Devon Catsavis ‘24 Addresses Prospective Families
Devon Catsavis ’24 took the stage at our annual Open House admission event, sharing her MICDS experience with prospective families. Here is her story.
Good morning everyone! My name is Devon Catsavis; I am a senior at MICDS, the co-head of student council, and have had the privilege of being a student at MICDS since sixth grade after going to Central Christian School. I’ve also been a member of Student Council since seventh grade.
When I think about all that MICDS has done for me, I find myself with an endless amount of reasons to be thankful for this amazing education. MICDS has taught me how to become comfortable with being uncomfortable—leading to priceless pieces of knowledge that no one class can teach. One aspect that stands out to me about our school is the personal relationships I’ve been able to build with my teachers. Even in Middle School, we were always encouraged to reach out to our teachers directly with questions, email them when we would be missing class, and make sure to stay on top of our work without being reminded. While emailing adults definitely seemed daunting as a 12-year-old, because of this initial discomfort, I am extremely comfortable advocating for my own needs, whether that be academic, extracurricular, or out and about interacting with adults in public. At first, I didn’t realize that this was a unique skill that MICDS had equipped me with until I began receiving compliments from adults with children at other schools about how impressed they were with my communication skills. Because of the culture of self-advocacy and personal relationships with teachers at MICDS, the intimidation of directly communicating with teachers that makes others feel like a fish out of water in college has been something I’ve been comfortable with since Middle School.
Along with teaching me to advocate for myself, MICDS has offered me the chance to explore fields of study that I didn’t even know existed. From testing the oxygen content of algae in the pond to 3D printing a covered wagon in Middle School, coding my own pizza-ordering program, leading my own class discussions about the book we’re reading, or, most shocking to me, participating in the engineering class annual popsicle stick bridge building competition. My group and I are trying to beat the record bridge that held over 600 pounds—with just Elmer’s glue, popsicle sticks, and string. All these new experiences have shaped me into the person I am today, someone who’s not afraid of going out of their comfort zone and who wants to ask for help instead of trying to solve everything by myself.
As well as academics, MICDS has instilled in me true school spirit and pride for being involved in MICDS athletics. Some of my favorite memories have been made in Middle School PE playing squash, tchoukball, or finally making it across the rings in the workout room. By being a member of the middle and high school tennis and lacrosse teams over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to contribute what I can for the good of the team, realizing that I can’t do everything on my own and sometimes the best role for me is to hype everyone else up as they run to score the goal. Every time I go watch a football game, I’m in awe of how beautiful our campus is—not biased but I truly think we have the prettiest high school campus in Missouri!
My high school experience wouldn’t be the same without the incredible friendships I’ve fostered throughout the years. Especially in high school, the constant all-school gatherings, multi-grade elective classes, and clubs have provided me with the chance to make friends across grade levels. This year, my tennis doubles partner was a freshman, and I couldn’t imagine a better partner to spend my last year of MICDS tennis with—we even got matching pink sunglasses to really intimidate our opponents.
Finally, I wouldn’t be talking here today if it weren’t for my years on student council. STUCO (as we call it) allows my fellow representatives and me to make lasting changes in our community as well as coordinate fun events that help shape the memories of our classmates. In all my years in student government, I’ve organized two talent shows, led at least fifty class meetings, spoken in front of the entire school, met with deans, the head of the Upper School, the chief financial officer, and the head of grounds, organized two field days, three pumpkin bowling days, at least five all-school surveys, and most recently, participated in our first annual STUCO rep dunk tank during Club Fest. These events have empowered me to lead the school and trust myself knowing that it’s impossible to do something perfectly, but when something’s a huge success, it’s a lot of fun.
The lessons MICDS has taught me will stay with me throughout my life and will provide me with an unexplainable advantage going into my next season of life. I will forever be grateful for my time here and hope that you all realize what an incredible school MICDS is! Thank you for your time, and I hope you have a wonderful day!