2012 graduates toss their caps in farewell to Academy


2012 graduates toss their caps to celebrate the final step in the last week of traditional stepping stones in becoming an Academy graduate.

Achona Staff

Winding their way through the traditional path created by well-wishing faculty and families,  seventy-seven seniors made the final run from the Brady Center to the Bayshore front lawn,  where they tossed their caps to celebrate the final step in the last week of traditional stepping stones in becoming  an Academy graduate.

Highlights of the evening included the proclamation of honors by Principal Mrs. Camille Jowanna and  conferring of honors by the Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, D.D., Bishop of St. Petersburg. Bishop Lynch spoke afterwards, complimenting the speeches of salutatorian Josie Little and valedictorian Mary Green.

Prior to the ceremony, the graduates met  in the Blessed Marie Rose Durocher Chapel for their last prayers together as a class. Campus Minister Sister Mary Patricia Plumb, SNJM, followed prayers with her words of guidance and love.  In the Brady Center,  a string quartet entertained guests and family until “Pomp and Circumstance” announced the procession of the graduating seniors.

Mr. Arthur Raimo, President of the Academy, provided the welcome address to families and guests, who included Mr. Alberto Vázquez-Matos, Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of St. Petersburg; Mr. Raymond E. Ifert, Academy Chairman of the Board; and Board Members Dr. Bruce Scarola, Mr. Tom K. Holt, Ms. Norma Matassini, and Ms. Aileen Martino.

Senior Class Vice Presidents  Jacqueline Moreda, Emily Joseph, Sarah Henni, and Kelly Mitchell provided the Invocation and Benediction.  Each graduate received a bouquet of red roses from one of the flower girls after receiving her diploma.  The flower girls, an Academy tradition that dates back to the early 1900s, are selected each year from the first grade, and this year were Lucia Accardi, Emma Leavy, Allyson Smith, Riley Roy, Lauren Rubio, and Sofia Shafii.

After celebrations and photographs on the lawn with friends and families, the graduates rode the elevator to the fourth floor to pack away their gowns for shipping and to begin their new lives as full-fledged Academy graduates and alums.