Monitor Graduation 2019 Special Issue

Page 1




June 2019


Newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton

From Harbor to Horizon

Class of 2019

Vic Mistretta photo


jubilant Olivia Wojtowicz of the Class of 2019 from St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, is cheered on by loved ones and well-wishers as she approaches the stage during commencement exercises June 1. In Masses and special ceremonies throughout May and June, more than 1,500 graduates celebrated their many accomplishments and blessings, leaving the safe harbor of their Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Trenton and fixing their sights on the hopeful horizons ahead.



‘Go with God always,’

Bishop advises 2019 graduates


t. John’s Gospel speaks often about the importance of maintaining a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Learning about that, doing that is the purpose of Catholic education – the purpose of the last four years you have spent in Catholic high school. I want to focus your attention on words spo“Remain ken by the Lord Jesus Christ himself on in him, and the night before he your lives will died, what is called by Bible scholars as bear much the “Last Discourse.” If you believe in him, fruit.” truly believe, these words, his words, should be something you also believe. They are his “last will,” part of his final message at the Last Supper. People are fascinated by learning a person’s conscious “last words.” I emphasize “conscious” because they are considered to be an effort on the part of the “conscious” person to share what is on his/her mind as life comes to an end, a message to be remembered. What did he or she say? What were his/her last words? When my mother began the final journey of her life four years ago, the last thing she said, her last words were simply, “ok.” She repeated them several times before losing consciousness. I thought about that many times since then. I believe she was promising my brothers and me that she would be “ok” going home to the Lord, that we should not

worry, that we, too, would be “ok.” As the Lord Jesus looked around the table at the Last Supper, he saw his closest friends, his Apostles, watching and listening carefully to him. His “hour” – the end of his earthly life had come, he wanted them to remember him ... and his message, his hope and prayer for them. “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine grower,” he said. “Remain in me as I remain in you” ... “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.” Last words. A final message. Words of hope, a message he wanted them to remember and never forget. Phrases that were addressed to his closest friends and that for 2,000 years have been repeated for us and now, for you who are about to graduate from Catholic high school, to hear and remember. My young sisters and brothers, graduates of the Class of 2019: the Lord Jesus is the true vine, we are the branches. Remain in him and let him remain in you. That is the most important relationship in your life, and it will both LEAD you and FOLLOW you to wherever and whatever your future holds. If you embrace that relationship in your life, you will bear fruit – the fruit he wants you to bear. The Lord Jesus always chose his words carefully, purposefully. “I AM,” he began, the same phrase that God used when Moses asked for his name to tell the people of Israel. “I AM WHO AM. Tell

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., encourages St. Rose High School graduates during the May 30 Baccalaureate Mass he celebrated in St. Rose Church, Belmar. Mike Ehrmann photo

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

them ‘I AM sent you.” When the Lord Jesus used those introductory words, he was revealing himself, he was speaking as God. Eight times in John’s Gospel: “before Abraham was, I AM”; “I AM the Bread of Life”; “I AM the Light of the World”; “I AM the Sheep Gate”; “I AM the Good Shepherd”; “I AM the Resurrection and the Life”; “I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life,” and finally, “I AM the true vine, you are the branches ... apart from me,” he cautioned, “You can do nothing.” Without God in your lives, you can do nothing. You are beginning a new chapter in your life. Soon you will be heading off to college, or to work or to some new thing. You will face new challenges, new opportunities, new struggles and new happy, joy-filled moments; new friendships, new experiences. Go with God always, my young sisters and brothers, with the Lord Jesus as branches on the vine. Look for him in your all new experiences. And if you cannot see him at first, know that he is there loving you, leading you, calling you. As you turn this page in your lives at graduation from Catholic high school, it is up to you to remain in him, to stay connected, to let him remain in you. Do that, my young sisters and brothers, graduates of the Class of 2019; do that, remain in him, and your lives will bear much fruit.


A joyous time for youth,


a memorable time for loved ones


une is the time when graduates respond with an ebullient, carefree spirit recognizing the joy-filled completion of 12-plus years of education. It is also the time when a defined tug is experienced on the heartstrings of parents, accentuating the rapid passage of time, the unfolding of new explorations, discoveries and continued soul-searching for their child. It is a time in which school traditions are honored and take on a meaning and a rite of passage, a connection with former alums. Baccalaureate Masses and graduation exercises exemplify a personal stamp reflecting the individuality and culture of each high school. It may be experienced in the lighting of the alumni candle with family members who salute the same

alma mater. It may be reflected in the procession of the 50th anniversary class appearing to be lost in thought recalling their youthful days. Have they really grown up? It is a time for family and friends to become absorbed in the strains and formidable talents of the choir and orchestra. It is a reflective time as former graduates return to deliver commencement speeches accentuated with experience and personal advice. It is a time to remember, to embrace the familiar and to welcome the unfamiliar yet to be experienced. The 1,536 graduates of the Class of 2019 from the Catholic high schools of the Diocese of Trenton are poised and accomplished individuals. They are applauded for their rigor, their

constancy and their self-discihe received unexpected help and guidance from a member pline in the world of academia of the maintenance staff who and athletics. The graduates became that listening ear. were awarded scholarships A defining moment and grants exceeding “You in the evening was $213 million. They are a unique are recognized creation of God. the presence and for their personal You have a purpose introduction of this gentleman staff development as in this world that and hero after so daily experiences only you can many years. Through render evidence of fulfill.” a personal invitation, their faith. School Massthis school hero was present es, Kairos retreats, consistent once again to support the boy service to the less fortunate, all and now accomplished man resonate a lived faith. and commencement speaker. In the commencement The moment revealed without speech for one of our schools, question that each of us is intean alum and talented Navy SEAL provided a personal gral in the lives of others. reflection and a turning point Parents, administrators, from his high school years. He faculty, staff and unnamed recounted a troubling time of supporters invested in the emptiness and personal anformation and support of the guish. During this difficult time, See Graduation • G40

Inside this issue: ► Graduation coverage for the 11 parish, diocesan and private Catholic high schools in the Diocese . . . begins on page G4 (see index at right), including 4-page photo spread on pages G19-22.

St. Rose High School, Belmar • G8

Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton • G7

Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank • G13

Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville • G15

St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel • G10

Donovan Catholic, Toms River • G16

Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing • G24

► Senior Sports Highlights . . . page G27. ► Eighth-grade graduates mark milestones . . . page G37.

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton • G29

Mater Dei Prep, Middletown • G31

Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran • G33


Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft • G35

Class of 2019 • G3

Graduation 2019

From Harbor to Horizon

Graduates begin new journey nurtured by faith, love By Mary Morrell Contributing Editor


ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for,” wrote American author John Augustus Shedd nearly 100 years ago. His words have become an analogy for the need to move forward, take risks, have faith and be confident, all of which describe the ambitions and abilities of this year’s graduates as they face head-on the opportunities and challenges of life beyond Catholic high school. “They are going to make a difference,” said Red Bank Catholic principal Robert Abatemarco, describing the future promise not only for his own graduating students but for the more than 1,500 graduates who were celebrated during Baccalaureate Masses and commencement ceremonies across the Diocese of Trenton. Graduates hailed from 11 Catholic diocesan, parish and private high schools serving Mercer, Monmouth, Burlington and Ocean counties, including Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton; Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville; Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran; St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel; Mater Dei Prep, Middletown; Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank; Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft; Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred

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Donovan Catholic High School mortarboards soar overhead as students gather outside St. Joseph Church, Toms River, following commencement June 3. Michael Glenn photo

Heart, Princeton; Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing; St. Rose High School, Belmar, and Donovan Catholic, Toms River. In keeping with his custom, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was able to celebrate Baccalaureate Masses with several of the graduating classes, including those of St. John Vianney High School, St. Rose High School, Red Bank Catholic High School and Christian Brothers Academy. In addition, JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of schools, took part in a number of commencement exercises, delivering an address to the graduates of Notre Dame High School, and congratulating the graduates of Red Bank Catholic, St. John Vianney and St. Rose High Schools, along with Trenton Catholic Academy.

From Intention to Action Having studied in an environment where the day begins with prayer, and Catholic ideals and beliefs are fully integrated into daily life and lessons, graduates had the opportunity to excel in academics, sports, leadership, music, art and theater. Some were recognized with awards, others worked diligently to attain their personal best. Together, these graduates were awarded more than $213 million in scholarships and grants. Across the board, “they brought pride to our school,” said Kathy D’Andrea, vice

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

The family-like atmosphere of Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, is reflected as Mary Liz Ivins, retiring after 40 years, receives a hug from a 2019 graduate June 9. Craig Pittelli photo principal of Donovan Catholic. In addition to many varied achievements, graduates from all the Catholic high schools began making a difference in their communities well before they walked the

See New • G5

 A Red Bank Catholic High School graduate is congratulated by principal Robert Abatemarco June 3 after commencement exercises. John Batkowski photo

 This memorial table – filled with photos of graduates’ family members who died – was on display for Notre Dame High School’s June 8 Baccalaureate Mass. Joe Moore photo

New challenges to explore Continued from • G4

stage to receive their diplomas. Graduates routinely demonstrated their desire to live the Gospel, dedicating thousands of hours in such endeavors as serving elderly and disabled veterans, children and seniors; working as hospice volunteers; helping to save a soup kitchen while the founder recovered from a heart attack, or spending Easter vacation in the Peruvian mountains helping local people construct fresh water pipes to irrigate their villages. This global vision is an important part of preparing students in the Catholic tradition for global leadership. D’Andrea explained, “We continue to work on expanding our global view of the world by enrolling students from other countries, sending students to our partner school in Spain, doing service work in the Dominican Republic and providing travel abroad.” Some graduates, while facing serious personal struggles, turned the experience into a benefit for others; students like Alyssa Marino, RBC salutatorian,

who overcame her own serious medical issues, and subsequently raised money for children with cancer. Others, like members of Catholic Athletes for Christ in SJV, promoted Catholic identity in the community through public prayer and a host of service initiatives. Teachers, principals and students acknowledged that among the exceptional characteristics of graduates were tenacity, passion, a love for their school community and their Catholic faith. As Kate Gotta, RBC director of communications, shared, “The class of 2019 faced challenges head on. They won athletic championships and awards for performing arts and academics. They competed on the fields and in the classroom but never lost sight of friendships that endured every high and low.”

