Saint Raphael Academy proudly announces the valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2024: Sharbel Mikhail is ranked first in the class and Megan McCann is ranked second. The announcement was made at the annual honors night on May 20. The students were chosen based on their overall GPAs attained over their four years at Saints.

While the identity of the valedictorian and salutatorian is kept top-secret until Honors Night, both students had their suspicions when they were invited to the event.

A Dream Fulfilled

Meghan, a quiet and reserved person, had a mixed reaction when she heard her name announced. “It’s a lot of pressure that comes with it,” she smiled, referring to her speech to be given at commencement.

Sharbel said he was truly unaware if he was first or second in the class. As he heard his name, “I was overcome with a great sense of joy,” he said. “I immediately made the sign of the cross as I was announced as a recognition that God brought me to this success. It was the final fulfillment of my freshman year dreams when I entered Saint Ray’s four years ago.”

Meet SRA’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian

As one would expect, both students are used to being in the academic spotlight. They were honored with numerous awards over the years, including, Saints honor roll, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society.

Additionally, Sharbel and Meghan are both Moore Scholars. The Moore Scholars program at SRA challenges high-achieving students to consider how they can improve the quality of life at Saints and the community at large. They research the chosen topic—climate change—and present their ideas to a panel of faculty adjudicators.

Sharbel earned a weighted GPA of 118.67 and received the Harvard Book Award as a junior, was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard University. The Cumberland resident plans to study economics and hopes to work in either international government or for a non-profit.

Meghan, who lives in Pawtucket, earned a weighted GPA of 116.87. She will enter the University of Rhode Island in the fall and major in mechanical engineering with a concentration in applied mathematics. She received the Presidential Scholarship from URI, and she aspires to work with medical prosthetics or something in circuitry.

While they are both academically excellent students, Sharbel and Meghan are closely guided by the Lasallian principles of faith, service and community.

A Civic-Minded Valedictorian

Sharbel is an outgoing student who has been involved with many clubs and projects at Saints. He was on the Student Council and is currently vice president of the senior class. He represented the Academy twice as a student panelist at the international NEASC conference.

Sharbel is also one of the founding members of the SRA Cultures Club and was instrumental in planning the first school-wide celebration of cultures. He spearheaded the purchase of nearly 50 flags from different countries, which are permanently installed in Alumni Hall.

He was also involved with Model Legislature and won the State of Rhode Island Civic Leadership Award, which recognizes students who have made outstanding contributions to their schools and communities. As a member of Secretary of State Greg Amore’s inaugural Civic Liaison Program, Sharbel met with community and government leaders and worked on civic-engagement projects with other local high school students. The experience strengthened his interest in community engagement.

“I’m an optimist who thinks the world can be saved and I want to be a part of it,” he said.

With all those activities and a full load of AP classes, Sharbel also found time to be a student-athlete, playing football for four years and joining the swim team in his senior year.

A STEM-Focused Salutatorian

Meghan was happy to get involved with the school’s robotics club when it resumed after covid restrictions had been lifted in 2022 and has been a member for three years. As the team’s co-captain this year, her leadership skills found a place to thrive.

She lights up when she talks about her passions of engineering and robotics. “Engineering is huge in my family. Everyone is either an engineer or a nurse,” she said. She is interested in a future career in prosthetics, a nod to her family’s career interests.

“She does her own thing and doesn’t expect recognition for it,” said Judy Baxter, vice principal of academics.

Meghan is committed to community service and has taught CCD at her parish, St. John Paul II, and swim lessons to children at Goldfish Swim School in Attleboro. She also volunteered at the Diocese of Providence Youth Ministry’s annual haunted labyrinth in Cranston. Additionally, she has donated blood at SRA’s blood drives during the year and volunteered as an SRA admissions ambassador.

Another student-athlete, Meghan is a co-captain of the swim team, which won its third straight division title this year, and she was a valuable part of the 200-yard freestyle and 400-yard freestyle relay teams that won first place in the Division III championships.

This year, Meghan joined the newly formed Gardening Club and the Architecture Club, but the Dungeons & Dragons Club is her favorite.

Memories of Saints

For a class that came to Saints amid masks and distancing restrictions, the Class of 2024 is a tight-knit group.

“I think I will miss the spirit of my class and the Saints community the most after I graduate,” said Meghan. Being surrounded by so many ambitious and passionate classmates helps keep me involved in school and events on campus!”

For Sharbel and many SRA alumni, the ECHO retreat is particularly special.

“My favorite memory from my time at SRA was over the ECHO weekend; we sang some of our favorite classic songs from the 2010s late at night, karaoke-style. [It was] a time where we forgot the various life events that stress us out to get together as friends and sing at the top of our lungs,” said Sharbel.

More memories are being made for this class every day, as they conclude their senior year.


Saint Raphael Academy’s 97th commencement will take place at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on Sunday, June 9, at 2:30 pm.