DSC_0675Speakers at the Saint Raphael Academy commencement talked about the feeling of family, which anyone associated with the Academy will tell you is a sentiment expressed throughout campus. For the 89th time, the community wished congratulations and farewell to another group of family members, as they leave their home of four years and forge ahead to the next phase of their lives.

Saint Raphael Academy presented diplomas to the 91 members of the Class of 2016 on Saturday at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. The Reverend Bishop Robert Evans presided over the commencement exercises, joined by Daniel Ferris, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Providence, and principal Daniel Richard.

Parents and friends excitedly crowded together, trying to catch a glimpse of their graduate as they processed down the aisle. Judy Baxter, vice principal for academics, greeted the hundreds of proud family and friends before her, and Reverend Carl Fisette, along with seniors Grace Senra and Joseph Tumidajski, led all in prayers.

Randy Agudelo, salutatorian of the Class of 2016, spoke of gratitude and his time at Saints. The Central Falls resident, who will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute this fall, took an opportunity to thank the administration, the teachers, his family and, most of all, his fellow students.

“Each one of you has made my experience exciting, unique and memorable. You have made me feel like I am a part of a class. I will miss the times that we had to walk back and forth from East to West. I will miss our spiritual class retreats where we got to know each other on a deeper level. Each retreat, we would get closer to both God and each other,” he said.

The highlight of the afternoon—the presentation of diplomas—brought each student before the bishop, superintendent and principal to receive what they had all set out to attain four years ago. As some names were called, families had difficulty containing their excitement, erupting in isolated hoots and cheers despite being asked to hold their applause until the end.

A lovely rendition of the Beatles’ “In My Life” was performed by seniors and underclassmen from the liturgical choir and gala chorus. Members of the audience were particularly touched, many softly singing along with the choir.

Allison Amodie, who wears many hats at Saints including those of English teacher, senior class advisor and alumni coordinator, officially welcomed the class as our newest alumni, reminding students that their roots are always on Walcott Street.

“I have been fortunate enough to celebrate special moments with you over the last four years—moments such as watching new friendships develop, driver’s licenses obtained, Saints Olympics won, and college acceptances received,” she said. “I hope that as you continue to grow and experience new moments of triumph and celebration that you share them with not only me, but with the entire Saint Raphael Academy community.”

Justin Jackson, Saint Raphael Academy’s valedictorian, spoke about the life’s journey and where it will take each of his classmates.

“Some of us will go out and make a difference that changes the world, and some of us will go out and make a change that means the world to someone.  Although I do not know where these journeys will lead us, nor what differences we will make, there is one thing I am certain of, and it is that no matter what happens, each of us will go out and make a difference in some way.  As Pope Francis said, we are the “Generation of Hope;” we are the generation that can bring about change to this world,” he said. The Pawtucket resident’s own journey will take him to the University of Rhode Island in the fall.

Mrs. Baxter recognized students who had received awards at the previous evening’s senior banquet (see list below). Additionally, the Class of 2016 collectively received offers of more than $13 million in awards and scholarships for higher education.

Perseverance, no matter what the setbacks are, is the key to success, according to Mr. Richard. He addressed the graduates, highlighting their successes and encouraging them to change the world for the better. The class has already made a mark in that direction, giving more than 10,000 hours of community service over their four years at the Academy.

He closed with a quote from Muhammad Ali, who said that impossible shouldn’t be a deterrent, it should be a dare. Mr. Richard summed it up: “So with the legendary boxer’s words ringing in your ears, I challenge all of you to accept this dare and go achieve the impossible!” which was met with cheers from the Class of 2016.

After a short blessing from Bishop Evans, the graduates filed back down the aisle as the newest alumni of Saint Raphael Academy. As the rain began pouring outside, they skipped the traditional tossing of the mortarboards, and instead posed for pictures with family in the cathedral or hurried downstairs to wait in line to receive their official diplomas, hugging friends, teachers and coaches along the way.

 

Photo Gallery

 

Award Winners Class of 2016

GENERAL EXCELLENCE ……………………………………………………….Justin Jackson

NEXT IN MERIT ……………………………………………………………………Randy Agudelo

EXCELLENCE IN THEOLOGY……………………………………………………………………Justin Jackson

Next in Merit……………………………………………………………………………………………..Randy Agudelo

EXCELLENCE IN ENGLISH……………………………………………………………………………………………………..Grace Senra

Next in Merit……………………………………………………………………………………………..Alyssa Fletcher

EXCELLENCE IN MATHEMATICS…………………………………………………………………………………………………Jiaqi Yang

Next in Merit………………………………………………………………………………………………Justin Jackson

EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE……………………………………………………………………………………………………..Justin Jackson

Next in Merit………………………………………………………………………………………………..Randy Agudelo

EXCELLENCE IN SPANISH…………………………………………………………………………………………………….Justin Jackson

Next in Merit…………………………………………………………………………………………….Jonathan Alegria

EXCELLENCE IN FRENCH…………………………………………………………………………………………………….Randy Agudelo

Next in Merit…………………………………………………………………………………………………Sara Taborda

EXCELLENCE IN BUSINESS……………………………………………………………..Christopher Machado

Next in Merit……………………………………………………………………………………………..Dylan Brobisky

EXCELLENCE IN SOCIAL STUDIES…………………………………………………………….Justin Jackson

Next in Merit……………………………………………….……………………………………….……..Randy Agudelo

EXCELLENCE IN THE ARTS………………………………………………………..…………………..Klara Szilagyi

Next in Merit………………………………………………………………………………………………CaraMia Costa

SENATOR PELL MEDAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY……………………………………………Justin Jackson