Importance of Community Looking back at highlights from the year, it was often those friendships and experiences of being part of a community, in

both the good times and diffihelp me realize who I am. Alcult moments, that many stuthough it was the most difficult, senior year at Donovan was dents recalled. Times like, “bemy favorite. My grade bonded ing at MetLife Stadium to cheer with each other and we began on the varsity football team as doing things together as a class. they won the state championI made lifelong friendships with ship, all of the fun pep rallies we people I was not necessarily attended, our senior retreat and close to during previous years at everyone choosing colleges,” Donovan, helping make said Regina Acken, RBC this year the best one student council pres“The yet.” ident. challenges I Graduates For DC gradovercame during uate Christina senior year [served also recalled, with gratitude, the guidMerone, “the best to] shape me as a ance of faculty and memories/highlights person.” from this past year administration, and were definitely going to the support and sacrifice as many school events as posof families. “[It] has taught me and my fellow classmates to sible because we knew these always keep the faith and look would be our ‘lasts,’ … and at our brothers and sisters with a being able to spend every day positive vibe,” shared DC gradwith my best friends and make memories that I will remember uate Christopher Plate. forever.” “One special faculty memFellow graduate Ashley ber has said to her students time Cucchiara noted that senior after time that we are ‘valued, year was one of the most chalcherished, loved, always loved!’ As I have felt this way for the lenging years for her, both perpast four years, and especially sonally and academically. She this year, I will continue to share stressed, “The challenges I overthis … with my fellow (students) came during senior year [served at Manhattan College,” Plate to] shape me as a person and said.

Always a Family

 The newly graduated Class of 2019 of Trenton Catholic Academy applauds during May 29 commencement exercises. John Batkowski photo

Among those remembered and appreciated for their love of and influence on graduates and the broader school community was St. Joseph Sister Dorothy Payne, founding president of Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, who died Feb. 3. “During Sister Dorothy’s time here at Trenton Catholic Academy, her message to the students never changed. Education was one of the most important things in life.

See Foundation • G40


Class of 2019 • G5


Registrations are now being accepted for 2019-2020. Visit us at

Congratulations Class of 2019 (609) 586-5888 (LS) - (609) 586-3705 (US)

Christian Brothers Academy Donovan Catholic High School Holy Cross Academy Mater Dei Prep Notre Dame High School Red Bank Catholic Saint John Vianney Regional High School St. Rose High School Stuart Country Day School Trenton Catholic Academy Villa Victoria Academy Visit us to learn more about Georgian Court, our programs, our values, and our Catholic Mercy mission. G6 •

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Trenton Catholic Academy HAMILTON

Hamilton’s TCA graduates strong, faithful in spite of losses By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor


he first word I would use to describe this class is resilient,” Trenton Catholic Academy president Michael Knowles said, speaking of the 44-member graduating class of the Hamilton school. The class, which came together May 28-29 for a Baccalaureate Mass and commencement exercises, included cancer survivors and students who have lost parents and family members. The entire student body, however, lost its biggest cheerleader in Sister of St. Joseph  A photo of Sister of St. Dorothy Payne, the Joseph Dorothy Payne holds school’s president, a place of honor during the who passed away in May 29 commencement. John February. Batkowski photo “Our students were able to mourn her loss and continue to perform both academically and athletically, as well as be involved in other activities,” Knowles said. Valedictorian Abigail Klimas expressed surprise at her sadness in saying goodbye to her high

TCA graduates school family during the May receive Holy 29 commencement held at Communion Trenton Catholic Academy. during the “I am overjoyed to go Baccalaureate to college and live out my Mass held May 28 passions … it is an extremely in the Hamilton bittersweet feeling,” she said. school. Jay Mayer “Though we are leaving, we photo will never forget … the time we all spent together that shaped us as individuals.” • Klimas, who will major in biology at The College of New Jersey, Ewing, thanked the TCA community, as well as Sister Dorothy, “who is definitely here in spirit right now … It fills me with sorrow that you are unable to speak at graduation, but I would still like to thank you for all you’ve done for TCA.” A Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated May 28 in the school by Father Augusto “Al” Gamalo, current TCA chaplain and parochial vicar of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square. Father Jean Felicien, former TCA chaplain, who is currently pursuing graduate studies in The Catholic University of America, Washington, served as concelebrant. Salutatorian Felix Lopez, who will also attend TCNJ and major in finance or business, reflected on TCA’s family-like atmosphere. “I feel like everyone has a place here,” he said. “It was very important, being able to build relationships … [and] get that support from the faculty; [they] really care about you and … they

Graduates: 44 Baccalaureate Mass: May 28, 2019, Trenton Catholic Academy Commencement: May 29, 2019, Trenton Catholic Academy Scholarships Received: $4.6 million

Valedictorian: Abigail Klimas

Salutatorian: Felix Lopez

Bishop Ahr Award: Olive Ihem

The moment we have been eagerly anticipating all our lives is finally here. … We will never set foot in Trenton Catholic as a student again. Rather, we will step into new beginnings and proudly proceed with the next chapter of our lives. However, with this, we are left with a sense of loss deep down to leave … our school family. … My heart is heavy from the loss of such a familiar environment and the loss of the caring people.” Abigail Klimas, Valedictorian Speech

See Faith • G32

 Sister Dorothy Payne SSI Memorial Scholarship recipients Loyalty Scott Bush, left, and Dazjah M. Jackson stand with diocesan schools superintendent JoAnn Tier, Upper School director C. Kroekel and TCA president Mike Knowles.

 Class of 2019 students bring forward the gifts for the Liturgy of the Eucharist during the Baccalaureate Mass. Jay Mayer photo

John Batkowski photo


Class of 2019 • G7

St. Rose High School BELMAR Graduates: 114 Baccalaureate Mass: May 30, 2019, St. Rose Church, Belmar Commencement: June 4, 2019, Monmouth University Scholarships Received: $22,000,000

Valedictorian: Nico Landino

Salutatorian: Brian Gero

Bishop Ahr Award: Luke Remail

Class of 2019, take this moment to look at the person on your left and right. See who’s sitting in front of you and behind you. You saw that face almost every day for four years, and now, it’s time to say farewell. Thank them for the lessons they taught you and wish them the best of luck for their future. Tell them they are capable of accomplishing all that they desire, and tell them, ‘You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.’” Nico Landino, Valedictorian Speech

St. Rose graduates leave legacy of service By Katie Cerni, Digital and Social Media Coordinator

John Batkowski photo

of [the teachers], and I believe that St. Rose has prepared me greatly for college.” The commencement exercises came days after the May 30 Baccalaureate Mass, celebrated eginning his valedictorian speech June 4 on by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in St. Rose the campus of Monmouth University, Nico Church. Landino asked his 113 fellow graduates to Alongside communilook at the faces to their ty, another signifier of this right and left: “You’ve graduating class was serseen this face almost vice. This year, four students every day for four years earned their Eagle Scout now, and it’s frightening Awards – the highest rank to realize we will soon be in the Boy Scouts – and two leaving such familiarity.” seniors earned Girl Scout Though the Class Gold Awards, also the highof 2019 was preparing est-ranking. to embark on different Service to the global paths, it was certain they community was practiced would not forget the as well. Graduates Jenni community they built and Jamie Bassi, twins, spent together in St. Rose High a week of their summer School, Belmar. vacation before senior year “What I will remem Samantha Mikos receives the Magna Cum in Puerto Rico to assist those ber most is the connecLaude award in mathematics during graduation. impacted by Hurricane tion I felt to the school John Batkowski photo Maria. community and the spirit Principal John F. Tonero that was always prevexpressed pride in the Class of 2019. “I cannot say alent,” said Mary Gowen, who plans to attend enough. Their enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, genConnecticut’s Fairfield University in the fall. erosity, kindness, spirituality and their concern for Brady Shea, who will be majoracademics distinguished them as a unique group ing in business at Auburn University, of individuals … I have been blessed to serve as Ala., said, “I have had the privilege their principal.” to form relationships with many


►Matt Forlenza and Kaylee Apple present the gifts to Bishop O’Connell at the Baccalaureate Mass. Mike Ehrmann photo

 Genevieve Danish receives a hug from her mother during the “Rose Ceremony” at the Baccalaureate Mass May 30. Mike Ehrmann photo

G8 •

St. Rose High School graduates toss their caps as commencement exercises come to an end June 4.

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Congratulations Class of 2019 Congratulations Congratulations Class Class of of 2019 2019





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 Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., processes into St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, May 29 for the SJVHS Baccalaureate Mass.

St. John Vianney High School

Vic Mistretta photos

HOLMDEL Graduates: 261 Baccalaureate Mass: May 29, 2019, St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold Commencement: June 1, 2019, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft Scholarships Received: $45 million

Valedictorian: Joseph Brusca

Early College Academy Valedictorian: Gregory Beitler

Salutatorian: Imam Syed Early College Academy Salutatorians: Mary Mahoney and Nicholas Cabrera Bishop Ahr Award: Jacqueline Giordano Anthony DiGrigoli Jr. smiles after receiving his diploma June 1 in Brookdale Community College, Lincroft.

St. John Vianney graduates urged to focus on dreams, ambition By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor

icating time and Seniors Gianna Wedwaldt energy in service and Coleton DiMezza to others. Twenty s the 261 highly energized graduates of St. serve as readers during the seniors served as John Vianney High School, Holmdel, mingled Baccalaureate Mass. hospice volabout, hugging family members and taking unteers; others selfies with their classmates following their June 1 spent hundreds commencement ceremony, Margaret Kane, the of hours visiting elderly and disabled veterans or school’s assistant principal of academic affairs, helping out in soup kitchens. beamed with pride. While Joseph Brusca served as SJV’s class “I wish them the best of luck in their future, valedictorian, classmate Gregory Beitler was and I hope they remember that St. John Vianney is named valedictorian among those SJV students always their home,” Kane said. “The door is always who participated in the Early College Academy open, and I hope they come back and share their in Brookdale Community College, which provides future successes with us.” the opportunity for select students to earn an For the Class of 2019, graduation festivities beassociate of arts in social sciences or associate gan May 29 with a Baccalaureate Mass celebratof science in computer science from Brookdale ed in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, while earning their high school diploma. by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. Three days Beitler, in his commencement speech, reflectlater, the students, donning white and gold caps ed, “If we are in a situation when we feel unfuland gowns, were handed their diplomas during filled, we need to hang on to our dreams and use commencement exercises held in Brookdale Comthe situation as a means, not an end.” munity College, Lincroft. Graduate Jacqueline Giordano spoke fondly Kane said this year’s class size was the largest of her St. John Vianney experience, noting that in the school’s history the class was known for dedshe felt prepared for her future Many of us have sat in this audience If you asked a child what they wanted to as she pursues studies in biology before, watching our own siblings and friends be when they are older, they would probably in Lehigh University, Lehigh, Pa. “SJV was a real home for me, graduate. At that moment, graduation give answers like a president, an astronaut or and the teachers were wonderseemed so distant … Fast-forward and here something along those lines. … Childhood ful people.” we are, proud to be a part of this graduating dreams provide a clear, concise compass for Video from freelance class of 2019. … Just like those who have our lives without the dizzying whiplash of photographer Vic Mistretta graduated before us, we everyday distractions. These dreams shape contributed to this report. have accomplished our our core passions – follow them.” Gregory


own feats to be proud of.” Joseph Brusca, Valedictorian Speech

►SJVHS graduates pose for a photo during commencement exercises June 1.

