Updated May 19, 10:10 p.m., with Valedictory Address
Chicago Heights , IL—(ENEWSPF)— Marian Catholic High School held its 47th Commencement Exercises Sunday at the First Midwest Amphitheater in Tinley Park. The class Valedictorian was Tim Stanis of Hammond, IN. Alexander Tolish of Flossmoor was class Salutatorian.
There were 380 graduates in the class. The class has earned nearly $11 million in scholarships, according to the school’s web site.
In addition, the school reports that 84% of graduates will attend 4-year colleges, 13% two-year colleges. Graduates will attend 94 colleges in 25 states and 2 foreign countries. The class had 89 National Honor Society members; 68 qualified for Illinois State Scholar status. There were 2 National Merit Semifinalists; 5 National Merit Commended; 1 National Achievement Semifinalist; 4 National Achievement Referred. Finally, the school reports there were 15 Advanced Placement Scholars, with more expected to be added from this year’s testing.
Stanis said he appreciated the friends he made at Marian, “I feel that the most important lesson we have learned is that the most important aspect of our lives is human relationships. Wherever your lives take you, I hope you will remember those words and try to build new and intimate relationships with those you meet.”
He also encouraged graduates to continue to explore their faith, “Another common experience that we have all shared at Marian is the four years of religion classes, prayer services, all-school masses, and retreats. We have grown firmer in our faith, whether consciously or subconsciously. I encourage you to bring your faith with you on life’s journey, and also to respect and learn from the faiths of others you meet along the way.”
Nearly 100% of the graduates have been involved in some form of voluntary service, according to school officials.
The following are the graduates of the class of 2008:
Jose Manuel Alcantar, Nick Allen Alderfer, Lauren Ashley Allen, Malcolm T. Allen Jessica Lynn Alston*, Breanne Marie Amadio, Elom A. Amuzu, Ikemefuna Michael-Afam Anadumaka, Ann Marie Anderson, Jacquelyn Kesley Anderson, Erica Lynn Arechiga, Mark H. Asato, Michael Robert Auz, Anne Elizabeth Badeusz, Jasmine Quinci Baker*, Brittany F. Balamut, Ashley Megan Barda, Cherish Amber Barksdale, Anna Karen Barrera, Marc Peter Bartolini, Brittany Beth Beach, Lorren Ashley Bednarek, Lauren Kelly Bennett, Michael Kieran Berens, Shannon Marie Bergin, Morgan Jenise Bibbs, Sean Biltgen, Timothy Michael Blewitt*, Carly Ann Blue*, Brittany Marissa Bogan, Ashley Marie Bohlen, Brittany Lynn Bowen, Christopher George Bozzetti*, Jaleesa Shaneé Bragg*, Vanessa Elizabeth Brignol*, Beeonca Misha Brown. Bryan Anthony Brown, Thomas X. Bucki, Melissa Marie Buishas, Kari-Lynn Michelle Burroughs*, Megan Patricia Burns, Samantha Ashley Burton, Kelly Lynn Butler*, Courtney A. Cahill, Bianca Simoné Caillouet, Felicia Eula Calvin, Ashley Marie Cann, Emily Rose Cannata, Celina Noelle Cantu*, Eric Capetillo, Anthony Vito Carrieri, Ashley-Marie LaNae Carter. Kasey Jane Cartwright*, Marissa Alexandra Caruso*, Laura Ashley Cash*, Caitlin M. Cavanaugh, Joseph Michael Christofanelli*, Anthony Charles Christopher, Jori Ann Cicale, John Louis Cifelli III, Aristide Cioe, Anna Mary Clarke*, Christa Elana Clarke*, Jordan Thomas Coleman, Erica Marie Collins, Courtney Lynn Cooper*, Matthew Joseph Copenhaver, Alexandra Christine Corbett*, Jill Ann Corley, Dominick John Corsiglia, Amanda Brooke Coughlin*, Cathie Crescent.
