Marian Class of 2012 says goodbye
Marian Central Catholic High School graduated 168 students during a ceremony June 1 that focused on the school’s faith and family foundations.
Co-valedictorian Amanda Salvi made no apologies for saying the Class of 2012 has been like a family.
“It’s a dumb cliché, yes, but it’s a true one,” she said. Salvi said she only expects the school to produce stronger classes in the years to come, but quickly said “the Class of 2012 will be hard to beat.”
That may be true. The class produced 36 Illinois State Scholars and six National Merit Finalists, the most in school history, according to Superintendent Tom Landers. He said the 53rd graduating class also received more than $15.5 million in college scholarships, more than any other class.
“And your parents appreciate it, believe me,” he said.
Landers said the class has produced leaders, mentors, athletes and thespians. Most importantly, Landers said, the class is filled with role models.
“Our staff has enjoyed working with you these past four years,” Landers said.
While the staff has prepared the students as well as possible, he said it is up to the students to take their abilities to the next level.
“It is your responsibility to use the gifts and talents God has given you,” he said.
Co-valedictorian Michael Fitzpatrick said graduation is time to reflect on the past, not just look forward to the future.
“Today is a day many of us have long awaited,” he said. “While it is certainly exciting, we must remember this day is about the past as well as the future.”
Fitzpatrick compared the Class of 2012 to an orchestra.
“Our time at Marian has been a magnificent symphony,” Fitzpatrick said. “It has been the concert hall for our four-year opus.”
He said each of the graduates has individuals talents that came together as one collective work.
“The symphony is now over, but that’s not a reason to be sad,” he said. “This song is ending, but the music never ends.”
Priests from local parishes were recognized at the graduation. Bishop of Rockford David Malloy presented the diplomas and told students that God will be with them throughout the rest of their lives.
The evening featured a rendition of the national anthem sung by seniors Cecilia Adams, Lauren Buettner, Christa Cielewicz, Claire Gillespie, Katrina Hamilton-Smith, Grace John, Carolyn Jummati, Alexandra Maher, Timothy Manion, John Murray and Katherine Simmons. In addition, Gillespie was honored as the class salutatorian.