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Beitler, Valedictorian Speech


Saint Dominic’s

Class of 2019!

Congratulations Class of 2019! CCHS Seniors have earned 559 scholarships and grants totaling more than $24 million. Our graduates were accepted to top universities across the country, including: American University, Boston College, Berklee College of Music, Bucknell University, College of William and Mary, New York University, Tulane University, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania, The University of Scranton, Villanova University and many more.

Walk by faith, grow in grace, and share your love!

62% Of the Class of 2019 is pursuing a STEM degree.

College really does start at CCHS!

Saint Dominic School BRICK, NJ

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

GO LANCERS! 540A Line Rd., Holmdel, NJ 732-739-0800

Saint John Vianney High School JUNE 2019 • TRENTONMONITOR.COM •

Class of 2019 • G11

Paul VI Class of 2019 Congratulations on your many accomplishments! Academic Scholarships and Athletic Scholarships totaling over $32 million

Congrats! RED BANK CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 2019 Awarded over $34 million in scholarships to 146 colleges and universities

Paul VI High School 901 Hopkins Road • Haddonfield, NJ 08033 856-858-4900 •

Once a Casey, Always a Casey 112 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ

Congratulations to the

Our Lady of Sorrows Class of 2019


Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Red Bank Catholic High School RED BANK

 The RBC Class of 2019 moves tassels across mortarboards during commencement June 3, signifying high school completion. John Batkowski photos

RBC grads inspired to make a splash, coming from ‘one big family’

Graduates: 225 Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement: June 3, 2019, Monmouth University Scholarships Received: $34,813,221

By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor


he exciting thing for me as a principal is to see the talents they have and that they’re going to use for good out there in the world,” said Robert Abatemarco, principal of Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank. “They’re going to make a difference.” Such were the words of Abatemarco as commencement exercises got underway June 3 in Monmouth University’s Ocean First Arena. The graduation festivities came on the heels of the Baccalaureate Mass, celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. Abatemarco and many graduates cited relationships and performance as highlights of the 225 seniors’ accomplishments. “There were a lot of people who helped me grow – not only academically, but as a person – and I’m very thankful for that,” said Maggie Skalecki, who is heading for Montclair State University in the fall to major in English and minor in theater studies. “My guidance counselors really … guided me in the right direction. I personally could not imagine myself having gone to any other school; I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” Ryan Belforti, who will attend Boston College with a major in economics and minor in finance, said that “Red Bank Catholic really shaped who I am and my academic goals … to be prepared for the next level … there’s no place like RBC. Every-

Valedictorian: Anna Virginia Cleary

Salutatorian: Alyssa Victoria Marino

Bishop Ahr Award: Anna Virginia Cleary

 Olivia Bezzone and Mario Flego present the gifts to Bishop O’Connell during the Baccalaureate Mass. one joins together like one big family.” “This class has been a spirited bunch,” Abatemarco affirmed. “Throughout the years, they’ve … done amazing charity work and service in their communities [and] they’ve been outstanding on athletic fields.” Examples of this include salutatorian Alyssa Marino’s efforts to raise money for kids with cancer, in spite of her own serious medical issues; Marino, who organized RBC’s Relay for Life, will attend the nursing school at The College of New Jersey, Ewing. Additionally, seniors Mia Rocassano, Jenna Ryan, Lexi Settuducatti and Lindsay Cook spent their Easter vacation in the Peruvian mountains helping local people to construct fresh water pipes to irrigate their villages. Abatemarco noted, “Graduation for us is always a day of sadness, and every year it’s the same. However, it’s also a day where we feel a regained hope that things will get better when we send out kids from RBC as Caseys.”

Eliza Arnone and family participate in the Lighting of the Alumni Candle. JUNE 2019 • TRENTONMONITOR.COM •

It’s clear that Red Bank Catholic has been a home for our successes to grow and thrive, but what’s most important are the people behind them. We have truly made friendships and memories that will last us a lifetime. We leave here a class of proud Caseys, united not just in our experiences together at RBC, but in the faith and honor we will carry throughout our lives.” Anna Virginia Cleary, Valedictorian Speech

Luke LoPresti and classmates stand to pay respect to the American Flag during commencement exercises.

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Congratulations Congratulations Notre Dame HighSchool SchoolClass Classofof2019 2018 Notre Dame High

Olivia Mae Panko Valedictorian

Matthew Bourne Reed Salutatorian

Bailey Nicole Adams Giana Rose Adragna Paige Elizabeth Aita Laila Allen Elizabeth Frances Alvarez Mason M. Antonelli Daniel A. Argate Brendan Patrick Armitage Nicholas R. Arronenzi Nicholas Augustyn Alessandro A. Balsamo Abigail Maddie Barcless Steven Barry Damon Anthony Battaglia Laura Rebecca Bedser Mikayla Shay Beetel Samantha Hailey Bensch Ryan Elisabeth Besler Odette Victoire Biache Alexia Angelina Bianchi Angelique Elizabeth Bielsa Manon Monique Bielsa Michael Joseph Blotto Margaret Mary Bogacz Sofia Marie Bossi Michelle Reilly Bowe Daniel J. Brady Adrian Braun Maura Ashlyn Breth Matthew Evan Brodowski Rheanna Marie Bromwell Thomas P. Brown Sanjana Buddi Robert M. Buecker Kayla Burnett Ryan C. Burns Elisabeth Marian Burton Matthew Anthony Caccavale Longzhang Cai Anthony Salvatore Cappetta Sophia Francesca Capponi Rachel Lynn Carney Bridget M. Carrezola Anna Karen Carroll Erin S. Carroll Mariel Paces Carter Karissa Lynne Chen Deevarondy Rodney Chery Elina Raye Christino Ryan Cimmino Timothy Ryan Clark Piper M. Cleary Djeynn C. Clerjeune

Brandon James Collins Evan Miles Collins Jack Benjamin Collins Dominic Cristian Colter Grace Marie Conboy Christopher Conti Jocelyn Rose Crum Colin Joseph Daly Matthew Laurence Daudén Megan Alexa Dee Sophia Rose DeJesus Johanna Therese del Prado Christian Joseph DeLorenzo Patrick Francis DiPasquale Daniel S. DiUbaldi John J. DiVeronica Kyle Gerard Dixon Morgan Jean Doonan Tyler Tiernan Doyle Christopher K. Dunn Kathryn Grace Edgar Troy D. Ellis, Jr. James Reilly Elwell Megan Grace Elwell Nabia S. Evans Shane Evans Gabriel J. Fajardo Wenqian Fan Danielle Elizabeth Faup Kaitlyn Marie Ferlisi Samuel P. Ferris Matthew T. Finn Adam James Fischer Melanie R. Flowers Ava Elizabeth Foley Sawyer Fordyce Selena R. Francis Jared H. Francois Lauren Elizabeth Frascella Brenna Catherine Gallagher Gianluca Giambanco Vincenzo Luciano Giangrasso Anthony Brian Gilmer Charles Edward Gormley, Jr. Jack Ryan Gray Samuel R. Griffis Emma Elizabeth Groth Alexander M. Gruson Brennan Jaden Guce Krista Guenzel Jinlong Guo Minghao Guo Sara Ann Haas

Grace Marie Conboy Award for Excellence in Religion

Katherine M. Halili Tyler Chase Harman William Harriott Jonathan Luca Hayes Kayla Ann Henderson Collin Hendrix Erik K. Henig Claudia Marie Hernandez Edward Heyburn Shomari Hollis Adrian James Holmes Talia Grace Holmes Travis Joseph Holonics Elizabeth Alexis Houck Kristy Giovanna Hryniszak Ryan A. Iosim Emanuele Iosue Anshela Jaramillo Christopher James Jefferys Leah M. Johnson Amy Rose Jones Patrick J. Jones Gregory Jovolos Louis Theodore Juliano, Jr. Madyson Elizabeth Kaczorowski Joshua Joseph Kaduthodil Justin Kurian Kaduthodil Michael Thomas Kane Amanda C. Katt William L. Keenan Henry T. Kelly Victor I. Khlystov Connor Stephen Kiszely Casey Mae Klek Jacob D. Kmiec Andrew Ellis Kopp Christopher Owen Kuran Julia Zofia Labecka Ryan Michael Landi John Patrick Larkin, Jr. Calysta Quinn Laurente Jessica L. Layton Julia Rose Lencovich Matthew A. Lequang Chengyu Li Muxi Li Eric M. Liedtka Lauren Marie Linder Olivia Nicole Lipari Joseph Ryan Lippincott Xiqiang Liu Danielle Elizabeth Losier

Sara Ann Haas

Principal’s Award

Aisha Louis-Jean Dean Walter Luciano Christian Lukas Artsem Lutokhin Joseph Madigan Alexander H. Madrigal Ryan Timothy Mains Giuliana Manago Neo M. Maralit Alexander Dimitri Marcopolus Eric Robert Margadonna Stephanie Mary Maria Jared Maxwell Markunas Amanda M. Marrazzo Sasha A. Mathieu Caitriona A. McCabe Kaylee Ann McEvoy Michael McGill, Jr. Catherine Rose McKenna Amanda Sheri McLean Molly Elizabeth McMenamin Andrea Caitlin McNamara Seamus Michael Meagher Cassidy Elizabeth Meidling Christopher Erick Meincke Jason Vincent Merendino Alison Lynn Middlebrook Hannah Jeanne Miles Cole James Miller Mia Rose Min Abaigeal-Ann Prime Monaghan Edward Monahan Dena Marie Montez Maxwell Cristian Moreno Elisabeth Moriarty Christina Maria Morris Jharia Avian Morris Claire Rose Moxham Paul Stephen Moyer Sydney Noel Murphy Vincent E. Naimo Lauren Ann Nance Akshith Nehal Narahari Sara Elizabeth Nash Matthew Natriello Ruth Nebo Chad Michael Nelson Collin P. Nicely Jayni Nielsen Angiely Maria Nunez-Arce Kathleen June O’Boyle Patrick D. O’Connell Joseph James O’Donnell

