As if heaven sent, a beautiful, sunny day capped off four years of hard work and great memories—including, of course, two Saints Olympics wins—for the Saint Raphael Academy Class of 2015 on June 14 at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul.  The Most Reverend Robert C. Evans presided over the commencement ceremony that was attended by many proud family, friends, faculty and staff.

The 88th Commencement of Saint Raphael Academy students concluded a busy week that was all about the Class of 2015, with the last final exams being taken, graduation rehearsal and lunch hosted by the junior class, a baccalaureate Mass, and the senior banquet and awards.

Students filed into the Cathedral in dressed in Saints purple, as relatives vied for the best vantage point to take photos. The ceremony opened with a greeting from Judy Baxter, Vice Principal of Academics, followed by a prayer from Reverend Mark Sauriol, Academy Chaplin, with seniors Daniel Arteaga and Maureen Doyle.

In her speech, salutatorian Vanessa Dos Anjos recalled her nervousness as she entered the Academy, wondering what her teachers would be like and if she would make any friends. She thanked the faculty for the love and support she and her classmates received, as well as for challenging them to reach their highest potential.  She also credited those in Pastoral Services for having “enriched our souls and opened our hearts to service.” The class contributed more than 10,500 hours of service in their four years at Saints.

Diplomas were then presented to each of the seniors by Bishop Evans, Principal Dan Richard, Mrs. Baxter, Vice Principal of Student Life Mark Thibault, and Superintendent of Catholic Schools Daniel Ferris.  Senior members of the Liturgical and Gala Choirs treated the audience to their rendition of “Candle on the Water,” and senior class officer Erin O’Neill led the class in the transferring of their tassels, signifying that they had officially graduated.  Terry Murray, a favorite teacher for many years at the Academy, welcomed the new graduates as the most recent class of alumni, saying, “Remember, you are always a Saint, and you will always be a part of the Saints family.  Please know our doors will always be open to you.”

For valedictorian Auston Gillis, bravery and travelling outside your “city of comfort” was something he learned while at Saints.  “The Saint Raphael Academy family has helped me realize that you should not fear making mistakes, and you must explore your passions and interests to discover something incredible.”  He commended his class for their academic and extracurricular achievements and said that, with faith and the lessons and skills that faculty have taught them, they, too, should feel confident of discovering something wonderful in themselves.

As Mr. Richard addressed the class, he asked them to stand and face their families and friends, who “have had your backs for the last four years,” and to thank them with a round of applause.  Noting the many achievements of the Class of 2015, Mr. Richard referenced the challenge made to them to increase their SAT scores, which led to his “special” haircut when he lost the wager.  As did other well-wishers, he advised them to follow their dreams, but also, “I challenge you, as a Saints graduate, to care passionately, work tirelessly, give generously to others and find the courage to go out and change our world!” he said.

Bishop Evans closed the ceremony with a blessing upon the graduates, who proceeded from the cathedral out into the bright sunlight symbolic of their new beginning, greeted by proud families and friends bearing flowers and balloons, smiles and best wishes for all that the future holds for them.

 (See  photos below.)


The Class of 2015


Francesca Ariana Almonte#+*

Joshua Alves+*

Raymond Aquino

Daniel Alejandro Arteaga#+*

Samantha Anne Aspinwall

Ruiyi Bai+

Lauren Elizabeth Bartels#+

Diego Alejandro Bautista

Emily Suzanne Benoit+*

Benjamin David Boragine

Julian Borges+

Ciarra M. Botelho

Enrique Castaneda-Pineda

Sarah Cavaleri+!

Jordan Luis Cepeda

Patrick Reginal Charles

Jozlyne Ciccia

Emerald Christine Clarke+

Kayla Allison Colson#+*!~

Joshua Michael Conte+

Katelyn Elizabeth Coyle#+*~

Andrew Crookes

Brianna Eyram Yawo Dewornu+*

Giuliano F. DiRissio

Alfred G. Dorbor+

Vanessa Lynn Dos Anjos#+*!~

Kelton V. Dos Santos#+*

Maureen McCann Doyle#+*~

Sarah Elizabeth Duffin+

Nathan Richard Duffy+

Hayley N. Dunne#+*

Santiago Durango#+*

Jenna Lynn Ethier+

Michael Anthony Ferreira+

Brittany Marie Fontaine#+*~

Auston Thomas Gillis#+*~

Julissa Marie Godin#+*

Danyel Gonzalez+

Ryan Goyette+

Ruixin Hu+

Mackenzie Xavier Hughes#+

James Kelly

Joseph S. Kiernan

Jarrett Benjamin Knox#+*!~

Kendra Marie Kohler

Jordan Kraatz

Alexander R. Kuras+

Zhengliang Lan+

Myles Christopher Lefebvre#+

Minghao Li#+*~

Kathryn Anne Macksoud

Andrew Masse

Serena Lee McGuire

Ryan J. McKenna+

Kyle McParlin

Christopher Mella

Michael Antonio Melo+

Ethan John Mendes#+*!~

Soleil Sky-lynn Mendes-Dagraca+

Mary Mennucci#+*~

Michael Mitchell+

Nadia Elizabeth Nada

Camila Nava+

Emily L. O’Connell

Kaylee M. Oliver

Erin Anne O’Neill#+*!

Steven Parker

Natasha Perez#+*~

Leighlin Connor Peters#+*~

Alan S. Piwonski+

Brian Piwonski

Azzys Vannesza Rodas

Benjamin A. Roy#+*

Jacob R. Roy#+

Benjamin Joseph Rubino

Matthew Thomas Sabatini+

Mia Joy Sarcione

Yawen Jenny Shang+

Oluwaseun O. Shittu#+

Ashley Marie Simmons

Darius Francis-Augustus Stewart

Taylor Nicole Stewart+*

Sean R. Sutherland#+*

Kaylee Josephine Sylvestre+

James Brandon Taubman

Justin Mac Taylor

Jordan Uribe

Alexis V. Vieira+

Adrianna Wloch+

Daysha Q. Woods

Samuel Zalk+*

Zhu Xingzhang+




# National Honor Society

+ Rhode Island Honor Society

* Foreign Language Honor Society

! International Thespian Honor Society

~ Moore Scholar




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