Neil McCarthy, Ph.D., principal, told the graduates they had achieved many great things during their four years.
Recognition was given to the three faculty members who are retiring: Jim Dawson, Dianne Milder, and Marlene Rubicco, and to three teachers who have reached anniversary years: Rita Piliero (20 years), Rev. James O’Shaughnessey (30 years), and Salvatore Schiazza (45 years), who was presented with an honorary diploma for his many years of service to the school.
Richard Nardi, Class of 1972, addressed the graduates prior to the presentation of diplomas. Rich serves on the Alumni Board and helped create the Foundation for Cardinal Spellman High School in 1998. Over the years, he has helped the school in numerous ways, and aided in setting up a scholarship fund in the memory of Fr. James Corrigan. Rich told the graduates to follow three simple rules: Not to be someone other than yourself; help others and improve their lives; and accept no limitations on your ability. Cardinal Spellman, he went on to say, has made them well prepared for higher education.
Student speakers were valedictorian Emily Elliott, the top ranked student in the Class of 2008, and salutatorian Michael McDonald, who was second. The Cardinal Spellman Trophy and Memorial Scholarship, given to the two students who best embody the spirit of Francis Cardinal Spellman, was awarded to Timothy O’Hara and Lauren Endres. Jennifer Batista, Juliette Brandon and Michael Coppola received the Spellman Spirit Award, while the Spellman Alumni Award went to Ancy Andrews and John Estrellado. 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 Emily Elliott and Daniel Basa.
Special recognition was given to families who had at least their fourth child graduating from Spellman this year. Marisa Boiano was the sixth in her family, while Mary Canale was the fourth of the Canale’s. Michael Scalzo was the fourth in his family, as was Stephanie Feedor and Clara Surun.