Cardinal Spellman High School holds annual commencement ceremony

Spellman Trophy Winners (1)
Spellman Trophy Winners Shirley Pena and Darren Ke.
Photo courtesy John Farrell

Cardinal Spellman High School held its 62nd commencement ceremony at the Lehman College Performing Arts Center on June 8. 

Father Joseph Michael, C.F.R., gave an invocation after which senior Victor Ruiz sang the National Anthem. School President Daniel O’Keefe congratulated the Class of 2024, urging them to work hard to make themselves and the world a better place. The 222 graduates of the Class of 2024 join over 23,200 other Spellman alumni since the school’s first graduation in 1963. 

Eileen Byrne of the Math Department and Maria Umbro of the Guidance Department will retire at the end of the school year, announced at the ceremony. In addition, seven teachers reached milestones at Spellman, 20 years for Mila Bello, Jaclyn Cullen, John Drew, Ricardo Quintana, and Cristina Rosado, 35 years for Fred Opper, and 45 years at Spellman for Principal Jeri Faulkner.

Sherry Bellamy, an attorney, and 1970 Spellman graduate, addressed the seniors, their families, and friends. Student speakers included Valedictorian Ovokeroye Akarumeh, the top-ranked student in the Class of 2024, who will be attending Stony Brook University in the fall, and Salutatorian Jonell Henriques, who will be attending Fordham University. The Cardinal Spellman Trophy and Memorial Scholarship, given to the two students who best embody the spirit of Francis Cardinal Spellman, was awarded to Darren Ke who will be attending Yale University, and Shirley Pena, who will be heading off to Dartmouth. 

Sergio Planas and Miyah Guerrero received the Spellman Spirit Award, while the Spellman Alumni Award went to Liam Wimmer and Lucy Sanchez Cruz. 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 Makis Prescod and Ianthy Fernandez.

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