St. Raymond High School for Boys celebrates the Class of 2022 as graduates look to the future

Members of the St. Raymond’s Class of 2022.
Photo courtesy Jennifer Geideman

On May 21, St. Raymond High School for Boys held their 59th Commencement Mass and Exercises. The Class of 2022, consisting of 101 graduates, gathered together at the Msgr. Tierney Auditorium to receive their diplomas with their families and friends excitedly looking on.

The ceremony began with an opening prayer lead by Fr. James Cruz, pastor of St. Raymond Parish. Julian Abreu, class of 2022 salutatorian, kicked off the commencement exercises with a speech that spoke directly to what he has gained as a St. Raymond student. “I have gained friends that have become like brothers. When Mrs. (Judith) Carew talks about brotherhood, she truly is not joking. I have learned so many life lessons and gained experience at Rays that not many my age can say,” Abreu said. “…we persevered and emerged on this day, not as boys, but as Christian gentlemen ready to take on the challenges of the future.”

Abreu will attend Baruch College in the fall with the intent of studying Psychology. 

During the ceremony, St. Raymond’s awarded medals to those who achieved top honors in each subject as well as special awards to students who exemplified good citizenship, character, leadership and service. 

Class Valedictorian Gabriel Pallares followed with an address to his classmates, speaking about accomplishments and the future. “We are here to focus on our accomplishments and lessons learned through these four years. Today we all have the luxury to end one chapter of our lives while at the same time being able to start a new one. We are all starting with a blank slate, an unwritten page on which we can begin our story anew. Every one of you has a purpose in life and do not let anyone tell you otherwise”, he said.

Pallares will attend New York University in the fall on a full four-year scholarship with the intent of studying Child Psychology. 

Commencement was concluded with a final send off from Principal Judith Carew. Carew’s speech to the Class of 2022 spoke of celebration. “It is the end of a journey that began with the uncertain steps of a boy that have undoubtedly turned into the confident strides of a young man. We celebrate not only the end of the journey, but the road that you have traveled over these last four years”, Carew said.

She continued with sharing one last message with them: “Take with you all that your parents have taught you, and take all that they have trusted us to teach you during these last four years. Be assured that the world needs your courage to share with it, not only your intellect but the goodness that is in your hearts.”10 

St. Raymond’s boasts that the Class of 2022 have earned more than $15.4 million in scholarships and grants over four years and have been accepted to some of the top colleges and universities in the country like Cornell University, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Fordham University, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Temple University, Rutgers University, University of Connecticut, Binghamton University, The University of Arizona and The University of Alabama just to name a few. 

And only as fitting as it would be, the Class of 2022 ended their commencement with the very same words as they started their first day four years ago; “remembering always that we are in the holy presence of God, St. John Baptiste de La Salle, pray for us … St. Raymond Nonnatus, pray for us … Live Jesus in our hearts … forever.” 

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