Samuel Lino Ponticiello and Shomari Hollis Irish Spirit Award

Oluwakemi Olaleye Erin E. Olenchalk Brianna Catherine O’Malley Harry John Joseph O’Neill Aidan Thomas O’Reilly Chasyn Augustus Panfili Olivia Mae Panko Victoria Papiez Samantha Jane Papp Fynn Payer Karina Pelejo Nicolette Phillips Sabrina Phillips Eva Marie Pierrot Victoria T. Pirozzi Jessica Nicole Pisani Jordan Elisabeth Polefka Samuel Lino Ponticiello Nicholas Christopher Potocki Robert R. Powell, Jr. Vincent H. Proctor Jaylyn Queen Brendan Ranjit Rath Julia Mae Rauscher Matthew Bourne Reed Adrian Lanuza Regalado Megan Rose Reger Rachel N. Relstab Anxin Ren Gabriel U. Reyes Caroline Tierney Reynolds Angela Roberts Gillian Grace Roberts Madison Caroline Roberts Victoria Hope Roberts Aniya Taylor Robertson Kyle Michael Rosica Christopher Edward Rossi Carly A. Rowcotsky Anthony Louis Ruhl Daniel J. Ryan John T. Sander Alexandria Elizabeth Sands Emmanuel Michael Sanon-Jules Omar Santos Kenneth Vincent Santucci Daniel Sare Ryan A. Scharko Grant Thomas Schwartz Ava Kennedy Scudillo Lauren Nicole Seibel Emily Donna Sharlach Nicolas Anthony Shiarappa

Matthew George Simms Shana C. Singh Grace Kathleen Sinkewicz Carly Nicole Smith Clement Jacob Smith Liam Connor Smith Natalie C. Smith Andrew Solarski Seth Corral Solidum Sarah Elizabeth Anne Spears Olivia B. Stamper Brady C. Stergion Blake Campbell Stewart Carl Robert Stewart Claire Ellen Rozanne Storms Richard M. Suta Mary Catherine Sweeney Dean K. Szatkowski Mylyn Renee Thomas Hunter Robert Tilton Tristan Michael Tritt Tawan Turkvan-Sinchak Weronika Tyminska Robert John Van Erem Lauren Marie Vandegrift Morgan Vetter Matthew Scott Visalli Alyssa Morgan Wagner Corey Marshall Walsh Dylan Patrick Walsh Haochen Wang Haoyu Wang Christopher Warren Michael K. W. Weaver Jesse Wells Jordyn Whited Michael Porter Williams Abigail Tess Wilson Jeremiah Wilson Ryan Christopher Wood Lauren Margaret Wright Natalie Lynn Wright Caitlin Elizabeth Yacubovich Fenghang Yao Justin Yu Olivia Zajkowski Lucia Terranova Zeimet Rachel Nicole Zingerman Connor Mattingly Zola

601 Lawrence Road, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648 • (609) 882-7900 •

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

 Notre Dame High School’s Class of 2019 applauds during commencement exercises June 9 in the CURE Insurance Arena, Trenton.

Notre Dame High School

Craig Pittelli photo

LAWRENCEVILLE Graduates: 312

Notre Dame grads grateful for being pushed to reach full potential By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor


oing to Notre Dame was a true blessing for me,” said Sanjana Buddi of her fouryear experience in the Lawrenceville high school. “Going to a school where a teacher will know your name, even if you haven’t had their class in three years, and stop to talk to you, makes you feel as if you are a part of a family.” The weekend of June 8-9 saw the Notre Dame community bid farewell not only to 312 graduates, but also to the school’s president, Mary Liz Ivins, who will retire as of June 30. The Saturday Baccalaureate Mass celebrated on campus by Father Jason Parzynski, chaplain, included the longstanding tradition of students presenting roses to their mothers. The following day, the graduates received their diplomas during a commencement ceremony held in the CURE Insurance Arena, Trenton, and heard compelling speeches by class valedictorian Olivia Mae Panko, and salutatorian Matthew Bourne Reed. “We have undergone many adjustments together at Notre Dame, but our biggest change is right around the corner,” said Reed, recalling refurbishments made to the school building, accomplishments achieved and challenges met by students and sports teams. “With such a big transformation ahead of us, it is easy to get scared,” he said. “However, I know we can all get through the change that is coming ... Like the school that nurtured us, we can only grow and meet the challenges of positive change.” Principal Joanna Barlow said the Class of 2019 students “truly realized their full potential in our faith-filled environment, and their ... accomplishments have exceeded expectations. “Members of the Class of 2019 are some of

Baccalaureate Mass: June 8, 2019, Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville Commencement: June 9, 2019, CURE Insurance Arena, Trenton Scholarships Received: $44,277,382

 Samuel P. Ferris and Paige Elizabeth Aita show JoAnn Tier the poster they helped create, illustrating the nearly 15,000 service hours completed by NDHS seniors this year alone. Craig Pittelli photo

Valedictorian: Olivia Mae Panko

Salutatorian: Matthew Bourne Reed

the most academically strong to have passed Award for Excellence in Religion (Gold through the halls of Notre Dame, as evidenced Medal, Gift of the Most Reverend George W. in their college acceptances,” she said, citing Ahr, S.T.D.): Grace Marie Conboy institutions such as Boston College, Duke UniverPrincipal’s Award: Sara Ann Haas sity, Northwestern University and the University of Irish Spirit Award: Samuel Lino Southern California as examples. Barlow also acPonticiello and Shomari Hollis knowledged the students’ generosity and selflessness that helped to grow and expand the school’s service program, and class Today we are moving onto the next chapter of our lives; for some of us members’ participation on that is college, for others a career, and still others service in the military. So sports teams “brought pride and honor to Notre Dame when we look towards our future, and dream of a path we can follow, we through county, state and know there are going to be hard decisions we will have to make; and we league championships.” know we can meet these challenges and tests, and when we do it-it will Graduate Patrick Dishow us how much we are capable of overcoming obstacles. These tests Pasquale said, “My experihelp us learn to accept the situation we find ourselves in, and to come out ence at Notre Dame was, in stronger on the other side of the adversity we are facing.” Olivia Mae one word, amazing ... BePanko, valedictorian, Notre Dame High School cause of [it], I know I am ready to take on the challenges of college and beyond.”

 Graduates receive Holy Communion during their Baccalaureate Mass in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville. Joe Moore photo

 A graduate’s parents are visibly moved as their daughter hands them red roses during the Baccalaureate Mass June 8. Joe Moore photo


Class of 2019 • G15

Donovan Catholic High School TOMS RIVER Graduates: 173 Baccalaureate Mass: June 2, 2019, St. Joseph Church, Toms River Commencement: June 3, 2019, St. Joseph Church, Toms River Scholarships Received: $25,110,532

Valedictorian: Matthew Roberts

Salutatorian: Michael Roberts

Bishop Ahr Award: Katherine Uffer

We cannot change the lost opportunities of our past, but we can use them as a reference point for our future decisions. Think about any regrets you may have had here … and avoid them in college. Treat any disappointments as opportunities to make better decisions in the future.” Matthew Roberts, Valedictorian Speech

Anselmo Martinez, Luis Martinez, Kelly McNeila and Matthew Melon listen to words of wisdom during commencement exercises June 3. Michael Glenn photo

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Donovan Catholic grads ready to change the world By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor


wins seem to run in the Donovan Catholic family. For the second time in three years, the Toms River school saw twins serving as valedictorian and salutatorian. “Donovan will always be a part of us and has made us strong enough to handle anything,” Matthew Roberts said in his valedictorian speech. “Do not look at this as an end of our time at Donovan, look at is as a chance [for us] to bring Donovan out into the rest of the world. Armed with the lessons we take from our alma mater, let’s change the world for the better.” Roberts and his twin brother, salutatorian Michael Roberts, were among the 173 graduates to receive diplomas June 3 in St. Joseph Church. The day before, a Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated in St. Joseph Church with Father Scott Shaffer, pastor, as principal celebrant. When it came time to describing the class and high school experience, the common words used were community and caring. “My experience at Donovan Catholic has been nothing short of amazing,” said graduate Katherine Uffer, recipient of the Bishop George W. Ahr Religion Award. “The teachers and faculty are always supportive and are willing to lend a helping hand.” “For the past four years, Donovan has been my second family,” said graduate Caitlin Chiu, who is heading to Cornell University to pursue studies in biology and society. “If I had to nar-

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

 Eric Dodgson and Victoria Gelosi carry the gifts in preparation for the Liturgy of the Eucharist during the Baccalaureate Mass June 2 in St. Joseph Church, Toms River. Vic Mistretta photo

 Lindsay Nelson displays The Griffin Award she received for softball performance in Donovan Catholic High School. Vic Mistretta photo

row it down to one thing that helped me through high school, it would be the sense of community found within the school walls. The teachers and students have stood by my side both in and outside of the school. I am grateful to have the everlasting memories created at this school to bring with me to college.” Kathleen D’Andrea, vice principal, smiled when she described the Class of 2019 as being united, ambitious and ready to meet the next decade head on. “Technology is second-nature to these graduates, and they go into the digital age of careers with confidence and skills,” D’Andrea said. “Yet they are compassionate thinkers who appreciate the spiritual foundation of their education at Donovan Catholic.”

 Marta Pawka proudly receives her Donovan Catholic diploma from Father Scott Shaffer, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River. Looking on at left is Dr. Edward Gere, Donovan Catholic principal, and Dan Duddy, pastoral minister of athletics and guidance counsellor. Michael Glenn photo


Class of 2019 • G17

Congratulations Class of 2019!

Hannah Ahmed Christian Ailor Sophia Almeida Anthony Biondolillo Dylan Bucci Jorgia Cella Matthew Celli Caroline Cevasco Vincent Coccimiglio Matthew Colannino Logan Connor Victoria Conrad James Cunningham Christina Dell’Anno Gabriella DiCesare Isabella DiCesare Nicola DiRe

Ella Dougherty Charles Faletti Simon Fidalgo Erin Fitzgerald Tadhg Galvin Nicholas Genovese Holly Hanlon Nick Harnisch Erin Henderson Ciara Hurley Devyn Joseph Julia Krall Michael Lawson Sean Lawson Michael Leibrock Molly Mark Matthew Mastroly

Sara McKeon Julianna Merendino Christopher Michelli Brennan O’Keefe Genevieve Perrella Victoria Perrella William Ribon Michael Rogers Daniel Sprake Eamon Sullivan Gina Terranova Colin Torres Thomas Villano Sarah Wiessel Colleen Yurcisin

Saint Leo the Great School LINCROFT

Congratulations to the Class of 2019 on earning admission to the following secondary schools:






Our mission is to develop young men with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. We educate and develop the whole boy in mind, body and spirit.



S a c re d H


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Creative. Compassionate. Courageous.


