Students Wrap Up School Year With Graduations, Awards

HNP Communications In the Headlines

Schools throughout the Province ended the academic year on a happy note, graduating students, giving out awards, and planning for summer break.

In Greenville, S.C., St. Anthony of Padua School celebrated its 6th grade graduation last month with a special Mass and graduation ceremony. On May 31, the students received many awards including a Presidential Citizenship Award and two Presidential Academic Excellence Awards. Patrick Tuttle, OFM, (shown in photo), pastor of St. Anthony Parish, celebrated the Mass.

The school community also presented its Father Mychal Judge, OFM, Award to two students. Anthony Perkins and Dantwan Harris-Williams got the award on Moving Up Day. The award signifies service to others, and even though both boys were born after Sept. 11, 2001, they have exhibited the kind of service for which the late Mychal Judge, OFM, was best known. Each student received a $750 scholarship toward next term.

At St. Francis School in Triangle, Va., where Kevin Downey, OFM, is pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, a talent show and field day were held at the end of the year. The June 1 Baccalaureate Mass had the 7th and 8thgrade students exchanging the “Light of Leadership,” and  several days later, on June 5, the 8th graders graduated..

Christ the King Prep School in Newark, N.J., where Robert Sandoz, OFM, is the president and Gregory Gebbia, OFM, is  vice president of student life, held a spring fundraiser on May 12 at the Newark Museum. The museum was transformed into a casino for the more than 200 guests who tried their hands at gambling for a good cause.

One school year did not have a happy conclusion. In Tampa, Fla., Sacred Heart Academy, affiliated with Sacred Heart Church, where George Corrigan, OFM, is pastor, closed its doors after 81 years. The school had fallen on hard times and had declining enrollment. The 2012 8th grade graduating class will be its last. Sacred Heart Academy has posted a slide show of its closing day online.

— Wendy Healy, a freelance writer based in Connecticut, is the author of Life is Too Short: Stories of Transformation and Renewal after 9/11. Jocelyn Thomas contributed research to this report.