As a Catherine McAuley High School alumna and participant in the school’s renaming process, I have a different perspective from those presented in recent letters to the editor.

Yes, we were empowered, bold and motivated: girls, shaped into young women by the outstanding education we received at McAuley. Girls are powerful and mighty. “Girl” is not a derogatory term!

This is where the progress is needed. The Maine Girls’ Academy is all about empowerment; the girls on the naming committee recommended the word “girls” and not “young women.” Their point of view was listened to and respected.

Yes, Catherine McAuley stood for something and still does – the strong foundation that MGA is built on. The name has been called “generic“; I assure you, it is not. It is the girls’ school and aptly named so – a school where girls are active participants, where girls collaborate, lead and have every opportunity, not just equal opportunity.

The name is fitting and purposeful, and I would argue that just plucking a name out of a history book would be generic. The school stands for more than could be embodied in one woman’s name because the school belongs to the girls.

I also assure you the leadership does not “stand for nothing.” They took a stand and fought with passion to continue to be the only school in Maine dedicated to girls. Their vision and dedication are inspiring. I was so inspired that I jumped at the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join this groundbreaking group of educators and girls.

I encourage anyone to visit and witness what is happening in the halls and in the classrooms. You will see that we take the responsibility of shaping the next generation of women seriously and joyfully. We are passionately advocating for them and invite you to stand with us.

Laura Christy Genese

Class of 1996 Catherine McAuley High School

Falmouth