MOORE SCHOLARS…………Randy Agudelo, Dylan Boisclair, Alyssa Fletcher, Tommy Huynh, Justin Jackson, David Meikle, Haley Mitsmenn, Grace Senra, Klara Szilagyi, Sara Taborda, Joseph Tumidajski

 

DISTINGUISHED AWARDS

EDITH PECK PHILLIPS MEMORIAL AWARD…………………………………….Grace Senra

MARGARET McGEOUGH MEMORIAL AWARD…………………………………………….Haley Mitsmenn

BARRY MEMORIAL AWARD…………………………………………………………………………..Dylan Boisclair

LEONA ROGERS MEMORIAL AWARD…………………………………………………………………Grace Senra

DALTON-HULME ‘64 MEMORIAL AWARD………………………………………………………Justin Jackson

PRINCIPAL’S LEADERSHIP AWARD……………………………………………………………Shijie (Kate) Zhou

C. DONA MAYNARD AWARD……………………………………………………………………………..Lauren Taylor

JOSEPH T. McHALE ‘62 AWARD………………………………………………………………….Joseph Tumidajski

SIGNUM FIDEI AWARD………………………………………………………Grace Senra, Sara Taborda, Joseph Tumidajski

DENNIS M. LYNCH, JR. ‘74 MEMORIAL AWARD………………………………………….Ethan MacDonald

DOREEN A. TOMLINSON ‘80 MEMORIAL AWARD…………………………………………Kamryn LaBree

SHAWN M. NASSANEY ‘94 MEMORIAL AWARD………………………………………………….Sara Taborda

GARY JACK ‘74 MEMORIAL AWARD………………………………………………………………….CaraMia Costa

SAINT JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE AWARD…………………………………………………………Jiaqi Yang

OUTSTANDING BUSINESS STUDENT AWARD…………………………………………Christopher Machado

FIRST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT AWARD………………………………………………………Justin Jackson

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR LEADERSHIP AWARD…………………….……………………….CaraMia Costa

COLONEL JAMES A. MACDOUGALD MEMORIAL AWARD………………………………..Justin Jackson

OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARDS………..Randy Agudelo, Dylan Brobisky, CaraMia Costa, Marisol Durango, Alicia Drape, Alyssa Fletcher, Janelle Hervieux, Justin Jackson, Zachary Librizzi, Klara Szilagyi, Sara Taborda, Joseph Tumidajski, Kate Zhou

SAINTS ANGEL AWARD……………………………..Alyssa Fletcher, Michael Furtado, Kaleel Harley, Justin Jackson, Jacqueline Lopes, Ethan MacDonald, Michael Mason, Samuel Nwofor, Carlos Ramirez, M’mama Toure

PERFECT ATTENDANCE AWARD……………………………………..Randy Agudelo, Jonathan Alegria, Dylan Boisclair, Ethan MacDonald, Christian Yepes

 

The Class of 2016

Randy Agudelo
Tunde Daezhon Akinjobi
Jonathan Alejandro Alegria
Jeanny Altera
Lauren Rose Audette
Alida J. Bartel
Lucero M. Berdugo
Nicholas E. Berry
Dylan Francis Boisclair
Jacob Alex Bourski
Dylan E. Brobisky
Seth Robert Burdett
Gregory Cabrera
John Paul Callahan
Cheyanne Araujo Carvalho
CaraMia Rose Costa
Alexsis Julia DaSilva
Cheyanne V. Dos Santos
Alicia Lynn Drape
Marisol Durango
Pablo Cesar Estrada, Jr.
Alyssa Marie Fletcher
Shannon Elizabeth Flynn
Dylan Joseph Francisco
Bryan Joseph Furtado
Jordan S. Furtado
Michael Thomas Furtado
Joseph Anthony Gallo
Helpisis S. Genao
Brittany J. Giroux
Kevin I. Gonzalez
Kaleel Harley
Jacob W. Heard
Janelle Marie Hervieux
Tommy Tan Huynh
Justin Robert Jackson
Olivia Jannetta
Joshua R. Johnson
Kamryn A. LaBree
Kaitlin LaPlante
Riya Kennedy LeFort
Hao Ming Lei
Jiahao Li
Zachary K. Librizzi
Deqi Liu
Jacqueline Rodrigues Lopes
Kendra Julieth Lopes
Xindi Lu
Ethan Edward MacDonald
Christopher Julio Machado
Kendra Elizabeth Maille
Dylan McKenna Martin
Michael J. Mason
Taylor Grace Masse
Nichole A. Mateo
David J. Meikle II
Katherine Marie Milson
Haley Mitsmenn
Elizabeth Reed Montague
Anna Elizabeth Morais
Anthony Joseph Morris, Jr.
Nicholas Nefedov
Nataly Neves
Samuel Nwofor
Rene J. Ogni
Brandon S. Olobri
Brianna Noelle O’Rourke
Vanessa Ann Ottaviani
Jack Paiva
Ariana M. Pires
Dante Pires
Carlos J. Ramirez
Lauren MacKenzie Rampenthal
Sydney Anastasia Roberts
Sarah Rose Rocchio
Grace Marie Senra
Cristina Maria Sherman
Courtney A. Sloan
Grace Song
Klara Viktoria Szilagyi
Sara Taborda
Lauren Elizabeth Taylor
M’mama Toure
Joseph  Kenneth Tumidajski
Nathaniel Warren Vigeant
Brielle Williams
Jiaqi Yang
Christian Yepes
Zhi Xian Zhang
Shijie (Kate) Zhou

 

 

 

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