We bring out the best in boys. |

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Blair Academy Choate Rosemary Hall Deerfield Academy Dulwich College (Singapore) George School Germantown Friends School The Hill School The Hotchkiss School The Hun School Immaculata High School The Lawrenceville School Montverde Academy Notre Dame High School Peddie School The Pennington School Phillips Academy Andover Phillips Exeter Academy Pomfret School Princeton Day School Rutgers Preparatory School Solebury School


► Graduates of Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran, bring the gifts to the altar during the May 30 Baccalaureate Mass in the school auditorium. Craig



Pitteli photo

Treasuring the Moment “You are beginning a new chapter in your life. Soon you will be heading off to college, or to work or to some new thing. You will face new challenges, new opportunities, new struggles and new happy, joyfilled moments; new friendships, new experiences. Go with God always, my young sisters and brothers, with the Lord Jesus as branches on the vine.” Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Baccalaureate Mass Homily

 Graduates listen intently to the homily of Father Scott Shaffer during Donovan Catholic High School’s Baccalaureate Mass, celebrated June 2 in St. Joseph Church, Toms River. Vic Mistretta photo

► Preparing to celebrate the Baccalaureate Mass June 3 for Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., processes into the Monmouth University Ocean First Arena. John Batkowski photo


Class of 2019 • G19

► St. John Vianney High School’s Class of 2019 graduates sing for their Baccalaureate Mass May 29 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrated the Mass. Vic Mistretta photo

Treasuring the


 Villa Victoria Academy graduate Sophia Green smiles as she embraces friends after commencement exercises June 2 in the Ewing school. Hal Brown photo

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019



► Mater Dei graduates Lauren McInnes and Chase Hardy sing the Mater Dei Prep Alma Mater during commencement exercises June 4 in St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown. Kyle Plumstead photo

“Savor the beauty and the gift of life. Find beauty in the simple things. Stay close to God and remember that he is but a thought or prayer away. Radiate joy and compassion. Experience the life-giving energy that God has placed in each of us and work to develop your talents to the fullest. You are a gift of God, and our world awaits your talents and signature!”


JoAnn Tier, Diocesan Superintendent of Schools, Message for Graduates

 During the June 8 Baccalaureate Mass in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, graduates bow their heads as their loved ones and well wishers extend their hands in prayer. Joe Moore photo  Fresh from commencement exercises May 23, Quinn Harrington and Connor Melsan, graduates of Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, proudly show off their diplomas. John Batkowski photo


Class of 2019 • G21

► Graduates in Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, receive Holy Communion during the May 28 Baccalaureate Mass. Jay Mayer photo

Treasuring the Moment “Look for him in your all new experiences. And if you cannot see him at first, know that he is there loving you, leading you, calling you.” Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Baccalaureate Mass Homily

Graduate Sophia Sumaray spreads her arms wide with joy after commencement exercises June 8 in Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton. Hal Brown photo



 The Class of 2019 in St. Rose High School, Belmar, participates in the May 30 Baccalaureate Mass in St. Rose Church. Mike Ehrmann photo

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Congratulations and God Bless Graduates! Congratulations and Our God Bless Our Graduates!

Mount Holly, NJ

Mount Holly, NJ

Established 1944

Established 1944

Reilly Financial Group Congratulates This Year’s Graduates At the Reilly Financial Group we recognize the complexity of building comprehensive wealth and risk management solutions. Our team of financial professionals provides financial solutions to individuals and businesses looking for personalized advice and guidance as they build their financial security.

Call us today for a complimentary consultation (732) 623-6514 186 Wood Avenue South | Suite 301 | Iselin, NJ 08830 | Securities, investment advisory and financial planning services offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC. Reilly Financial Group, LLC is not a subsidiary or affiliate of MML Investors Services, LLC, or its affiliated companies. CRN202006-232140


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Villa Victoria Academy EWING Graduates: 17 Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement: June 2, 2019, Villa Victoria Academy Scholarships Received: $3.3 million

‘Live the life you imagined,’ Villa grads urged By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor

acknowledged how her younger counterparts have been working hard and spending years “buildhen Meghan DiMercurio started her acing amazing friendships, strong ademic journey at Villa Victoria Acadevalues and visionary goals.” my, she recalled being a shy six-year-old photos “I speak from the heart and first-grader who did not talk to anyone. from experience when I tell you Little did she know that 12 years later, she that each of those things would be giving a poised, will be so meaningful and confident salutatorian adimportant to you as you dress before an audience embark on the next stages on her June 2 graduation of your lives,” Lee said. “My day. experience at Villa probably “Villa Victoria Acadhad a lot in common with emy is the best school I yours: learning from terrific could have ever imagteachers who truly cared ined,” said DiMercurio, about each of us sucwho shared how the Ewceeding, rehearsing school ing high school provided musicals, cheering on sports a nurturing environment teams, celebrating class that helped her and her days, dressing up for dances, 16 fellow graduating planning big and little sister classmates to blossom into confident and poised  Filippini Sister Lillian Harrington, president events and having the most young women. of Villa Victoria Academy, hands a diploma wonderful friends.” Lee then recalled a Along with the to Mikaela Colvin. piece of advice from one Baccalaureate Mass of her former Villa teachers: celebrated by Msgr. John “Live the life you’ve imagined.” K. Dermond, diocesan adjutant judicial vicar, “This is the most important lesson that I can and awarding of diplomas, a highlight of the share with you, and I truly believe that Villa has day was the keynote speech given during the commencement by alumna Meredith Lee. She See Villa • G32

W Valedictorian: Bettina Aquino Villegas

Salutatorian: Meghan Mary DiMercurio

Christian Spirit Award: Bronwyn Whitley Hoffmann Service Award: Claribel Juliana Martinez

Even before God made the grass or the sky, He knew that all of our paths would cross. He placed us here, at Villa Victoria Academy, as the Class of 2019 because He knew that we all needed each other in some way. We’ve learned from each other, we’ve helped each other in and out of the classroom, and we’ve shaped each other to be strong women, ready to take on life.” Bettina Aquino Villegas, Valedictorian Speech

►Msgr. John K. Dermond celebrates the Baccalaureate Mass in Villa Victoria Academy June 2. Brianna Palmer leads the Presentation of the Gifts holding a crucifix during the Baccalaureate Mass.


Villa Victoria Academy graduates embrace with diplomas in hand following commencement June 2. Hal Brown

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019




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34 Rossa Avenue, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 • 609-882-8077


Class of 2019 • G25

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!

Our graduates have earned admission to the following secondary schools: • Christian Brothers Academy

• St. Andrew’s School (DE)

• Doane Academy

• St. Joseph High School (NJ)

• Episcopal High School (VA)

• Stuart Country Day School

• Holy Ghost Preparatory School

• Sugar Bowl Academy (CA)

• Immaculata High School

• The Hun School

• Mount St. Mary Academy

• The Lawrenceville School

• Notre Dame High School

• The Peddie School

• Princeton Day School

• The Pennington School

• Princeton International School of Math and Science

• Villa Joseph Marie High School

St. Joan of Arc School

218 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542 • Tel (609) 921-7587 • Accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools

St. Joan of Arc School St. Joan of Arc School Faith, Knowledge, Service

Faith, Knowledge, Service

Faith, Knowledge, Service


Class of 2019!

Congratulations Class of 2019! St. Joan of Arc School ~ Marlton, NJ ~

St. Joan of Arc School ~ Marlton, NJ ~ Congratulations Class of 2019! Class 2019

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St. Joan of Arc School ~ Marlton, NJ ~

 The Red Bank Catholic High School, Red Bank, football team pauses to pray Nov. 24 before going on to win the NJSIAA Non-Public Group III championship. John Blaine photo

You can read about the accomplishments of Catholic school athletes and view photo galleries online at> News>Sports


Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, seniors Naomi Shorts and Habiba Elgizawy are all smiles after their team won the NJSIAA South Non-Public B girls basketball championship game March 6. John Blaine photo



eading the way among teammates and classmates, showing their strength of character both on and off the field, athletes of the Diocese of Trenton made their mark in tournaments and championships this academic year, overcoming the odds and expectations time after time.

 In the last 19 seconds of the game, the Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, soccer team wins a remarkable 2-1 victory over Delbarton in the NJSIAA Non-Public A state championship Nov. 11. Courtesy photo

 Third-seeded Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, trounced defending champion Hopewell Valley nine runs to three to clinch the Mercer County baseball tournament May 14. Pictured are Robbie Buecker, Most Valuable Player; Irish coach Joe Drulis and tournament director John Costantino. Rich Fisher photo

 Donovan Catholic softball players react during the May 31 NJSIAA Non-Public A South championship game, which they won in a nail-biting 3-2 fashion. The next day, the Toms River school won its first state softball championship in program history. Hal Brown photo JUNE 2019 • TRENTONMONITOR.COM •

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Independent Girls’ Day School l PS–12 1200 Stuart Road, Princeton, New Jersey Stuart admits students of any race, color, religion and national or ethnic origin.

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart

Stuart grads ready to ‘conquer the world’

 The 2019 graduating class of Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart stands in the school auditorium for commencement exercises June 8. Hal Brown photo

goals, encompassing such values as active faith in God; respect for intellectual values; social awareness; building a Christian community, he universe better prepare for what is to and personal growth in an atmosphere of wise come,” declared Sophia Sumaray during freedom. Senior class speaker Gillian Carmien her welcome speech at Stuart Country Day caused a ripple of laughter to emerge from School of the Sacred Heart’s June 8 graduation her fellow graduates as she exercises. “It has not yet seen the described the class’ unofficial energy in students who shine as sixth goal: food. brightly as we do. We can’t wait “I truly believe that the to show you how far we’ll go.” communal caloric conSumaray’s good-natured sumption is one of the main warning resonated with her felsources of my class’ energy, low 38 members of the Princeton passion and constant desire school’s Class of 2019 and their to do more,” said Carmien, parents, relatives and friends who intends to study public during commencement cerepolicy in Rutgers University monies, held in the school’s Cor this fall. “You can say that our Unum auditorium. Clad in white time at Stuart has given us all dresses, the young women were greeted affectionately by Dr. Pa-  During commencement June 8, Stuart the ingredients in the recipe tricia Fagin, head of school, with graduate Gillian Carmien accepts an for success,” she continued, a wistful smile as she presented embrace from Dr. Patricia Fagin, head of noting her classmates’ drive, tenacity and hunger to excel. them with the diploma signifying school. Hal Brown photo “Stuart has nourished the successful completion of their and fed us for the long jourcourse of studies. ney ahead,” Carmien concluded. “We will be The class had been sent off in prayer during stepping into a world that desperately needs the annual Baccalaureate Mass celebrated two our voices, but I have faith that we will leave the days prior by Father Gregory Malovetz, Stuart world better than we found it, and with a little chaplain and pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parextra spice.” ish, Skillman. Video from freelance photographer Hal This year’s class, indeed, wanted “to conquer Brown contributed to this report. the world,” asserted Alicia Testa, senior class adviser. Testa, citing many accomplishments including  Sara Deczynski, Rebekah Ten Hagen and Marguerite a cultural fair, participation in a national cyberDanker present the gifts to Father Gregory Malovetz, security program, TED talks and producing and school chaplain, during the Baccalaureate Mass June 6. directing of a play for an independent project, Jay Mayer photo showed “they are an incredible, diverse group who are passionate about social justice issues. I love their energy and spirit.”  Stuart Stuart students are encourstudents wait aged to adhere to a set of five

