Letter From Jose F. Batista ‘06
February 2018 Newsletter
New Year’s Day has always been my favorite holiday. It is an opportunity to begin again, a chance to reflect on the past year, a time to look forward to new goals, and a chance to look forward to another birthday, another summer (and, for me, another baseball season!).
At Classical, I imagine this New Year is particularly special for the senior class. Indeed, for the past four years they have identified as the “Class of 2018”. Now the year that has been the subject of their rallying call during homecoming pep rallies and the year that has been the end goal in many mental countdowns to graduation is finally here.
2018 is a special year for the Classical community at large as well, as our beloved Purple alma mater celebrates a milestone of its own and turns 175 years old.
For 175 years, Classical has served as a cornerstone in the city of Providence and as a leader in education throughout the state of Rhode Island. Among our alumni are teachers and athletes, entrepreneurs and writers, artists and public servants, parents and executives, judges and philanthropists, and much, much more. All together, Classical High School has produced thousands of alumni who each contribute to our city, our state, and our country in their own way.
As chair of the Public Relations committee, it is my job to share the accomplishments of our alumni with the rest of the world. To that end, the PR committee has spent the past several months developing and implementing a new social media strategy to help us share information and build community among the hundreds and thousands of alumni who are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
In addition to sharing posts and alumni updates through social media, we are also sharing the word about new and improved Classical Alumni networking events. These events provide alumni from all classes the opportunity to meet, network, and learn from one another.
Whether it means grabbing a bite on a Providence rooftop, getting a drink on the water in Narragansett or coming together for the Homecoming football game on campus, the PR committee is helping to build community among our alumni in a way that supports our students and, most importantly, supports our goal to Keep Classical Strong.
For the remainder of 2018, we will be celebrating 175 years of Classical Pride and we invite you to join us in the celebration. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn and, if you’d like to learn more about the PR committee and join our next meeting, here is a link to join our committee.
We hope to see you throughout 2018 at our various celebrations of the 175th anniversary of our Classical purple!
Announcing Classical Day!
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza have officially declared March 20th “Classical Day” to celebrate Classical High School turning 175 years old in 2018! Join us on March 20th at the State House from 3 – 5 PM for the official proclamation by the State Assembly. The light house will be lit purple!
Alum of the Month: Teresa Guaba ‘06
Name: Teresa Guaba
Class Year: 2006
Post High School Education
- Johnson & Wales University (2010)
- The Center for Creative Leadership (2013)
- Parent Leadership Training Initiative (2015)
- Dare Leadership Institute (2017)
- Marketing on a global scale for a technology company
- Participating in a program on Boundary Spanning Leadership at The Center for Creative Leadership which is one of the top Leadership programs in the world
- Participating in planning the Grad Nation Summit in Providence with the support of America’s Promise Alliance
- Piloting an initiative called Evidence2Success to improve outcomes for children and youth in Providence – as a model for the rest of the country
- Leading a project around housing in Providence neighborhoods to create a Health Equity Zone for our families in the Southside and West End with the support of the RI Department of Health
What do you remember most about your time at Classical and how has your time there shaped you?
- Learning how to make friends with people who did not share the same experiences as me
- Learning how to embrace academic rigor
What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments or struggles to date?
My greatest accomplishment/struggle to date has been mastering how to navigate complicated systems that have immense impact in my life and the life of other people.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
What do you do for fun?
Dance Salsa, merengue, bachata
Listen to hiphop
Engage in art
You’re running late for a meeting, what’s the most likely reason why?
Most likely, the reason is because I was totally captivated by something else I was working on and left in tight timing!
What was the last song you listened to?
Nightmares Ain’t As Bad by Fabolous
What motivates you?
Self-sufficiency, Unity, and empowerment
Anything else you’d like to add?