Sean S. Daley*, Falon Janae Dandridge, Stacia Stephannie-Marie Davis, Brie Jean Marie Dennis*, Timothy R. Dernulc, Matthew P. Dickman, John F. DiGiovanni, Gino Gerard DiGiulio, Daniella Anne Djuric, Sierra Denise Donaldson*, Kim Nicole Dorsey, Ashley Ann Dover, Eamon John Driscoll, Maggie Eileen Duewerth, Ariana Lynn Dymerski*, Kevin C. Edwards, Peter R. Eggebrecht, Matthew T. Eisenbart*, Kael Jenner Eisenberg*, Jenna Elizabeth Ellis*, Kyra Tremayne Elmore, Lauren Christina Enayati*, Stephen Michael Erazo, Mitchell William Erickson, Rajelin C. Escondo*, Taylor Lynn Evers, Kaitlyn Ann Fazekas, ReSean Fenner, Zachariah Thomas Feranec, Alysha Lynn Ferry, Dana Gerette Fiaoni, William Robert Finlon*, Stephen Joseph Fisher, Kristin L’Vette Ford, Jessica Rose Foster, Alexander A. Franzese, Michael A. Friar, Melinda Colette Fried*, Mary Elizabeth Galullo, Claudia J. Garcia, Merissa Elise Ghezzi, Mia Marie Giannetti, Joseph Louis Giannini, Gianna C. Gierczyk, Margaret A. Gilley, Jasmyne Shanté Glass, Christine Elena Gomeztagle, Joseph Stephen Grasser, Joseph M. Green, Christina Marie Griffith, Lauren Elizabeth Grkinich, Adam Walter Grossi, Angela Rose Guerino, Ryan P. Hackett, Melanie Margaret Hall*, Patrick J. Hall, Stacey Michelle Hall, Joseph Daniel Halpin*, Demetrius Maurice Hamilton, Darius Lawrence Harris, John D. Harris II, Catherine Ann Healy*, Matthew Ryan Hennessy*, Hannah Elizabeth Hernández, Timothy M. Higgins, Thomas J. Hirsch*, Raven Elizabeth Hodge, Sara A. Hodgson, Kelly Therese Hoffmann*, Kyle A. Holmes, John Robert Holzhauser, Katherine Huidobro, Kiel Thomas Hummel, Brittney Lauren Hurley, Brian Parker Iggins*, Stephanie Louise Irwin.
Diamond A’dria Jack, D’Juan Anthony James*, Jenna Victoria Jameson, Greg M. Janes, Josh A. Janus, Morgan Arielle Jefferson, Amanda Marie Johnson*, Brandon Keith Johnson, Tracy Camille Johnson*, Corinne Alice Jones*, Kaitlin J. Jones, Ryan Vernell Jones, Terri Elizabeth Jozsa, Martha Alejandra Juarez*, Jessica Dee Kaminski, Kevin William Kammert, Jaclyn Marie Kamradt*, Brian Gerard Kandel, Nathan Keene, Dennis Andrew Kelly, Kyla Alexandria Kelly*, Brittany Nicole Kinder, Akilah Shani King, Katharine Kirchner, Patrick Thomas Kirschenheiter, Amanda Lillian Klopp*, Krystal Marie Kmiecik, Taylor Lee Konieczka*, Kurt Andrew Konodi, Catherine Ray Kot, Brendan Kozor, Lauren Nicole Krabbe, Jodi Kathleen Krmpotich, Meghan Leigh Kroning*, Matthew K. Kruse, Tom G. Kruse, Veronica Nicole Ladd, Samuel Victor Lagunas, Lana J. Larcher*, Carrie Ann Laski, Kellen Daniel Lee*, David Robert Lennie, Elizabeth Patricia Leoni, Nicholas Joseph LeRose, Matthew John Lesniak, Beth Susanne Lessard, Tiffany Marie Lewis*, Lauren Marie Liesse, Allison Theresa Lindahl, Nicolas Lee Livers, Emilio Heli Lopez, Erica Leigh Lorenz, Michael Francis Losos, Amanda Margaret Love, Christal Anaese Luster*, Ashley Michele Major, Ryan A. Maksimik, Cynthia Ashley Maldonado, Kaitlin Rose Malkowski, Brittany Kaye Malone, Marcella Rose Mangan, Gregory James Manuel Jr., Meghan Elizabeth Manuel, Kyle R. Marks, Reynard Matthew Marquez, Sarah Jane Marshall*, Jake Cronin Marthaler, Elizabeth Ariel Mason*, Elizabeth Marie Matese, John Luis McCanna, Michael E. McCormick, Katelyn Rose McDermott, Peter Joseph McDonnell*, Michelle Kay McNamara, Brandy Lynn Medendorp, Ryan Joseph Merriman*.
