Cardinal Spellman High School holds 59th commencement

Spellman Trophey Winners
Daniel O’Keefe, far left, and Emmanuel Chirico, far right, with the winners of the Spellman Trophy and Memorial Scholarship, Evan Ke and Skylar Bailey.
Photos courtesy John Farrell

On Saturday, June 12, Cardinal Spellman High School held its 59th commencement in an outdoor ceremony on the school’s athletic field.

An invocation by Rev. John Kraljic was followed by the National Anthem, sung by senior Anna Ferron. Daniel O’Keefe, president of the school, congratulated the Class of 2021 and urged them to embrace the culture and values learned at Cardinal Spellman to make the world a better place. The 285 graduates join more than  22,800 other Spellman alumni since the first graduation in 1963.

O’Keefe also announced the names of a number of teachers celebrating anniversary years in 2021: Jane Morris and Trudy Keane (45 years), Denise Lombardo and Linda Mazzo (40), Tom Cabrera and Stephen Roesner (35) and Julio Ayabaca, Jeannette Dolan and Anna Villa (20.) Also recognized for anniversary years from the 2019-2020 school year were John DiPalermo (45 years) and George Spence (20 years.) In addition, Rita Piliero and Lynn Tomecek are retiring from the Science Department after many years of teaching. During the ceremony, O’Keefe announced that Jeri Faulkner, Spellman Class of 1975 and longtime dean of students, has been appointed the new principal of Spellman.

Cardinal Spellman’s Class of 2021’s top 10 in academic ranking: From left, Darryna Guy-Williams, Kamilah Abubakar, Milany Bruno, Aolani Lopez, Melissa Hewitt, Chibugo Okeke, Shayna Nguyen, Joseph Giraldi, Skylar Bailey and James Demetrius with Mr. O’Keefe and Mr. Chirico.

Emmanuel Chirico, Class of 1975, addressed the graduates and provided them with advice to achieve future success. Chirico currently serves as chief executive of the Phillips Van Heusen Group. Student speakers were Valedictorian Darryna Guy-Williams, the top ranked student in the Class of 2021 who will be attending Northeastern University in the fall, and Salutatorian Kamilah Abubakar. The Cardinal Spellman Trophy and Memorial Scholarship given to the two students who best embody the spirit of Francis Cardinal Spellman was awarded to Evan Ke, who will be attending the Rochester Institute of Technology, and Skylar Bailey, who will be attending the University of Southern California. Clamont Mack and NiaGrace Steele received the Spellman Spirit Award, while the Spellman Alumni Award went to Darryna Guy-Williams and Joseph Giraldi. The Seton-DeLaSalle Award named in honor of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity, and Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, was presented to Aolani Lopez and Ricardo Lizano.

More from Around NYC