Class of 2017 sets high standards for achievement
RUTLAND—On Friday, June 2, Mount St. Joseph Academy celebrated its 130th commencement exercises at St. Peter Church with the traditional pageantry that accompanies each MSJ graduation.
The opening procession included flags from the various countries whose students attend MSJ, as well as a Knights of Columbus honor guard. The crowd then joined together to sing “America the Beautiful.” Principal Sarah Fortier welcomed the crowd of about 600 attendees, and spoke about the Class of 2017, pointing out the traits she will miss most with respect to each of the 28 graduates.
Students Isabelle Harvey and Thomas Tracy, recipients of the Veritas et Puritas (“Truth and Purity”) award, addressed issues including faith and integrity, respectively. Salutatorian Gabriella Giancola and Valedictorian Jenna Eaton both spoke about the importance of family. Valedictorian Eaton graciously asked the audience to let her wait to begin her speech until one of her classmates returned from the balcony after performing with the MSJ band. She noted that, although she would miss her classmates, “We will always have MSJ to bring us back together.”
Harvey and Tracy will both attend Catholic colleges (St. Anselm College and Stonehill College, respectively). Giancola will matriculate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the fall, while Eaton has received the Green and Gold full-tuition scholarship to attend UVM.
The Class of 1967 received their golden diplomas. Their various accomplishments were noted, as well as their commitment to MSJ.
The late Eileen O’Rourke (MSJ ‘52) was honored as the Philanthropist of the Year. A paralegal who lived most of her life in Washington, D.C., and who was a leadership donor during her lifetime, she left one-half of her estate to MSJ. It was announced that her bequest is being used to begin a capital fund that will ensure the future of MSJ.
Bishop Christopher Coyne, after a humorous beginning to his speech, turned to a more serious note, explaining to the MSJ graduates that their MSJ education was like a priceless painting that they should treasure and put to good use for all to see.
Accomplishments of the class of 2017 included:
100 percent of the class will be attending four-year colleges.
Each student was accepted to an average of 5.33 colleges.
The graduates averaged $150K +/- in college scholarships.
17 of the 28 grads carried a 3.5 GPA or higher while participating in two activities and/or sports.
27 out of 28 graduates earned varsity sports letters while attending MSJ.
Four students will benefit from the Sisters of Saint Joseph Unity grant, which will provide them with two years tuition free at the College of Saint Joseph.
Eaton was named the DAR First Place Winner in the Good Citizens Scholarship Program for the Northeastern Division (including all of the New England States plus New York) and the recipient of the Wendy’s High School Heisman Female Award for the State of Vermont.
The members of the class of 2017 are: Cedric Lyonel André, Adam Charles Babb, Olivia Joyce Corbett, Benjamin Elliot DeCota, Clay Andrew Drinwater, Jenna Grace Eaton (Valedictorian), Shannon Elizabeth Elms, Joshua Barringtion Emerich, Bethany Marie Garrow, Gabriella Bethany Giancola (Salutatorian), Shareef Nyem Harrison, Isabelle Marie Harvey (Veritas et Puritas), Bryn Elizabeth McClallen, Anne-Lynsha Jennifer Mompérousse, Randolf Vincent Mangundayao, Amy Leigh Nichols, Kai Akeem Norwood, Karl-Antonio Saint-Surin, Dylan Matthew Potter, Theresa Maria Tedesco, Olivia Pearl-Marie Tiraboschi, Thomas Nicholas Tracy – Veritas et Puritas, Mackenzie Catherine Traska, Darren Jasher Watler-Brooks, John Patrick Whitaker, Joseph Hayden Whitaker, Jelani Austin Williams, and Brandon Michael Wortman.
Mount St. Josephy Academy graduates 28 students.