By Christina Leslie, Correspondent


PRINCETON Graduates: 39 Baccalaureate Mass: June 6, 2019, Cor Unum, Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart Commencement: June 8, 2019, Cor Unum Sacred Heart Goal Senior Awards: Rebekah Ten Hagen: Goal I: A personal and active faith in God Ann John: Goal II: A deep respect for intellectual values Amy Rosica: Goal III: A social awareness that impels to action Priscilla Francois: Goal IV: The building of community as a Christian value Sixian Song and Bridget Zhong: Goal V: Personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom

“[My classmates’] hunger, tenacity and drive were, and still are, inspiring ... You may have heard, ‘If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.’ Well the Class of 2019 can always take the heat. The members of my class have always been unafraid to change things up and add a little spice and sizzle everywhere we went.” Gillian Carmien, Senior Class Speaker

There is no piece of work that we do with a half heart. Each of our spirits is filled with the energy to experience, to create, and to lead. We study hard and we play hard.” Sophia Sumaray, Welcome Speaker

with candles in hand to process in for a special blessing during the Baccalaureate Mass. Jay Mayer photo


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Congratulations Class of 2019 Congratulations Class of 2019 Congratulations Class of 2019 Congratulations Class of 2019




Our Our Lady ofLady Perpetual HelpHelp Catholic School enables students to celebrate Lady ofofPerpetual Catholic School enables students celebrate Our Help Catholic School enables students toto celebrate Our Lady ofPerpetual Perpetual Help Catholic School enables students to celebrate theirtheir God-given talents by serving others in the Spirit of Christ and God-given talents by others inthe the Spirit Christ andand their God-given talents byserving serving others in ofofChrist and their God-given talents by serving others in Spirit the Spirit of Christ growing intointo lifelong learners. growing lifelong learners. growing into lifelong learners. growing into lifelong learners.


st r i rare n non Mi Our Lady of Perpetual Help Our Lady of Perpetual Help and School Our Lady Our of Church Perpetual Help Lady of Perpetual Help Church and School 236 E. Main Street Church and School Church and School 236 E. Main Street Maple Shade, 236 E. Main Street NJ 08052


Maple Shade

236 E. Main Street Maple Shade, NJ 08052 Maple Shade, NJ Shade, 08052 NJ 08052 Maple

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

 Caleigh Kehoe, front, and Mackenzie Kovic, back, exit commencement exercises June 4 in St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown. Kyle Plumstead photos


Mater Dei’s Class of 2019 meets

challenges, future head on

By Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor


uring Mater Dei Prep’s June 4 commencement, class valedictorian Morgan Ryan Hurst urged her 47 fellow classmates to follow their dreams in future endeavors. “We all have dreams. Everyone sitting in front of me has the strength and power to do whatever they want in life. With hard work, dedication and staying positive toward our goals, none of us will fail,” Hurst said to those gathered in St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown. Salutatorian Robert Cassin III, in his speech, referenced the circumstances his classmates were faced with when they entered as freshmen four years ago. In spring 2015, the school was closed due to factors including declining enrollment, but then, at the initiative of alumni, reopened as a private Catholic entity in September of that year. “I would like to thank all those who supported Mater Dei Prep in its time of need,” Cassin said. “Most of us would agree that starting high school is an intimidating task to begin

with … but we held staunch in our faith. “We’ve managed to take on the challenges that high school threw at us head on … now that we’ve passed with flying colors, we’re ready for the next challenges we’ll face in our lives.” Presiding over During the Baccalaureate Mass May 28, Mater Dei Mater Dei’s comfaculty and graduates lift their voices in song. mencement was Father Brian Patrick Woodrow, Kathleen Daly, Mater Dei’s pastor of St. Dominic Parish, associate head of school, said, Brick, and an alumni of the “The Class of 2019... came with school, and Father Richard Osthe spirit of the first independent born, school chaplain and paschool class to enter Mater Dei rochial vicar of St. Mary Parish, ... We are very proud of their Middletown. The Baccalaureate accomplishments. Mass was celebrated May 28 by “This class is a dynamic one Father Osborn. – we know they are going to “We were not just one numaccomplish fantastic things in ber of out of many in a giant the next chapter in their lives,” school where nobody knows she said. your name, but a small, closeVideo from freelance phoknit group who truly took the tographer Kyle Plumstead time to get to know each other, contributed to this and that is what makes our class report. truly special,” Hurst said.

Graduates: 48 Baccalaureate Mass: May 28, 2019, St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown Commencement: June 4, 2019, St. Mary, Mother of God Church, Middletown Scholarships Received: $4,700,000

Valedictorian: Morgan Ryan Hurst

Salutatorian: Robert Cassin III

Religious award recipient: Robert Cassin III Academic Excellence: Bridget Corman, Jacob Callas, Robert Cassin III, Izaiah Henderson, Morgan Hurst, Ishan Sharma, Xuanting (Tyler) Ren, Jeremy Weinstein, Xingquan (Jason) Xi and Haoxuan (Shane) Xiao

We took the risk on Mater Dei Prep because we knew it would be worth it. We knew it would become the place that meant more to us than anything. Where we would find new friends, and make new memories. It was us, and the support of the families in this room and the entirety of the Mater Dei Community that will continue on the Mater Dei Prep legacy for years to come.” Morgan Ryan Hurst, Valedictorian Speech

We’ve managed to take on the challenges that high school threw at us head on, and now that we’ve passed with flying colors, we’re ready for the next challenges we’ll face in our lives.” Robert Cassin III, Salutatorian Speech ►A graduate receives his diploma from Mater Dei Prep faculty.  A graduate serves as Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion during the Baccalaureate Mass.


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Faith a focus of TCA class

Congratulations Class of 2019!

“It was important to my family [and] to me to have God in our lives and to learn about our faith,” Battle said. “We appreciate everything that Trenton Catholic has done for us. We’re going to try to make Sister Dorothy proud … and continue her legacy.” Video from freelance photographer John Batkowski contributed to this report.

Continued from • G7 Lopez felt privileged to attend TCA, saying, “I hope I’m making Sister Dorothy proud. I know she did a lot for us and the school community.” Graduate Khalif Battle, who is headed for Butler University, Indianapolis, Ind., with a basketball scholarship and plans to major in business, expressed his gratitude for TCA.

Prepared for College

ploma, Lauri Harbison reflected on the “wonderful experience” that her family enjoyed at Villa Victoria. “Catherine felt welcomed, at home, supported and blessed,” Lauri Harbison said of her daughter, who will attend Fairfield University in Connecticut. “She leaves this school a stronger woman spiritually, very grounded in her faith ... The atmosphere at Villa is one that we couldn’t find elsewhere.” Video from freelance photographer Hal Brown contributed to this report.










Quinnipiac University Rowan University Rowan College Burl. Cty. Rutgers University St. Joseph's University Sienna College SUNY Albany Univ. of Alabama Univ. of Delaware Univ. of Maryland Univ. of Pennsylvania Univ. of tampa Univ. of the Arts Ursinus College Villanova University Virginia Tech West Chester University William Paterson Univ.

Auburn University Carnegie Mellon Univ. The Catholic U. of America The College of New Jersey Drexel University Florida State University Holy Family University Immaculata University James Madison University King's College LaSalle University Limestone College Loyola University, MD Marist College Monmouth University Montclair State University Mount St. Mary's Univ. Penn State University

Villa praised by grads, parents Continued from • G24 given each of you the skills, wisdom and heart to follow your dreams and achieve the life you were meant to live,” Lee said. “And I know that 18 years from now, you will be proud of what your Villa Class of 2019 is doing to make the world a better, more compassionate and more spirit-filled place.” Three “lifers” were among Villa’s 82nd graduating class – students who attended the school for 12, 13 and 14 years. After witnessing her daughter, Catherine, receive her di-

Poised for Success - 5035 rt. 130 - Delran, NJ - 08075





GRADUA ION this certificate is hereby awarded to St. Benedict School Class of 2019

Celebrating our Class of 2019 for all of their accomplishments, consistently setting the bar high, serving as exemplary role models, and always exceeding our expectations.

in recognition of successfully completing


Congratulations and God Bless You All!

June 7, 2019 Date

Rev. Garry Koch, Pastor

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

H o l m d e l ,

N e w

J e r s e y

Holy Cross Preparatory Academy DELRAN  Seniors on the Holy Cross Preparatory Academy boys soccer team are all smiles on Graduation Day, June 1, at the Delran high school. Photo courtesy of Holy Cross Preparatory Academy

First graduation for Holy Cross Preparatory Academy


oly Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran, graduated its first class of 75 seniors during commencement exercises held June 1. Reflecting on the class, David Moffa, school admissions director said, “This class has seen it all when it comes to Holy Cross – all of the trials and successes.” He was referring to the school’s 2018 opening as a private Catholic school under the leadership of William J. Stonis. Holy Cross Academy closed as a diocesan school in June 2018, and a month later on July

1, converted into a private entity – Holy Cross Preparatory Academy – guided with the help of alumni. “We are extraordinarily proud to call them the first graduating class of the new, independent Holy Cross,” Moffa said.

