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St Rose Preschool, Kindergarten, And Eighth Grade Students Graduate



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St Rose of Lima School preschooler, kindergartner, and eighth grade students graduated during three ceremonies at the school right at the end of the 2023-24 school year.

Pre-K 4s and Transitional Kindergarten classes graduated on Monday, June 3. Grandparents, siblings and friends gathered in the hall and watched as the children processed by, hands folded in prayer, to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Their teachers situated them on risers so their shining smiles faced their loved ones. Principal Bardhyl Gjoka welcomed everyone, Pastor Father Peter Cipriani gave a blessing and the children sang a selection of songs including "I am a Promise to be Anything God wants me to be!"

Their names were called one-by-one and they received a scroll from Father Peter, alongside Pre-K 4's teacher Karen Wojtowicz and Transitional Kindergarten teacher Ashley, posing for pictures as they held their scrolls proudly.

Pastor Emeritus Monsignor Robert Weiss spoke at the end, reminding everyone that if ever they are having a bad day they need only enter the Preschool to lift their spirits.

He wished them all blessings. Cake was served after in the midst of congratulations balloons, flowers for teachers and happy hugs.

St Rose's Kindergarten class donned blue caps and gowns for their graduation ceremony on Wednesday, June 5. Students entered the gathering hall with hands folded in prayer to "Pomp and Circumstance."

The chairs were filled with teary eyed loved ones cheering them up the aisle to the risers, where they proceeded to entertain with recitation of prayers learned during the year.

They went on to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing a variety of songs, including "God Bless America" and "Take Me Out to The Ball Game" as well as some nostalgic old time ad jingles. This is a fun tradition the Kindergarten has kept up for many years.

Kindergarten teacher Donna Rahtelli called all of the graduates by name and they received their diplomas from Father Peter. The ceremony culminated with the Kindergarten students standing in a line singing "First Grade! First Grade!" to the tune of "New York! New York!"

At the end of the song, they tossed up their ups, followed with a cake reception and lots of balloons, hugs and photo ops.

The St Rose eighth grade Class of 2024 graduated during a mass and ceremony held on Saturday, June 8. Preschool to eighth grade faculty and staff processed into the church first, followed by the students who walked down the aisle two-by-two carrying red roses. The boys dressed in blue caps and gowns while the girls in white caps and gowns.

Principal Gjoka welcomed all family and friends in attendance and commended the students in the class for their various talents, service outreaches and contributions through their years at St Rose.

Father Peter gave a homily, which started with him holding a stuffed Elmo from Sesame Street who said "brought to you by the number four."

He reflected on this four letter word and reminded them of the impact they have made and will make using other four letter words such as hero, hope, help, good, and many more.

Father Peter reminded the students to always believe, always persevere, always be the light. After the homily, Dean of Student Life MaryJo Bokuniewicz called out each student's name and they came one-by-one to the altar to receive their diploma from Principal Gjoka and Father Peter.

Once everyone had their diploma, Principal Gjoka asked the students to turn to their parents and move their tassel from left to right, at which point he officially congratulated them as graduates.

Mass awards were presented afterwards, including the Presidents award, which many students received, alongside additional scholarships.

A representative from Immaculate High School also presented scholarships to incoming students who scored high on the entrance exam as well as to the student who has a family legacy there.

The St Rose Home & School Association presented the newly created Monsignor Robert Weiss Legacy Scholarship to two students who reflect Monsignor's ideals and are going on to a Catholic High School.

Monsignor Weiss also presented scholarships in memory of his parents, Margaret and Charles Weiss. While Monsignor Weiss retired in January after 24 years as Pastor, he still remains an avid supporter of the school and Catholic education.

Eighth graders then processed out of the church to the sun speckled, blue skied afternoon, where they gathered in front of the church and, following Father Peter's countdown, tossed their caps into the air.

It was a beautiful day and hearts were filled with happiness and also tinged with sadness as families reminisced on many years together here at St Rose School.

The graduates will set off to a variety of schools, including Immaculate High School, Canterbury School, Newtown High School, and Brookfield High School.

Director of Mission Advancement Laura Moulder said that they always tell the graduates that while they may be leaving their halls, they will always be in their hearts.

She added that their doors are always welcome, and encouraged them to visit and share news of their adventures.

Pre-K 4s and Transitional Kindergarten students were situated on risers so their shining smiles faced their loved ones as they sang songs. —photos courtesy St Rose of Lima School
St Rose kindergartner Brielle Floody seen alongside her fellow kindergartner classmates with hands folded in prayer, donned blue caps and gowns for their graduation.
The school’s eighth grade Class of 2024 tossed their caps into the air on a sunny, blue-skied afternoon following their Mass and graduation ceremony.
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