SCOTCH PLAINS, N.J. -- Blue caps went airborne and joyous screams pierced through the sky outside Union Catholic High School a few minutes past noon on Thursday.

The Class of 2019 had just completed their graduation ceremony, and the 185 members of the senior class were letting their emotions flow in the school’s parking lot as they celebrated their memorable accomplishment with classmates, family, friends, and members of the UC faculty.

Union Catholic’s 54th annual Commencement Ceremony was an emotional, exciting, uplifting, and reflective event all bundled together as a huge crowd packed into the school’s gym to honor UC’s Class of 2019 and members of UC’s Class of 1969, who celebrated their 50th anniversary.

The day was also filled with inspiring, passionate, and heartfelt speeches from Principal Sister Percylee Hart, RSM, UC seniors Shaun Keating, the Valedictorian, and Bobby McGuinness, the Student Council President, and Commencement Speaker Dr. Devin McDonald Boothe, a member of UC’s Class of 1998.

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To watch the entire graduation ceremony, go here

Sister Percylee Hart  delivered a special message to the Class of 2019 with her usual passion and great words of wisdom.

“Class of 2019, here at UC things are better, change abounds, and advances have been made because of you,’’ said Sister Percylee. “Your presence will be missed as you pursue your college and career goals. But your many contributions will remain as a valued  testament of your talents and gifts you so generously shared with the UC Community. As you journey through your life, remember that you are never alone. UC is always with you. Graduates, I wish you much success and happiness, and may God Bless you all the days of your lives. And don’t forget to come back to UC. You are always welcome.’’   

Keating said the Class of 2019 is ready to make its mark on the world.

“This is our lives and we’ve only lived this much so far,’’ said Keating. “We made it here making our little marks here and there, and now we are moving on to leave a grander mark on the world. We are going to change the world, Class of 2019. Congratulations to you all, and I’ll see you in the big leagues.’’    

Dr.  Boothe gave a very heartfelt and passionate speech, and offered some great advice for the Class of 2019.

“Who will you touch, teach, and inspire,’’ said Boothe. “Whose life will be changed because they met you? Union Catholic Class of 2019 graduates, this is your time. I think you see (UC) the difference, now I charge you to go out and be the difference. Thank you, God bless you, and congratulations.’’

McGuinness gave a memorable speech.

“We learned a lot at Union Catholic,’’ said McGuinness. “Our teachers provided us with an outstanding education and prepared us for college. Our coaches taught us how to be great athletes on the field, but even better people outside of sports. Ms. Matthews and Mrs. Peralta taught us to follow the rules. Mrs. Abel showed us how good we have it here by spoiling us with donuts and other treats whenever the opportunity arose. Mr. Luciano showed us not only how to be an example of the perfect UC student, but how to be the best versions of ourselves. Mrs. Carolan and the Performing Arts Company taught us how to perform and be confident in front of an audience. I really wish I could list how every staff member in this school has impacted me, but Dr. Reagan told me I was the last speech and by this point all of you are probably ready to toss those caps in the air. Most importantly, we learned from each other.’’

“The Class of 2019 is one that is filled with intelligent, determined, and compassionate young men and women who are going to do great things in the near future,’’ said McGuinness. “Each and every one of us have unique talents and passions. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and chase your dreams because you can do anything you put your mind to. Just know, like my necklace reads, “With God, nothing shall be impossible.”

Here's a look at some of the members of the Class of 2019 who received some of the special awards that were handed out during the ceremony:

The Spirit Award: Cana Wang
The Michael Marotti Award: Miranda Ruiz
The Jane Albert Award: Audrey Davis
The School Consultative Board Award: Patrick Hartnett and Manya Trehan
The Principal’s Award: Bobby McGuinness
The Hart Award: Nicholas Ali and Joseph Colamedici

Here’s an alphabetical list of Union Catholic's Class of 2019, which earned a total of $30,036,747 in scholarships and awards for college.

