Paige Fielding '15 has known since last fall that she would be heading to Tufts University, one of the most prestigious colleges in the world.
She was accepted in the Tufts Early Decision Program, taking the anxieties away from the senior-year college application process.
Paige has strong family ties to the university located in Medford, and as the No. 3-ranked student in her graduating class, a respected student leader and multi-sport scholar-athlete, she possessed the impressive credentials that highly selective Tufts seeks in its candidates.
"My family stressed education – it's important in my family," said Paige, who is considering a major in the health sciences and a pre-medical tract. "When I visited Tufts, I really liked the campus and the dormitories. I was nervous about getting accepted and now I'm really excited about starting college."
Well-rounded and active would describe Paige's daily contribution to the St. Mary's school community.
In addition to excelling in many aspects of the school community, she was also visible at St. Mary's events showing her school spirit and advancing the Christian values of fellowship and friendship.
Here is one shining example: though her class had graduated a month earlier, Paige traveled to Holy Cross College in Worcester to root on her classmates and friends on the St. Mary's baseball team in the state championship game. Her excursion proved rewarding as the Spartans claimed the school's first baseball crown in 27 years.
Paige played varsity soccer and was captain of the indoor track team, competing in the high jump and hurdles events. The 5-foot-7-inch athlete was captain of the lacrosse team this spring and scored a goal in the Harry Agganis All-Star Lacrosse game last week.
Ranked No. 3 academically in the Class of 2015, Paige was selected to the National Honor Society. She served as a member of the Student Council and vice president of the class. She competed on the science and college bowl academic teams and was a member of the Campus Ministry.
A long-time dance student at Agnes Strecker Dance Academy in Revere, she appeared in and choreographed the dance numbers in the school production of "Beauty and the Beast." She was a co-captain of the St. Mary's dance team coached by Beverly Buckley.
"I was busy at school," she said understatedly.
Dr. Mark DiFabio, principal of St. Mary's High School, said Paige Fielding made a tremendous impact on school life with her scholastic excellence, athletic prowess, and exceptional leadership.
"Paige Fielding really exemplifies what a scholar-athlete is at St. Mary's," said DiFabio. "She's an outstanding leader, a fantastic student, and a great athlete. She's a fine young woman and she's an all-around great example of everything our school personifies and we're super proud of her."
"Paige is amazing," summarized Sam Lipscomb, communications director at St. Mary's.
Paige attended the Immaculate Conception School in Revere from age three through her graduation in eighth grade. There she began playing basketball for the IC team that reached the state finals. She complemented her athletic pursuits with dance lessons.
She considered Catholic schools and prep schools for high school before deciding on St. Mary's in Lynn.
"I chose St. Mary's because I felt it was the perfect fit for me," said Paige. "Coming from a small school, it was just the right size and a great way to open up to a group of new people."
Paige said the teachers and administrators at St. Mary's are dedicated to helping students reach their goals and prepare for college studies.
"Mr. [Michael] Jalbert, who teaches U.S. History, was a favorite and Mrs. [Grace] Regan, the Head of School, really helped me out, especially at the Cardinal Cushing Gala, where I was honored to be one of the student speakers," said Paige.
She will head to Tufts with lifelong friendships made and positive memories accumulated from her four years in the athletic program.
"I have a lot of friends from different communities all over the North Shore," said Paige. "St. Mary's is a close-knit community. I wouldn't trade my years at St. Mary's for anything.
"The sports were awesome. I had so much fun competing on the JV and varsity teams. Some of my best memories are playing soccer in my freshman year with all my friends. Mr. [Jim] Foley was so helpful. He made soccer a great experience for every player and made everyone feel a part of the team. Heather Woods [track coach] really helped me improve in the high jump. And Mr. [Carl] DiMaiti was my coach in junior year for outdoor track and he also helped me a ton in the high jump. And my lacrosse coach, Coach Al Eaton, came to the school when I was a sophomore and he really worked hard every day and we doubled our wins."
This fall there will be another member of Paige's family carrying on the tradition of scholastic excellence at St. Mary's. Paige's younger sister, Grace Fielding, who won numerous academic awards and was the valedictorian of the eighth grade class at Immaculate Conception School, is heading to Lynn.
"I tried to set a good example for my sister," said Paige. "I really wanted to make sure that when she went to St. Mary's, they could say, 'Oh, you're Paige's sister.'"
Susan Blanchard is pleased that Grace will be following in Paige's footsteps to St. Mary's.
"As parents, Roger and I were so happy with Paige's experience at St. Mary's from academics to athletics, the arts and all the service projects she participated in that we knew her younger sister, Grace, would be very happy there as well. We were delighted that it was her top choice. As a trustee, I know St. Mary's offers an incredibly positive environment for all students and it's close to home, making it that much easier to engage in everything the school has to offer."