Senior Convocation honors achievements of AHN graduates

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Elaine Petrarca

Class President Cailin Dunne presents Senior Endowment check to Principal Mrs. Camille Jowanna and Assistant Principal Mr. Jack Mullarkey.

Sam Vargas, Junior Section Editor

Topping off a morning of awards and honors, the Class of 2013 outdid itself with the presentation by Cailin Dunne, class president, of the $60,697 endowment.

Dunne told the Brady-packed audience that the donation would not have been possible without generous parents and the dedication of the senior class who supported fundraisers throughout the year.  “We wanted to help students for generations to come with the gift of an Academy education that we have been so fortunate to receive.”

Another highlight at the end of the evening was the announcement of the most treasured honors and scholarships. The recipient of the Mother Marie-Rose Durocher Alumnae Award, Alex Diaz, also won the Bailey Family Foundation Scholarship to use during her years at the University of Central Florida. Salutatorian Arlyn Barlaan, who will attend the University of Notre Dame, received the American Legion Award for “outstanding character, scholarship, leadership and service.”

President of the Dads Club Mr. Peter Hobson awarded the club’s Achievement Award to Amanda Schifino for being an outstanding senior athlete. President of the Mothers Association Mrs. Kiki Baldor presented their award to Meghan Wallace for her outstanding representation of the school.

Valedictorian Meagan Gonzalez and Karen Cornett were lauded as National Merit Scholarship Finalists.  Commendations also went to Alexandra Viso and Gonzalez, National Merit Hispanic Scholars, and Meghan Wallace, National Merit Commended Scholar.

Gonzalez was voted “Most Outstanding Senior” by her classmates. She also received Highest Honors in English, Social Studies and Science.  Barlaan received Highest Honors in Math and Latin.  Catherine Young received Highest Honors in French, and Jane Lazzara received Highest Honors in Spanish.

The Honors Convocation began with a speech from senior class president Cailin Dunne. She welcomed the families in attendance and thanked the faculty of Academy for their “love, support, and guidance” over the past four years. After prayer, Mrs. Jowanna began the awards recognition for the many clubs of Academy.

One of the first recognitions were for the new officers of Student Council. Former President Madison Allen passed her position to current President Siobhan Plummer. Other former officers followed suit with their succeeders. Senior Catherine Young was chosen as Student Council Member of the Year.

Seniors were also recognized for their induction into various honor societies during their years.  Graduates also served as inaugural members of four new honor societies this year – National English Honor Society, National Science Honor Society, Rho Kappa Durocher Chapter and International Thespian Society. Members of the National Honor Society had the distinction of wearing golden cords and tassels with their graduation gowns.

Commendations went to Catherine Young, who received the 2012-2013 Outstanding Senior in French Award by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF).

Members of Echoes, the school yearbook class and gold club, recognized senior editors for their hard work and leadership. Senior Editors Alex Bajo and Emily Jeffery received commendations for their part in the magazine’s receiving a rank of “Superior” by the National Council of Teachers of English. Tori Litschgi, Li Stalder and Caroline de Quesada, Co-Editors of Achona, the student online newspaper,  received replica Silver Crown Awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.

Other newspaper staff members were commended on their induction into the National Scholastic Press Association Honor Roll of Student Journalists and Scholars. Golden Veins writer Felicia Nelson was recognized for Silver Scholastic Art and Writing Award for her short story “The Golden Harp” published on Achona.

Another moment dedicated to journalism students was the recognition of two retiring publication advisers and English teachers, Mrs. Edie LeBas and Mrs. Patricia Loesekann. Seniors Alex Diaz and Marissa Infante read two poems, “God Made Teachers” and “I Carry Your Heart With Me,” to show their appreciation.

Senior Grace Spurgin, on behalf of the senior class, showed their appreciation for senior English teacher Mrs. LeBas with a bouquet of flowers.  “You truly have been an amazing teacher beyond what we learned in the classroom, and you’ve gone above and beyond to make our senior year better than we could have imagined.”

Overall, the 2013 class has earned nearly $8.5 million in scholarships, served more than 15,000 community service hours and has been accepted into 107 colleges/universities.