By Staff     8/6/2019

This spring, 418 high school seniors graduated from Santa Margarita Catholic High School. The class of 2019 had 1,991 college acceptances and earned $41.9 million in merit and athletic scholarships. The average combined scholarship offers per graduate is $100,000.  

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Erin Barisano delivered an inspiring message that referenced “Les Miserables’ “Victor Hugo, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” Barisano reminded the graduates to “take with you today the knowledge that you have seen the face of God during your journey at Santa Margarita Catholic High School, and when you leave this special place, you are called to continue to be the face of God to others.” 

Representing the graduates on the dais were top scholars Dartmouth-bound Valedictorian Ashkaan Mahjoob and UC Berkeley-bound Salutatorian Macy Lustig. In addition, was Notre Dame-bound Benjamin Erhardt, recipient of the school’s coveted Caritas award.  

Valedictorian Ashkaan Mahjoob will be studying Economics and Psychology at Dartmouth. During his years at SMCHS, he was involved in the National Honors Society, California Scholarship Federation, Princeton Book Award, ASB, Steel Drums, MUN, Swim Team, and Student Ambassador.  

“The most important lesson I learned at SM was how to deal with failure. No matter who you are, it’s an inevitable experience, and I feel like SM gave me the tools and environment to learn how to overcome challenges and reach my goals, regardless of where life takes me,” said Mahjoob.  At graduation, Mahjoob reminded his classmates to always rely on the love of Christ that was instilled throughout their journey at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. 

“Life will throw unexpected obstacles your way that are beyond your control. Stay grounded, stay humble, but most importantly, never lose sight of your values and treat each and every person with love and respect, just as we’ve learned here through our school’s charism, Caritas Christi.” 

Salutatorian Macy Lustig will be studying Political Science at UC Berkeley. During her time at SMCHS, Lustig was a member of National Honor Society, CSF Life, ASB, Pink Ribbon Club, and Model United Nations. Lustig received SMCHS MUN Alumni Scholarship, the Principal Award, and Academic Athlete Awards for girls volleyball and track and field.  

“My experience at SM has allowed me to grow as a student and a member of the community. It has given me a great education, but aside from that, it has allowed me to develop my values and morals as I become a young adult,” said Lustig. 

At the SMCHS graduation Dr. Erin Barisano imparted a heartfelt message to parents: “Thank you for believing in our mission and investing in your child’s formation as women and men of faith, leadership and knowledge. We are able to continue our good work because of your commitment to our mission.”