Lindsay Alexis Meyer, Samantha Morgan Meyer, Robert Walsh Mikolajewski, Vincent P. Milano, April Anne Milkovic, Gabrielle Sendia Miller, Anthony Joseph Millsaps, Kelly Ann Minnis, Erica Candice Miramontes, Kelly Lynn Misch, Jacquelyn Stephanie Mitrovich, Alessandra Nicole Montalbano, Brian Keith Montgomery, Rachel Ann Montoya, Saralyn Muckian*, Farrakhan Muhammad, Amanda A. Muick, Elizabeth Ann Murphy, Michael Eric Muszynski, Frank Louis Narcisi, Camille Alesha Nash*, Kayleigh Ann Nauracy*, Marcus Jason Neal, Ashley Nicole Newell, Benjamin Matthew Nichele*, J. Matthew Noonan*, Casey Brandon Novak, Charles A. Nunnally II, Sam T. Nylen, Patricia Jean Ogden, LaKisha Renae Oliver, Patrick George O’Malley*, Felipe Mauricio Oria, Laura Michelle Ortega, Dominic Ortigara*, Kevin James Ortiz, Madeline Inez O’Sullivan, Ryan Owczarek, Meghan Elisabeth Owen, Christopher Michael Owens, Michael Jason Owens, Brian Charles Padove*, Courtney Marlette Pajkos*, Kenneth Wade Palmer, Preston Chandler Palmer, Vincent Luciano Palomo, Rebecca Ashley Paquette, Zachary Tyler Parsons*, Matthew W. Paul, Heidee Paulette Peebles, Naomi Ruth Perry, Alec Benjamin Pignotti, Mayra Piloni, Melissa Danette Platt*, David V. Pluth, Jacob Michael Pozywio, Breanna Lynn Pustai, Craig D. Rak, Catherine Rebecca Ramos, Jonathan Martin Raspberry*, Michael Joseph Paul Reardon, Rachel Angelica Reed, Cody J. Rees, Anne-Isabelle Sophia Reme, Carolyn Marie Resner, Hugh Martin Reynolds, Megan Elizabeth Dorothy Rippey, Kirk B. Roberts, Joseph Robert Roccasalva, Meghan Helena Rockrohr, Molly Rose Rockrohr, Andres Felix Rodriguez, Aundrea Elise Rogers, Kelley Lynn Rogers, Zachary Thomas Roszak, Brittany Amber Rozema, Stefani A. Rybczynski*, Christopher D. Saffore*, Robert Joseph Salasky*, Hector Ruben Sanchez, Michael Joseph Sanfratello, Elizabeth Grace Santschi, Kathleen Camille Savage, Nicole Ashley Scalamera, Dana Schleyer, Mark Dwayne Scott, Jr., Melanie Shiree Seaton*, Stephanie Ann Sekula*, Edward M. Semik, Nicholas Peter Sheridan*.
Brandon J. Sherman, Jonathan Daniel Shorter, David M. Sifuentes, Lori Anne Sink, James Jerome Slawnikowski III, Samantha Marie Sloan*, Danielle Marie Smith, David Jeffery Smith*, Michael Christian Smith*, Stacey Allyce Spencer, Lauren Elizabeth Spisak, Marc Oliver Spurlock, Amanda Nicole Solorio, Jose Javier Soto, Brandon E. Stafford, Philip Joshua Stafford, Timothy Andrew Stanis*, Katherine Marie Stillman, Lauren Kay Stubbler, Kyle William Studzinski, Therese Marie Sullivan, Anna Lorraine Swacker, Ashley Rose Sypole, Jennifer Therese Szala, Ameliah Rae Tawlks, Breanna Marie Taylor, Morgan Teresa Taylor, Catherine Teresa Theruviparampil*, Justin Charles Thirstrup*, Samantha Louise Thompson, Thomas Christopher Tilley, Angelina Marie Timm, Dillon Daniel Tole, Alexander William Tolish*, Elizabeth Christine Tortorello*, Morgan-Leigh Trump, Michael Scott Tuttle*, Anthony Dean Ubik, Alexandra H. Udchitz*, John-Anthony M. Valle, Meghan L. VanVuren*, Victor William Vega, Cecilia D. Villalvazo, Nicholas Gregory Kee Voll, Christie M. Voltattorni, Ann Elizabeth Vrdolyak, Amy Marie Waicekauskas*, Kara Marie Walsh, Tracey Ann Walsh, Alicia Mary Walter*, LaToya Ward, Michael B. Ward, Margaret Kathleen Wegrzyn*, Raquel Caprice Weiher, Elizabeth Clare Wilk*, Alphonso Williams IV, Julian Ellis Williams, Anthony Marcel Wilson, Javaite Adele Wilson, Richard Wilson, Joanna Therese Wojnar*, Kyle R. Wright, Monica Ania Wygocki, Caitlin Marie Zarlengo, Zakary J. Zimmerman.
Anne Elizabeth Novak
*denotes National Honor Society
Tim Stanis’ entire Valedictory Address follows:
When I was told that I was going to be the valedictorian, my first reaction was one of excitement and a feeling of fulfillment. Four years of hard work seemed to finally pay off, and I was proud of my accomplishment. But after the initial thrill of the news, however, I thought to myself, “UH OH, now I have to give a speech in front of ALL those people.” Just as my grandma used to say, “The reward for work well done is more work.” So I began my work of writing this speech.