Graduates: 75 Baccalaureate Mass: May 30, 2019, Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran Commencement: June 1, 2018, Tom Reilly Field, Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran Scholarships Received: $4 million-$5 million

Valedictorian: Kelly Kirk

 Graduate Brielle Bennett offers the sign of peace during the Baccalaureate Mass. Craig Pittelli photo

Salutatorian: Dominic Decker

Salutatorian: Sofia Javier

Bishop Ahr Award: Kiley DeFelice

 Father Christopher Colavito, school chaplain, addresses graduates, families and school staff during the May 30 Baccalaureate Mass, of which he was principal celebrant. Craig Pittelli photo

 New graduates stand before receiving their diplomas during commencement on the school’s Tom Reilly Field. The class was the first to graduate from Holy Cross Preparatory Academy as a private high school. Courtesy photo


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Bishop Eustace Preparatory School

congratulates the Class of 2019, 2018,our our62nd 61st graduating class! Camryn Rachuba Sean May Andrew Harley Andrew Dean Richard Kevin Adams Olivia Lauren Marie Infantolino Thomas Owen Murtha Shannon Raue Connor Liam Melko Jake DeAngelisMolly Ann Davis Daniela Hernandez Olivia Catherine AhartAngelos Michael Aquila Derek DeCicco, Jr. Brock Jablonski Sierra Paige Nasoff Daniel Joseph Regan Grant Michael Melko Victoria Hill Caitlin Elysse Deffler Christina AnnMichael Arnold Babiak Dylan Patrick Decker Caroline Sue Jacobs Angelina M. O’Brien Noah Gregory Richardson Menoken-El Michael T. Hullihan Juliana Dewes Anthony N. DelMastro Joseph Jack Ayoub Kyle Bachmann Oreoluwa VictoriaNasir James Mackenzie Shea O’Connor Julia Catherine Bailey Bryce R. DiMedio Brian Hutchison Daniel Jubb Joseph R. Oczkowski Antonio Rizzo Alexis Merlino Katharine DeWitt Emily Anne Barbieri Lauren Olivia BainesManik DhawanJulia Ann D’Ippolito Daniel Patrick Kane O’Dee Genevieve Robins Matthew David Miletta Elizabeth Anne Rachel Infantolino Sarah Elizabeth Batastini Ava Christina Bartholomew Nicholas Joseph Domico Isabel Kelly Anthony Olivo Michael Robinson Danielle Miller Maria Elena Johnson Madeline DiDio Sara Katherine Beidleman Kayla R. Baylock Hannah Noelle Dominguez Erin Nicole Klemenz Robert Olivo Zoe Salazar Joshua David Mo Robert Johnson Andrew Michael Klitchko Cloë DiFlumeri Skylar Duff Carolyn EliseMadison Bianchi Anne Baylock Erin Anne O’Toole Brian Dugan Jack Sandone Lauren Olivia Monahan Sophia Palmisano Richard Karcher Jeffrey Kovac Michael Doctorovitz Olivia TheresaCourtney Bianchi Bell Jared Gage Bennett Patrick J. Dunleavy John Kueny Grace Elisabeth Pasco Nicholas Sandone Alec James Morano Grace Kelly Miranda Dolente Maeghan Marie Biché Anthony Berna Nicholas Dziuba Vincent Lamina Bradley Alan Patterson DylanPatti Saracino Clare Morelli Mason DomicoJennifer FalconieroMatthew Kempter Maxwell BidicMadelyn Elizabeth Bernetich Quinn Lange Mary Kathryn Brielle Bianchini Ryan Michael Ferdinand Matthew Arredondo Pattison Megan Schaal Matthew Morello Nicholas Koehn Madison Ashley Lapp Jackson Donnelly Matthew James Bravyak Jake Fredrick BiancoMichael DunneRichard Dominick Ferrelli Luke Evan LaRosaMattia Morini Victoria Samantha Colontonio Gianna Rose Schienholtz Daria Hope Kowalski Taylor Ann Brenza Paul Zigmund Biernacki Patrick John Fish Dylan Laucks Penza Margaret Jacob Mueller Matthew SpencerVeronica Kraft Christopher Michael DurkinFitzpatrick Sarah Michelle Burghardt R. Bleistine Katherine Kathleen Mary Lucian Jenna Marie PeriniJessica Schwab Nicolette Marie Sheehan Marco Nastasi Kevin Douglas Nicholas Edwards Garcia Olivia Krusinski Tallulah Manalo-LaManna Zachary CaloTaylor Marie Blinebury Andrew Joseph Pietrangelo, Meaghan Jr. Meghan Shelly Ryan ChristopherNatalie LaRosa Mariani Lauren Nixon Rachael Marie Cardone Kaye BohnyRyan Eichhorn Katelynn Jeanette Garden Marisa Francesca Bouchard Aaron Gaulrapp Charlese Levine Zipria Martin Julia Catherine Radley Megan Rose Sholette Veronika Jeanne O’Donnell Granden B. Ledyard Teresa Faust Cory Julianna Marie Carletti Jillian Brandenburger Abigail Gilson Augustine Martinez Olivia Lauren Radwell Sivieri Matthew Orlando Austin Mackey William C. Feng Gabrielle RianSarah Cipparone Buck Brian A. Giuliano Madison Martino Paul AngeloGianna Ragusa Justin Bui Morgan Martino Callie Paolini Evan Joseph EilisRaiken Skamarakas Alexina FiandraCamille Golowski Zachary D. Mahaney Helen Josephine Closkey Allison Gozdan Raimondo Brandon Smeltzer Sophia Ann Paolucci Anthony Lando Ryan Makaila Nicholas Martorell Maura Gallagher Dylan ColacciNicoletta Anne Calabrese Christopher James Canal Julia Caroline Granato Michelle A. Mastrangelo Chyanne Rose Reyes Katrina Thérèse Smith Nathaniel Paul Pentecost Joseph Makar Bethany Garcia Richard Anthony Console Christian Capaldi Virginia Leigh Granato Alexa Bernadette Mastroddi Kristina Marie Rizzo Robert Edward Snyder John Piacentino Alyssa Manuola Rebecca Edith May Paul CoomerNicole Ashley Chin Nicholas Gardyasz Ashley Elizabeth Green Alisha Taylor Romer Andrew Joseph Ciampi Kelly Ann Gurcsik Angelina MaroneMatthew McKenna Ruger Soanes Suzanne Lucy Picciano Julie MarieKatharine Wyatt James Giberson Gabrielle Crain Ryan Clear Tyler Hanrahan Megan McLaughlin Maxwell Kieran Sakach Andrew Michael Sobocinski Brittany Pickering Andrew MassaroMeghan McLaughlin Jaia Culmer Ryan Michael ColbertSophia GilfillanJoan Marie Hartman Liana Rose D. Salazar Samantha Sorensen Savannah Rose Pobre Gabriella Marie Nicholas MassaroKatie Jean McShea Michael Guzzardo Rachel Danielewicz Jessica S. Comer Allison Catherine Hoag Salvati Sheridan Leigh Coomer Paul William Schields, Margaret SpechtJr. Madison Matt Paul M. Mikalic Ryan Poyatt Olivia Hansen Justin Daniel Holgado Anthony D’Antonio Harrison Crudeli Lucas J. D’Antonio Lauren Elizabeth Davis

Morgan Hull Neil Francisco Hunter Nicholas Hutchison

Kerry Monaghan Molly Monaghan Brianna Daniericka Montinard Brendan James Morton Jake William Munz

Rebecca Rieves Schnell Stephen Eric Schoenborn

The class of 2019 was offered a total of $31,631,758.00 in scholarships.

Crusaders for life!

The Class of 2018 was offered 514 scholarships for a total of $33,940,053. Pennsauken, NJ |

Crusaders for Life!

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Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

Sydney Sperling

Joshua Ethan Scholnick Breena Stalter Nicole Rose Schumacher Hannah Steacker Liam Sheldon Caroline Steeves Patrick Simons Samantha Elizabeth Katherine Storti Sims AndrewJonathan Ernest Skultety Paul Sullivan Riley Elizabeth Snowden Daniel Martin Swallow Philip Sobocinski Sydney AnnSorelle Talorico Ashley Campani ZacharyBria Maguire Terrell Sorensen Timothy James Spellman Erica Marie Triolo Zachary Thomas Thelen Sydney Lauren Tufankjian Chase Turner Matthew Ryan Lisa ElenaTurnipseed Vigilante Ryan Francis Ethan A.Udicious Waldstein Katherine Ann Vasell Emersyn White John Joseph Vinci Joseph Ryan Willard Mia Rose Lindsey Voss Peyton Vostenak Samantha Wright Luke Christopher Wagner Craig Yates Jordan Lee Washart Shelby Emma Young Joseph Winston Wells WilliamBenjamin Westphal Alexander Zanghi MadisonKatherine Rose Willard Josephine Zemek Ava Nichole Yates Samantha Young Zachary Young Zeke Zacierka

Christian Brothers Academy LINCROFT

CBA grads free to define their generation, future By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor


s 223 graduates of Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, accompanied by families and friends, gathered in nearby Brookdale Community College to mark commencement exercises May 23, they listened to inspiring words from both Pink Floyd and Henry David Thoreau. “‘Through the fish-eyed lens of tear-stained eyes, I could barely define the shape of this moment in time,’” valedictorian Michael Sardella quoted from Pink Floyd’s song “The Final Cut.” “I feel this quote is extremely relevant for us graduates,” he explained, noting the difficulty of defining the value of their CBA education. “If I asked every senior now what CBA has meant to him … [their] answers would barely scratch the surface … No two CBA experiences are alike, and the beauty of this is that we each get to define what it has meant for us for ourselves.” On May 22, the Baccalaureate Mass for the all-boys school was celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in St. Mary Church, Middletown. “As you turn this page in your lives at graduation from Catholic high school, it is up to you to remain in [God], to stay connected, to let him remain in you,” the Bishop said in his homily. “Do that, my brothers, graduates of CBA’s Class of

2019; do that and your lives will  Christian bear much fruit. Brothers AcadA particularly moving moemy graduates stand for ment came when graduates commencement presented mothers or loved exercises May ones with a white rose as a 23 in Brookdale thank you. Community Community service College, Lincroft. loomed large in the school’s John Batkowski Class of 2019. The school photo reported 22,968 community service hours completed – an average of 107 hours per graduate, when only 50 hours are required for graduation. Sardella, who plans to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., said he and CBA graduates are fortunate to define their generation. “We have the privilege, as human beings in a free and open society, to define our lives and our happiness,” he said. “While all of us will face struggles in our lives, we also get to define the hard times in a way where we could learn from them and grow to become the best people we could be.” Using words he had held dear since sophomore English class, Sardella treated fellow graduates to a recitation from Thoreau’s “Walden.” “‘I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived,’” he quoted. “Boys, go out, find your own woods, and live deeply and deliberately.”

 Graduate Andrew Mattina shares an emotional moment with his mother, Carrie, after presenting her with a rose during the Baccalaureate Mass May 22. Courtesy photo  Graduate Tim Murray proudly poses for a photo with CBA principal R. Ross Fales after commencement exercises May 23. John Batkowski photo

Graduates: 223 Baccalaureate Mass: May 22, 2019, St. Mary Church, Middletown Commencement: May 23, 2019, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft Scholarships Received: $24,213,000

Valedictorian: Michael Sardella

Salutatorian: David Ham

Bishop Ahr Award: Michael Sardella

We have such an enormous privilege to be CBA graduates ready to make an indelible mark in our moment of history, and we must not waste it. We will be our generation’s businessmen, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers and even congressmen, and it is our duty to the country and society in which we live to progress it toward positive change.” Michael Sardella, Valedictorian Speech

 Bishop O’Connell serves as principal celebrant at the Baccalaureate Mass for Christian Brothers Academy, which was held May 22 in St. Mary Church, Middletown. Courtesy photo JUNE 2019 • TRENTONMONITOR.COM •

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Founders Scholarship

The James L. Schwartz ’70 Scholarship for Performing Arts The Brother Cyril O’Neill FSC Memorial Scholarship for Social Sciences


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For more photos, visit> Multimedia> Photo Galleries

Elementary school graduations bring growth but change, too

By Georgiana Francisco, Correspondent and Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor


athan Pogorzelski couldn’t contain his excitement about his June 7 graduation from St. Paul School, Burlington. After all, he will be moving another step closer toward his education goal. “Now I get to go to a tech school that I’ve wanted to since forever,” said Pogorzelski, who ultimately wants to study electrical engineering and career design. Pogorzelski was one of more than 1,050 eighth-graders from around the Diocese to receive a grammar school diploma during the beginning of June, with families, teachers and staff reflecting on accomplishments and changing times. Eighth-grade teacher Christine Fiorillo smiled as she watched her class of 14 students from Holy Innocents School, Neptune, receive their diplomas June 7 in Holy Innocents Church. She was especially reflective with this being the last graduating class, as the school is closing at the end of the academic year due to declining enrollment and financial difficulties. “Our faculty was a family, and we all worked together to educate our students in the Light of Christ as well as integrating both the Diocese’s standards along with the academic state standards,” Fiorillo said. “We served our Neptune community by teaching the children not only the 3Rs, but respect, love and compassion for their fellow neighbor.”

