Over the course of her enrollment at Holy Spirit Preparatory School, senior student Claire Napier has distinguished herself not only by her commitment to academic excellence, but by her active involvement in campus activities and groups. When she’s not leading meetings for the National Latin Honor Society or participating in cheer competitions, Claire is busy volunteering with the Pro-Life Apostolate on campus.
As her time at HSP comes to a close, Claire shares about some of her most impactful experiences at the school, what she’s learned, and what her plans are for the future.
Claire, as you reflect on your time at HSP, can you tell us how it has prepared you for life after graduation?
I’ve been at HSP since eighth grade, and I am so grateful for the classical education I’ve received. Before I started learning Latin, I wondered how a dead language could hold any value. However, now I plainly see how alive it is in spoken languages around the world. The classics don’t die, they just take on different forms. Because of this, we can’t understand our world without understanding that which came before us. Studying classical works like Cicero’s De Amicitia and Aristotle’s Politics has shown me that there really is nothing new under the sun. I find comfort in knowing that, hundreds of years ago, people struggled with the same things we struggle with today. Being able to understand how those people encountered and overcame those challenges teaches us how to do the same.
What extracurricular activities were you involved in at HSP, and what did you most enjoy about them?
I’ve been involved in One Apostolate, the Pro-Life Apostolate, the St. Vincent de Paul Apostolate, the National Honor Society, the National Art Honor Society, the National Latin Honor Society, varsity tennis, and varsity cheer.
I think the most fun activity has definitely been cheer. My twin sister has cheered since sixth grade, but I had never imagined myself cheering until I randomly decided to try out in tenth grade. Despite my doubts, I really loved it. Cheer allowed me to learn all kinds of new things and make new friends. It definitely gave me more confidence and lots of great memories.
I was also fortunate enough to serve on the Pro-Life Apostolate’s leadership team. These past few years, I have been so proud of all the students who’ve joined us to pray at abortion centers or attend pro-life rallies. Finally, my friend and I helped restart the school’s National Latin Honor Society. I’m grateful to everyone who has showed up early before school to share laughs and donuts while doing Latin trivia.
Can you share one or two of your favorite memories from HSP?
Serving as a senior leader on the Kairos retreat was a beautiful and unique experience. We worked so hard all year to make it as perfect as possible, but none of us anticipated how well it would go. God was clearly so present, and it was such a humbling experience to witness how He spoke to each junior through our own testaments. Even though I was a leader, I found myself profoundly inspired by the juniors’ stories.
On a different note, another one of my favorite memories is from cheer. This was the second year that our team competed in the Game Day Cheer Competition, and we spent a lot of time learning the new routine. The night before, we went out to dinner and stayed up late talking in our hotel rooms. Although we were nervous on competition day, we were all hyping each other up and cheering each other on. When we got fifth place, we celebrated like we’d gotten first. That absolute joy and excitement made all the extra practices worth it, and reminded me why I’d joined cheer in the first place!
Looking back, is there any advice you would you give your high school freshman self?
Always do your best.
Even when you don’t think it matters, it does. In the beginning of high school, I had this fear that all the hard work I was putting in didn’t matter. I tried really hard to do well in school, but I couldn’t see the reward of the work I was putting in. Often, my pursuit of excellence seemed futile and worthless. Looking back though, it was all worth it. Things were rarely ever perfect or completely successful, but I know now that I should never have been ashamed of failing when I’d given my best. All anyone can ask of you is that you try, so try your best.
Upon graduation, what are your plans for the future?
I will be attending Georgia Tech for neuroscience next year! Currently, I’m interested in speech-language pathology and forensic science, but whatever I do, I hope I’m always meeting new people and learning something new every day.
Fun facts about Claire
My favorite class is Latin.