I wanted my talk to be able to capture the high school experience of all the members of the class of 2008. I felt this was a very difficult task, however, as Marian offers so many different classes and extracurricular activities that no two students have the same experience. Feeling a little bit stumped, I tried to think of my fondest memories of the past four years, and I realized that all of my memories had one thing in common – friends. This, class of 2008, is the one thing that we all have in common over our high school lives. No matter if your focus has been on sports, academics, theatre, band, or you-name-it, you have done these activities with friends.
I know that academics are very important and it is rightly stressed at Marian. However, the things that I will remember most when I become an old man are not going to be school related, such as the punctuation of a bibliographic entry in proper MLA format (sorry Mr. Wooddell). Rather, it will be the memories of all of you and all the good times we have had over the past four years. I feel that the most important lesson we have learned is that the most important aspect of our lives is human relationships. Wherever your lives take you, I hope you will remember those words and try to build new and intimate relationships with those you meet.
Another common experience that we have all shared at Marian is the four years of religion classes, prayer services, all-school masses, and retreats. We have grown firmer in our faith, whether consciously or subconsciously. I encourage you to bring your faith with you on life’s journey, and also to respect and learn from the faiths of others you meet along the way.
We all also have in common the support of others who have helped us to make it through high school, whether it be family, friends, teachers, or coaches. We owe these people our thanks and value their presence in our lives. First, we all have family that have encouraged us on our journey through high school and nudged us forward when we felt we did not want to continue on. I would like to thank my parents and my brother and sister for helping me through the tough times in school and tolerating all my complaining about school. We all also have teachers and coaches who we owe much gratitude to for helping us grow both scholastically and athletically. Their guidance and positive attitude have been vital to our growth, and we thank them. Aside from family and faculty, we also have special people in our lives who we need to thank for always having a positive presence in our lives. These friends, mentors, boyfriends, or girlfriends encourage us when the going gets tough, or laugh with us when the good times roll.
Personally, I would like to thank my girlfriend Anna for all of the good times we have had over the past two years and for the good times to come. Good luck this summer and I know you will do great! Finally, I would like to thank all of you, the class of 2008. Without you, it would have just been the teacher and me alone in a classroom for four years. Thank you for bringing vitality to the high school experience and making Marian an enjoyable time in my life. As we leave graduation today, we walk by faith into our future, and I wish you good luck in all of your pursuits. Do all of your work well, and when the reward for work well done is more work, embrace it with open arms.
: Falon Dandridge’s Graduation Speech follows:
Good afternoon everyone and thank you for coming. My name is Falon Dandridge and I have been honored to serve as the President of the Class of 2008. First and foremost, I want to thank God because it is with his blessing that we are all present here today. Let me begin by saying parents, how proud you should be of your sons or daughters. For four years, we have all grown and matured from the young children you dropped off for our first day of high school.
We have united in a time of sorrow, when we lost our beloved classmate Annie Novak. It is in her memory that we wear these purple ribbons.
Also we have united in times of immense joy like cheering downstate at a basketball game. It is amazing to think of how far we have travelled from the anxious and excited freshmen first walking through the doors of Marian.
Today is the culmination of four years of hard work we have put forth. Today we can relax knowing what we have accomplished. Spending numerous frustrating hours in the library for research papers or working hard at practice to ensure an extra push when needed, in the end was worth it. Today is our day, so enjoy it! Look to the future with eagerness and remember the past without regret. We are a part of the history of Marian. Within those walls are countless memories of exciting games, band practices, and once in awhile a fun class or two. Know that Marian and this class would not be the same without each and every one of you!
The past four years for me have been an amazing experience. Whether we met freshman year or a few months ago, every single one of you has contributed to the memories I hold dear. I know for me, being up here before you, is an amazing transformation. As a freshman I was shy and as I look out at you realizing how far I have come, I know that I was not alone on that journey. I could not imagine myself at another school or graduating with any other people. It has been a privilege getting to know you. I wish you the best of luck this fall as you enter the world of college, the military, or the workforce.
I hope everyone graduating today can look back and say, “I have done everything I wanted to do with no regrets.” In a few minutes when we cross the stage and are handed our diplomas, I hope you smile. Smile at your accomplishments, smile at your bright futures that lie ahead, and smile at your parents. Assure them that they will not have to worry when August arrives. Let them know the sacrifices they made to send you to Marian were well worth it. The band Green Day said it best, “So make the best of this test and don’t ask why. It’s not a question but a lesson learned in time. It’s something unpredictable but in the end is right. I hope you had the time of your life!”