A Proud Legacy

The day’s events began with the Baccalaureate Mass celebrated by Father H. Todd Carter, pastor, who, in his homily,

 The 14 members of the Holy Innocents School’s final graduating class stand before the altar of the Neptune church June 7. The school is closing this June. John Batkowski photo  At the Holy Innocents School Baccalaureate Mass, Father H. Todd Carter, pastor of the Neptune faith community, presents Savannah Isacson with her diploma. John Batkowski photo

reminded the graduates that “everything we have in this life is a gift from God: the Church, family, the Sacraments – even this school is a gift. “When we recognize that, we can receive the gift with thankfulness. There is a lot of pain out there over the school closing. Many people are disappointed and may even fear for the future,” Father Carter said. “But, that’s not what matters now. Every moment is a gift, and we should be thankful that we ever had this school that has meant so much to you over these years. Nothing can take away your experience or the joy of having been here.” The commencement ceremony that followed included an introduction by Cynthia A. Reimer, principal,

Charlize Kepler’s salutatorian address, and Savannah Isacson’s valedictory speech. There were lots of hugs and tears as each of the students presented a rose to a family member or loved one, and cell phones were recording full steam as the class sang their graduation song, “Count On Me” by Bruno Mars. “Catholic education is truly a gift to the

See Changes • 38

 From left, St. Paul School principal Kimberly Cioci and St. Katharine Drexel Parish pastor Father Christopher Picollo smile as they bid one of the school’s 12 graduating eighth-graders farewell. Anthony Cioci photo

 A student presents his parents with a plaque and carnation, symbolizing his gratitude and love for having the opportunity to receive a Catholic education, during the June 7 eighth-grade graduation in St. Paul School, Burlington. Anthony Cioci photo


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Changes in store for eighth-grade graduates Continued from • 37 Church and the nation,” said Reimer, who served as the school’s principal for eight years. “We are proud to have graduated many students who have gone on to become outstanding participants in the world. In that way, this year is no different. Our graduates carry the legacy of our school and its community every day of their lives, and this makes all of our hard work come to fruition.” “I hope that all of you look back on your school years fondly,” Father Carter said. “I hope you remember it as a place of love and generosity, of friendship and learning, and I hope that it has helped you

grow in so many ways. This is a place where you have learned about God and your Catholic faith, and that is what makes Catholic education so unique. For the faith is what makes life worth living. In the end, we are all made to be friends of God.”

Next Chapter

St. Paul School, meanwhile, bid farewell to 12 graduating eighth-graders during its June 6 Baccalaureate Mass celebrated in St. Paul Church, a worship site of St. Katharine Drexel Parish, and the commencement exercises held the next day in the school. Highlights of the commencement included an invocation given by Father Chris-

topher Picollo, pastor of the Burlington parish, and address by Alexandra Oshidar, National Junior Honor Society president and student council president, who recounted a grade-bygrade journey of her time in grammar school during which she acknowledged teachers along the way. “How grateful I am to have been part of the wonderful, caring environment St. Paul School has provided,” Oshidar said. Following an emotional “Thank You” speech given by graduate Justine Rogers, recipient of the Alumni Association Scholarship and the Partners in Faith Scholarship from Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran, the 12 new graduates

Best Wishes to the Class Congratulations Mary Mahoney on your graduation from St. John Vianney High School! Study hard and swim fast at Lehigh University!

Love, Mom, Dad, Michael, Lucky and Ollie

Congratulations Jason Michael Krehl as you graduate from Saint John Vianney High School, Holmdel. We are very proud of you! Love, Mom & Dad

Congratulations Alexander James Marino

on your graduation from

St. James School, Red Bank We are so very proud of you! We love you! Mom, Dad, & Erick

Congratulations Nicholas Matthew Cabrera

on your graduation from SJV! We are proud & honored to call you our son! It’s not what lies behind us, or what lies before us, it’s what lies within us. Go Tigers, 2023!

We love you to the moon & back,

Love Mom & Dad! G38 •

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019


presented their parents with a plaque and carnation symbolizing their gratitude and love for having the opportunity to receive a Catholic education. “Over the past year, I have watched you grow, learn and become responsible individuals,” said Kimberly Cioci, school principal. “Every day I saw you mature a little bit more and get ready for the next chapter in your life – high school. As you continue your educational journey, don’t forget to take us with you.” Robert DeDea, father of graduate Katelyn, expressed pride for his daughter. “I’m happy for her and excited about her future, but also a little bit sad that she’s growing up.”


Congratulations Andrew Timothy Menture

on your high school graduation. We are very proud of you and will always love you. Follow your dreams and keep God in your heart.

Love Mom, Dad, & Mia We love you always

Congratulations to Olivia Ulrich on your graduation from St. Benedict School, Holmdel and for earning valedictorian of your class. We are so proud of all your accomplishments.

We love you, Mom, Dad, Sophia, and Sienna

Congratulations Christopher Joseph Caragliano

On your 2019 graduation from

Saint John Vianney HS, Holmdel We are BEYOND PROUD of you! Love Always, Mom, Dad, Patrick & Paige



Caitlyn Pawlek

Robert Skinner

On your graduation from Saint John Vianney High School, Holmdel

on your graduation from St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel We are so proud of all that you have accomplished! Love always, Mom, Dad, Colin, & Ryan

We are proud of you! Love, Mom & Dad



Katie Chmielewski

Jacob Pszalgowski

on your graduation from

on your graduation from Saint Joan of Arc School, Marlton

Donovan Catholic High School

We are so very proud of you! We Love You! Mom, Dad & Christopher

Wherever you go, go with all your heart!

Love you! Mom, Carly and Kira



Christian Joseph Ailor

Faith Hrabosky on your graduation from

on your graduation from

St. Leo the Great! I am so very proud of the young man you have become. Keep reaching for the stars at CBA, always remember nothing is out of your reach! Love always, Mom (and Coco too)

St. John Vianney! We are so proud of you! Love Mom, Dad & Josh

Congratulations to our daughter


Marietta Racancoj as she graduates from

Joshua Hrabosky on your graduation from

TCNJ as a Music teacher. With Love,

St. Mary’s Elementary School!

We are so proud of you! Love Mom, Dad & Faith

Congratulations Connor Mattingly Zola

on your graduation from

Notre Dame High School. We are proud of you. Love, Dad, Mom, Taylor and Chase

René & Jennifer Racancoj

Congratulations to our son Mason Capasso

on his 8th Grade Graduation

from Our Lady of Sorrows School, Hamilton

Love, Mom and Dad JUNE 2019 • TRENTONMONITOR.COM •

Class of 2019 • G39

Foundation formed in faith, school family Continued from • G5 She stressed the importance of education daily, checking in with students who may have been struggling and providing additional challenges to those students she knew were capable of achieving even more,” recalled Rosemarie O’Connor, who served with Sister Dorothy for 14 years, both as a teacher and now in O’Connor’s current role of marketing director. “Her strong faith in God radiated in everything she said and did, and she always encour-

aged the students to pray, to be active in their faith community and when able, to give back to those who helped them achieve their goals,” O’Connor recalled. “While she may not have been present physically this school year, the Class of 2019 certainly received this message and foundation throughout their academic career. The foundation Sister Dorothy laid for Trenton Catholic Academy and for the students, both of which she loved dearly, is something they take with them as they gradu-

ate and move forward in life. It is also something that we, at TCA, will continue to build upon in the years to come,” O’Connor said. In his celebration of the Donovan Catholic Baccalaureate Mass, Father Scott Shaffer, pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, reminded graduates to also take with them their school experience of family. “We are a family that prays and celebrates and grieves together,” said Father Shaffer. “Sometimes … most

Graduation a reflective time Continued from • G3

LOOKING FOR MORE PICTURES? The Monitor has posted hundreds of photos of the commencement exercises and Baccalaureate Masses from the Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Trenton on our website. To view them, or to purchase photos, go to and click on FEATURES>GRADUATION.

of the time, we get along well. And like, all families, sometimes we have our differences. “In the Gospel of John, we hear our Lord praying intently that we … all of us … would experience the oneness, the unity that Jesus and his heavenly Father share. My prayer for all of you is that you never forget … the gift of unity in our faith, our classrooms, on stage and on the playing fields. May your hearts remain in Jesus.”

graduates and have touched their lives. They have given of themselves without compromise and without expectation. We salute loved ones and our schools’ everyday heroes. Graduates of the Class of 2019, a wish is extended that you may possess wisdom that transcends knowledge … wisdom to know that you matter. You are a unique creation of God. You have a purpose in this

world that only you can fulfill. Savor the beauty and the gift of life. Find beauty in the simple things. Stay close to God and remember that he is but a thought or prayer away. Radiate joy and compassion. Experience the life-giving energy that God has placed in each of us and work to develop your talents to the fullest. You are a gift of God, and our world awaits your talents and signature!

St. Veronica School

DON’T FORGET THE GRANDPARENTS AND OTHER LOVED ONES…. Additional copies of this commemorative magazine are available from The Monitor at a cost of $5 per copy to cover printing and postage. To place your order, call the Business Desk at 609-403-7131, or email us at Monitor-Marketing@diocese This keepsake booklet is also available digitally at

G40 •

Class of 2019 • THE MONITOR • JUNE 2019

St. Veronica Class of 2019, the last graduating class, decided they wanted to be called the “Class of Reverence, Respect and Responsibility”. The name honors the school’s motto which has been the foundation put forth by the Sisters of the Resurrection from 1965-2019. St. Veronica School has provided academic excellence to all of its students (past and present) while encouraging them to become lifelong learners, thus gaining the confidence needed for all of their future endeavors.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!