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Morgan Snyder

Class of 2022

As an eighth grade student at St. Michael, Morgan Snyder ’22 imagined herself at a single sex school. Yet, at the urging of two of her close select soccer friends, Corinne Crowe ’22 and Caralyn Vollmar ’22, both future Spartans, she set up a shadow day at Roger Bacon. During her shadow day, she immediately connected with the school. “It was just so down to earth and felt like home, ” she explained. As she followed around then junior Annabelle Merz ’20 during her shadow day, she saw in Annabelle what she wanted her own high school experience to be like. As Morgan shares, “I saw this great place that had strong academics, with lots of opportunities to be involved in sports, clubs, and service, and to bond with a closely knit group of friends. It was just different than other schools.” When making her final decision, she remembers her Mom’s words well. “My mom said to me ‘You can go be a small fish in a big pond, or you can be the same sized fish in a small pond like Roger Bacon’ and while I am I’m nowhere near being a decisive person - I’m the type to stand in an IKEA for hours debating which color furniture to buy - when it came to my high school decision, I surprised myself by easily knowing which choice was right for me. Over two years later and I haven’t for a second regretted my decision to come to Bacon.”

Now at the beginning her junior year, her experience has exceeded her expectations. She is active in athletics, including the girls soccer team as well many clubs and activities, such as being on the Community Outreach Board, and designing the most recent Homecoming t-shirts. One thing that has surprised her is how much she loves the service aspect of Roger Bacon, and how prominent it is at the school. “It surprised me that so many students were so enthusiastic to participate in service opportunities. I guess it is because when so many students participate, you get to connect with each other, and because Father Roger does such a great job not only showing how service can help other people, but at the same time you are building a strong Roger Bacon community, and you can feel this happening during these opportunities,” shares Morgan.

One aspect of beginning this school year that did cause a bit of anxiety for her was the decision to begin the year remotely. She credits her AP English teacher Julie Vehorn for helping to prepare her this unusual start to the school year. However, the greatest concern for her was how she may be viewed by her peers. Though she has been blessed with a very close group of friends, she was still concerned with being looked at differently or “being forgotten.” Morgan says, however, that this was anything but the case. “I have felt fully supported in every way. The academic pieces has been smooth, and if there are issues, like an IT issue, my teachers and I work on them together. And my friends have been awesome. I still play soccer, so I still get to see a lot of my friends, but they actually have been so great about making sure they are always thinking of me, or including me in the same invitations or messages. I have never felt like an afterthought in any way,” she says. Like many Roger Bacon students and alumni, Morgan sees these friendships as a lifelong gift. “I can honestly say that I’ve made connections here that I intend to keep strong for the rest of my life; my friends have been my anchors through navigating high school, as well as supporting me when I made the decision to start my junior year online, she shares.”

Morgan highlights Ms. Christoff and Ms. Reinbach as being two of her favorite teachers. As for her favorite Roger Bacon moment? She notes a moment last year during soccer season when she injured her knee, and came to school on crutches. As she struggled to get out of the car and to the main entrance, a freshman student stopped and waited for her “for what seemed like 10 minutes” to be sure they could hold the door and help her in. “That is what Roger Bacon is all about, every day,” says Morgan.

Though she is just starting to begin to look at colleges and majors, she is most appreciative how Roger Bacon has prepared her, giving her plenty of options. A very talented artist, as well as an Assisi scholar, she is looking at majors in architecture or urban planning, something that will allow her to utilize her creative and artistic nature, along with her strengths in math and science. She also is thankful for a Roger Bacon experience she feels has left her humbled and with great perspective.

“This school has instilled in me a compassion for others and desire to find purpose in even the smallest of things. Beyond academics, RB has taught me how to reflect on life, a skill that’s been reinforced year after year. Now I reflect without even thinking about it, understanding deeper connections of my actions than if I went through my day passively.”

“Morgan encapsulates the Franciscan value of fraternity. She draws others into life - whether with soccer or service – so they can experience welcome, belonging, hope and laughter. Mother Theresa said, “Peace begins with a smile.” It is Morgan’s smile that radiates the peace the fraternal value calls us, Franciscans, to be with others in the world.”

Father Roger Lopez, OFM Director of Community Outreach, Theology Department