5, 2008. They gathered along the drive between the two elementary schools to bid farewell and acknowledge their gratitude to Adam Cardinal Maida, the Archbishop of the Detroit Archdiocese, for paying a visit to their campus that day. The Cardinal had come to preside over the ceremonial dedication of the two newest high schools in his Archdiocese – Everest Catholic Girls’ High School and Everest Catholic Boys’ High School.

 “I am very excited to have had this opportunity,” said Cardinal Maida. “In these times of economic uncertainty in our area, this growth is truly good news for Catholic education in Oakland County.”

Cardinal Maida celebrated an all-school Mass and presided over the dedication ceremony for students, staff, parents
Cardinal Adam Maida and Fr Lorenzo Gomez, LC
On September 15, 2008, Cardinal Adam Maida and Fr Lorenzo Gomez, LC, cut the ceremonial ribbon for the new Everest Academy high school.
and local media representatives. Six pastors and priests from area parishes concelebrated with the Cardinal, giving their best wishes to the two new schools.

After cutting the ceremonial ribbons, His Eminence attended a private reception with students and their parents, priests, religious and consecrated women, and Everest Academy friends and benefactors.

The opening of the high schools has special meaning for Father Lorenzo Gomez, LC, who has been involved with Everest from its beginnings, even before the academy opened its doors in 1991.

“This is a very special day,” he said. “After so many years, and so many sacrifices…We are happy because we are giving back to Christ. It’s a joy to make Jesus happy.”

Father Gomez said the people present at the event on the historic day were picked by God to be involved.

“Congratulations to all the priests, consecrated, founders and benefactors. It’s not one person who could do this.
The first 9th grade class of Everest Academy’s high school for boys.
The first 9th grade class of Everest Academy’s high school for boys.
It takes a group. We worked together. We are giving into the hands of our Cardinal the gifts that Christ gave to us.”

Making History with the Holy Spirit

Everest is the only Catholic school campus in the Detroit-metro area to offer gender-specific education and a seamless path from preschool through high school on one campus. Everest will start with a 9th grade class, and expand one grade each year, with the first graduating class in 2012.

Mac McClelland, the 9th grader who represented his classmates as official speaker during the dedication ceremony, says he is honored to be a founding class member. “I don’t think my classmates and I fully grasp the concept that we are the first class. We will be the first to set the traditions for many more students to come.”

Another honored speaker was Benefactor Beverly Thewes. Everest Executive Director Mike Nalepa introduced Mrs. Thewes as a true example of what it means to be self-giving. Students waved their “Everest” pennants in agreement and the entire audience gave her a standing ovation.

“The credit goes to the Holy Spirit,” said Mrs. Thewes. “We followed His path without understanding it.”

Mrs. Thewes expressed her confidence that her family´s support of Everest
Cardinal Maida and Fr Daniel Pajerski, LC
Cardinal Maida and Fr Daniel Pajerski, LC, drive past a line-up of cheering Everest students.
Academy and the opening of the new high school was well worth it. “Everest will help you develop your talents,” she told the students. “You are going to be told in life there is no such thing as truth. At Everest, you will learn the truth, and learn to discuss the truth. God gave you beautiful minds, and you will develop your minds here.”

One of the parents of a founding student at Everest Girls’ High School, Dr. Miguel Lis-Planells, gave a “parent’s perspective” on the opening of the high school.

“Everest is the perfect environment to form a human being. The vulnerable high school years demand a nurturing environment,” he said.

“We are not just concerned with where she will go to college. We have in mind her entire life. We want her to grow in her love for Jesus Christ. That is a ‘scholarship’ that will pay off.”



Related links

Altius Foundation
Immaculate Conception Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Sacred Heart Apostolic School
Anáhuac Network of Universities
Canyon Heights Academy
Clear Water Academy
Dublin Oak Academy

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