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An Outdoor Venue For St Rose Eighth Grade Graduation



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St Rose of Lima School’s eighth grade graduation ceremony was held on June 26 in the school’s parking lot.

Principal Bardhyl Gjoka, eighth grade homeroom teacher Valerie Petrillo, Dean of Student Life MaryJo Bokuniewicz, and Monsignor Robert Weiss, along with class parents, worked hard to make the celebration possible despite these difficult times, according to Director of Mission Advancement Laura Moulder.

Chairs were arranged alphabetically for every student and their parents. The ceremony was limited to parents and siblings to adhere to safety measures, and other family members could watch via an online video. Every student and guest wore a mask.

The church organist piped an opening song, “Here I Am Lord,” through the speakers and closed it out with “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Monsignor Weiss began the ceremony with a prayer and Gospel reading. He also offered words of wisdom and encouraged the students to use their “2020 vision” to make the world a better place.

Gjoka, Petrillo, and Bokuniewicz all spoke at various times. Gjoka called each student to receive his/her diploma, which Monsignor Weiss presented to them. President of Student Council Thomas Phelan and President of National Junior Honor Society Evie Komninakas each gave speeches.

At the end of the ceremony the students processed, alphabetically, to lawn signs that were set up on the grass in front of the school. They stood beside their sign and at the count of “three” tossed their caps into the air.

Then, according to safety rules, each family returned to their cars.

St Rose had 24 graduates, all going off to a variety of high schools including Newtown High School, Immaculate High School in Danbury, St Joseph High School in Trumbull, Canterbury School in New Milford, Fairfield College Preparatory School in Fairfield, The Gunnery in Washington, and Hopkins School in New Haven. Several of the students received merit scholarships based on their entrance test scores.

St Rose of Lima graduating eighth graders toss their caps into the air on June 26 while social distancing in front of the school. —Alvin Canlas photo
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