WESTFIELD, NJ -- This year’s graduating class of eighth graders at Holy Trinity School may never forget the unique and creative celebrations they were given. Eighth grade at HTS is a special year; High School decisions are made, the students traditionally take a year-end trip to New York City, have an eighth grade dance, a special breakfast, and a baccalaureate Mass followed by a graduation ceremony.
These eighth grade traditions at HTS date back for years. This year, all the events had to be canceled or creatively reimagined due to state restrictions on the size of in-person gatherings. The tight-knit, gregarious group of students took their disappointment in stride. The class turned to supporting one another and making the best of a situation as they have been taught all these years at HTS.
Whether collecting donations for those in need, sending thank-you notes to first responders and others in the community or turning their spring play performance into a virtual one, this group proved that with a strong foundation in academics, faith, compassion and resilience, anything is possible.
Principal Dr. Adele Ellis, teachers and parents wanted to honor the students for their hard work and accomplishments, as well as give them a little fun. Kids were treated to a photo-op day, with the gym stage decorated as a backdrop for professional photographs. The front of the school also was transformed into “Graduate Lane,” with lawn signs bearing each graduate’s name and photo, given as gifts from the Principal.
Graduation day, unlike any that came before, was a mix of individual in-person diploma ceremonies followed by a grade-wide Zoom celebration in the evening. Dr. Ellis and Pastor Fr. Anthony Randazzo personally presented each student with their diploma and awards in individual private ceremonies in the courtyard of Holy Trinity Church. The Zoom graduation in the evening was attended by students, teachers and families. Graduates wore their caps and gowns and closed the virtual ceremony with an actual cap toss.
While the mode and means of graduation were different from past years, the honors, awards and scholarships that have come to be expected at HTS were on par with the strong academic achievements of past years. This year’s class of only 25 students received approximately $600,000 in scholarships to private and Catholic high schools, in addition to multiple acceptances to magnet schools.
Josefine Allen received top honors as Valedictorian for the Class of 2020, as well as receiving the Archdiocese of Newark’s Outstanding Catholic School Graduate Award. Other awards included:
- The Monsignor Henry J. Watterson Award for Integrity, Moral Development, and Excellence in Religious Studies, presented to Hortense Bonnet and Lia Chiang.
- The Westfield Historical Society donated an award in recognition of Interest and Outstanding Performance in History Courses, to Allan Breaux.
- The Daughters of the American Revolution donated an award for Excellence In and A Deeper Understanding of American History to Lillian DelRossi
- The Daughters of the American Revolution also donated medals for Leadership, Loyalty, Service and Cooperation to Conleth Gorham and Zoe Schack
- The Sheehan Scholarship, covering four-year tuition at Saint Peter’s Preparatory School was awarded to Conleth Gorham.
- The Principal’s Award for Exemplary Service and Conduct was presented to Alessandra Patti and Gabrielle Zuretti.
- The Christian Leadership Award, chosen by her peers, went to Josefine Allen
- Overall Perseverance Award for Grit, Determination and Dedication to Academics went to Alexis Malec-Neuberger
Excellence Awards for highest achievement in each subject area were also presented:
- Religion — Zoe Schack
- Literature — Nevaeh Aaron
- Pre-Algebra — Hortense Bonnet
- Algebra — Claire Lezynski
- Science — Lillian DelRossi
- Social Studies — Claire Lezynski
- Latin — Claire Lezynski
- Spanish — Zia Oriol
- Computer Science — Julia Cariello
- Technology — Henry Hiel
- Fine Arts — Lillian DelRossi
Registration for the 2020-2021 year is still ongoing. Come take a virtual tour, see the campus and find out more. Registration is open for students in pre-K 2s through eighth grade. Pre-K 4 is currently waitlist only. Space is available but limited in all other grades, including in The Holy Trinity School Early Learning Center, pre-K 2s, 3s and Kindergarten, located in Westfield. Please contact Dr. Adele Ellis at 908-233-0484 for more information or a virtual tour. Contact us and see what a modern Catholic education has to offer.
Since 1916, Holy Trinity School has provided a quality Catholic education to Westfield and the surrounding communities. A 2011 National Blue Ribbon and a Middle States accredited school, its mission is to educate students to actualize their full, individual potential, both spiritually and academically. Holy Trinity School is currently accepting students at all grade levels for the 2020-2021 school year, including middle school. Holy Trinity School, preparing our future now. www.holytrinityschool.org.