Junior Ring Ceremony symbolizes Academy tradition

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Alexandra Diaz

The joy of wearing their Academy rings resonated throughout the junior class after the ceremony.

Priscilla Vasquez & Elaine Petrarca, Section Editors

It’s not just a ring, it’s a symbol.

This theme of the junior class resonated throughout the week of January 14, beginning with their retreat at Day Spring and culminating with the Junior Ring Ceremony on January 17.

In the midst of an exciting week, the class took time to refocus.  Centering their eyes on God, the juniors partook in a ring blessing mass celebrated by Rev. Bruce Craig, SDB, Pastor of Mary Help of Christians, on January 15.

Junior Gini Barreda shared that the juniors as a class wanted the ceremony of Junior Ring to go as smoothly as possible so they were relieved to have a practice the day before the big event during long homeroom on Wednesday, January 16,  with Class Moderator Mrs. Beth Chase and high school faculty and administrators.  “I think overall our class was very poised, and everybody  looked stunning. I thought it was handled very well.”

The Junior Ring Ceremony marked a major milestone for the Class of 2014. Junior Laura Castillo opened the ceremony with a prayer and introduced AHN President Art Raimo. His speech united the junior class and Academy family in a different way than in years past.

Mr. Raimo emphasized the sentimental value of the  rings with a special story about his wife Mrs. Maureen Raimo, who was an Academy graduate from the Maryland school.  Her ring was stolen from their house while they were on vacation. Because they were newlyweds at the time with little extra funds, they did not  replace the ring.  However, over the years Mrs. Raimo would often comment how she wished she still had her ring.

After this story, Mr. Raimo called his wife to the stage to present her the Academy ring she had lost so many years ago.  The crowd awarded Mr. Raimo’s sweet surprise with a standing ovation.

Junior Lauren Ayers spoke for the class’s reaction to this surprise.  “It was a special experience that united us as an Academy community.”

Following Mr. Raimo, Junior Siobhan Plummer explained the symbolism of the ring.  Then as Assistant Mr. Jack Mullarkey called the name of each junior to come forward, Principal Mrs. Camille Jowanna presented her with the ring and congratulations.

After each junior had her moment to shine, Junior Ammara Harrison closed the ceremony and led her classmates  in singing the “Alma Mater.”

Plummer represented her classmates in her appreciation of the ceremony.  “It kept the tradition alive and was fabulous. Thank you, Mrs. Chase, for putting together a beautiful ceremony that I will remember forever.”