Poem: My Choice
A lot of people don’t understand my intensity
but there’s a reason why I speak often with such propensity
If you could practice empathy, you wouldn’t try to censor me
So many of you choose to live your lives with your eyes closed
But asking God for a purpose
Made me look beneath the surface
I chose to live my life: eyes wide open
Asking “why” questions, seeking answers, not notions
it’s a sink or swim world, then why I feel like I’m floating?
through systems that’ll make you and your loved ones feel impotent
when you keep your heart open
you learn that trust is much more valuable than these tokens
Time is of the essence and words disappear into the air once spoken
As far as I’m concerned
Trust gotta be earned
If you don’t know the value of loyalty, you’d better learn
The only promise I’m willing to bet on is my own
Cause I have no choice but to accept my own failures
but I’m looking in the mirror when I’m searching for a savior
I gotta save me
I gotta be resourceful and use the gifts that God gave me
I am my own protection
I am my own safety
and I’ma shake the world
insteada let the world shake me…
Part II: All Classicalites Bleed Purple!
I started as a freshman at Classical in 2014, having graduated from Roger Williams Middle School. Like many Roger Williams families, we were immigrants struggling to make ends meet. Still, like most immigrants we had an immense thirst to succeed and drive to work hard that overpowered any hunger and pain we experienced.
Throughout middle school it became clear Classical was the best school for students who wanted a good education and a chance to succeed. Beyond its inclusive demographics, the wide range of opportunities Classical offered fueled my desire to attend. When I received my acceptance letter I felt I could succeed as long as I believed in myself.
In elementary school and middle school, I was verbally bullied and harassed for being overweight. These experiences tainted my outlook: I saw the world as hostile and unaccepting. During middle school, the few friends I had were my teachers as most of the students rejected me and were extremely critical about such superficial issues as my physique or clothing.
At Classical, however, I found that my classmates cared about who I was as a person and my potential to become “something bigger in life”. I have always been a person who strives for success and seeks opportunities but I was held back by a lack of any strong peer support that I have finally found at Classical.
The possible positive impact that I thought I might have on others striving to find their niche and happiness spirited me to run for class President my sophomore year. Once elected I was overwhelmed by the diversity and open-mindedness of the student body and by how much I still needed to learn about those students, their ideologies, and life choices. During my term I had a chance to fundraise and take the sophomore class on an ice skating trip which further strengthened our bond and my understanding of the class as a whole. We also created class pages on different social platforms which allowed us to stay in touch and connect with ease.
At Classical, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people and make new friends. I’ve also had the chance to learn from them and create lifelong bonds that I strongly cherish. I experienced Classical’s openness to different ideologies, religions, sexualities, and races, which not only allows me to learn and experience life from different perspectives but also has made me aware of the various challenges others face daily. Before this, I was less open to differences and even less tolerant. Prior to Classical, I knew little about sexuality and identification choices as well, but Classical’s family atmosphere allowed me to further understand my peers and that added valuable depth to my perspective.
Looking back, I see how hard work, time-management, discipline, and most of all, new relationships over the last three years all played an important role creating the person I am becoming because of Classical’s impact on me. I am only one of many students who believe the school is guiding them down the road to achievement and, we shall always be grateful to Classical, knowing that –whoever we are – ALL Classicalites bleed purple.
Pedro Moya ‘19
Created in November 2017, the Art Fund directly supports the CHS Art Department to purchase art supplies and equipment. We’re aiming to raise $5,000 by the end of January, 2018! In 2017, the RI School of Design accepted 6 students from RI, 4 of those students are from Classical. Interested in contributing to our goal? Check out some student art below and donate!
2017 Art Fund
March Networking Event – March 15th at Stout Irish Sports Pub!
Classical Day – March 20th at CHS & RI State House
2nd Annual Purple & White Beach Party – July 28th at Ocean Cliff
Save the Date!
Culture Night at CHS – April 26th
Day of Service at CHS/BBQ – April 28th
Athletic Hall of Fame – June 3rd
11th Annual Golf Tournament – August 6th
Do you have a strong network and are looking for an opportunity to volunteer? Look no further! We are growing our Public Relations Committee and invite you to submit an application.
Learn more about what we’re looking for, how you can help, and submit an application here.