  • Elijah Dante Abraham
  • Trabrina Adams-Davis
  • Robert I. Adelson^
  • Nicholas Tariq Ali
  • Claudia Marie Aljian
  • Alexa Almeida^
  • Kenneth Altidor
  • Angela Rafaella Amaru
  • Meilin An
  • Seungwon An
  • Cara Marie Anderson
  • Obadare-John Animashaun
  • Justin Archer
  • Caroline Bart
  • Nahshon B. Battle
  • Max Berg
  • Kaylee Mai Bertani>;
  • Isabella Grace Bobrowsky*
  • Jamie Ann Bonaccorso>
  • Mia Rose Bonadies*^
  • Molly Bonner<
  • Alexandra Jane Borik*^
  • Jadyn Bria Bowen
  • Shemaiah P. Brackett
  • Kristen Marie Brewer*^<
  • Coral Gillow Briber
  • Cianna Brown>
  • Kendahl Anthony Brown
  • William Robertson Burns>
  • Kennedy Meagan Caffrey
  • Robert Anthony Camisa
  • Brianna Allysa Cardoso
  • Lucas Carvalho
  • Nana-Korantema Cofie
  • Joseph Emilio Colamedici
  • Charlize Colón*^
  • Natalie M. Colon^
  • Hannah Ann Crisafulli
  • Matthew D'Aleo*^
  • Audrey Jameson Davis*^<
  • Cameren Dawkins
  • Karen Elizabeth Degnan
  • Angelia Maria DelNegro*^
  • Richard Joseph Devino
  • Olivia Dick*><
  • Geoffrey Chinonso Diru^
  • Jordan Aaliyah Dodson
  • Matthew John Dohn*^
  • Dylan Donohue*^
  • Royell Douglas
  • Kevin Joseph Downey
  • Uchenna Duru>
  • Sofia Rose Eugenio
  • Khamil Evans
  • Anya Olivia Fairweather>
  • Gianna Figliolino
  • Emily Beth Figueroa
  • Katelyn Fuhrmann*^
  • Emma Rose Gallahue
  • Hailey Wilhelmina Galvez
  • Alexander Garcia
  • Nora Elizabeth Gerlitz
  • Giulia Lyn Goggi
  • Matthew Robert Gomez
  • Samantha Granzino*^
  • Hope Mary Moreno Handlin^
  • Kyle Michael Harris
  • Patrick Michael Hartnett*^
  • Kenneth R. Hayes III
  • Lillian Jane Helander>
  • Donté M. Hennessey
  • Briyana Necole Horlacher
  • Kimberly M. Huaringa>
  • Katelan Ellen Hughes*^
  • Rhiannon S. Ierardi
  • Thomas John Jaworski>
  • Dajah Jean-Charles
  • Justin C. Jimerson
  • Chloe John*^
  • Edward Alan Jones, Jr.
  • Jacob D. Jusma<
  • Shaun O. Keating*^>
  • Nicholas Ryan Kolodziej
  • E'Lana Sommer Kovacs^
  • Heather Marianne Kress<
  • Frederick Douglas Lampley
  • Brandon M. Leslie
  • Raymond J. Lestarchick
  • Melissa Christine Lettieri*^
  • Joshua R. Lewis
  • Kayleigh Lewis<
  • Lunwei Li
  • Congrui Lin*
  • Huaying Liu
  • Jingyi Liu*
  • Yiguo Lu
  • Jerika Lufrano
  • Arianna Faith Lurie<
  • Jennifer N. Lynes*
  • Chenxuanzhi Ma
  • Corey John Makowski*
  • Michael Angelo Marano IV
  • Megan Catherine McCabe^
  • Calah McCombs<
  • Bridget Shea McDermott*^<
  • James Patrick McElroy*^
  • Patrick McGee
  • Robert Graham McGuinness
  • Ryan McLaughlin
  • Cristian John Michael
  • Brigite Morgado
  • Myaya Asha Morton*^
  • Alyse Moss Miller Murden
  • Meaghan Mulvanerty
  • Marquist N. Muse
  • PrimaDoris C. Ngumah*^
  • Joseph Nieves
  • Chinedu Okoro
  • Mia Cielo Oliveri<
  • Julia Frances Ozgar>
  • Brianna Pagan
  • Vijay Palkhiwala
  • Katherine Paltz*^
  • Ashley Pangan*^><
  • Victoria Rose Pastore>
  • Ruben Pereira
  • Brianna Pinheiro*^><
  • Mark Antonio Pita
  • Lauren Power*
  • Qi Qian*
  • Zhiren Qiu
  • Alexandra Louise Ramistella
  • Zakaria Raouf
  • Edwin Rivera><
  • Anna Rose Rizzo
  • Mya Dominique Robinson
  • Anna Rosenzweig
  • Miranda Ruiz*^<
  • Kiana Salmon*^
  • Syndey Rose Salomon>
  • James Anthony Scacifero*^
  • Nicholas Schuster
  • Valeria Serrano*^
  • Erin Sheehan
  • Preeti Shukla*^
  • Matthew R. Sierra
  • Yosvany A. Sigler Olivares
  • Philip D. Silva
  • Megan Murnane Sloane*^
  • Miles J. Smith
  • Melissa Solis-Varona^>
  • Nya Spencer
  • Xuan Su
  • Deirdre Michael Sullivan^
  • Patrick Sullivan
  • Dapeng Sun
  • Matthew David Swinehart
  • Jaheim Tanksley
  • Kemberly F. Torres
  • Manya Trehan*
  • Michael Waldron
  • Maya Walker
  • William Joseph Walto III*^
  • Han Wang>
  • Jiana Wang*^
  • Jared Ware*
  • Hope Wegryn
  • Olivia Marie Welham*^
  • Brendan James Welsh
  • Angelique Franceita Williams
  • Shyla Adanne Williams
  • Natalie Wizeman>
  • Monika Gabriela Wlodarski*^
  • Ryan J. Woods
  • Zongxiu Wu
  • Kunda Yang
  • Yiluo Yang
  • Zhen Yang
  • Patrick Seamus Yorke
  • Gabriela G. Zamora
  • Kathryn Grace Zeigler*^
  • Chenhan Zhan
  • Yilin Zhang
  • Xinyue Zheng*
  • Yuchen Zhou

* National Honor Society
^ World Language Honor Society
> National Art Honor Society
< International Thespian Honor Society