CALDWELL, NJ – Trinity Academy recently graduated 20 eighth graders during its 26th annual commencement ceremony at St. Aloysius Parish in Caldwell. 

The eighth graders began their graduation with a special Baccalaureate Mass at St. Aloysius, where the graduates came together with their families and the entire student body to celebrate Mass for the last time as Trinity Academy students. A special breakfast for the families followed the Mass, provided by the Home & School Association. 

During the formal graduation ceremony that evening, Administration and Faculty led the procession of the Class of 2018 graduates. Family and friends in attendance watched with joy as the eighth graders received their diplomas, symbolizing the end of one chapter of their lives and the beginning of another.

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As Fr. Juan Jose Esteban, Parochial Vicar of St. Aloysius Parish, addressed the graduates, he expressed his connection to the class by recalling the many basketball games and other events he had shared with them throughout the year. He congratulated the students and encouraged each of them to “be pilgrims of life, not merely tourists.”

Trinity Academy principal Linda Payonzeck led Thomas Dente, Pastor of Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell, Msgr. Michael Desmond, Pastor of St. Aloysius, and Fr. Robert G. Laferrera, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament in Roseland, as they presented the many class awards and diplomas to the class.

“It is an honor to be with you all today, and a pleasure to see the spiritual, academic and emotional growth of each young man and woman throughout the year,” said Payonzeck. “While it is difficult to watch each student leave what we all consider a 'second home,' it is with great pride and confidence in their abilities and accomplishments that we do so.”

Graduation festivities began on June 7 with the traditional “Clap Out,” an annual event in which the entire student body, grades Pre-K through grade seven, line the halls and "clap-out" the Trinity graduates as they leave the building on the last day of scheduled classes. The graduates also gathered at the Essex Fells Country Club on June 6 for the Annual 8th Grade Social, which included dinner and dancing.

Many Trinity Academy graduates have been accepted to and have received in excess of $50,000 in academic scholarships to top Catholic private high schools, including Siena Scholarship winners Teresa McKiernan and Siobhan Stack, to Mt. St. Dominic Academy; President’s Scholarship winner Teresa McKiernan to DePaul Catholic; and Angel Sullivan Scholarship winners Alivia Ayuso, Isabella Castillo, Lindsay Hoffman, Teresa McKiernan, Sophia Sosnoski to Mt. St. Dominic, and Matthew Burges and Alfred Pacicco to St. Peter’s Prep. 

Members of the Trinity Academy Class of 2018 will be attending Mt. St. Dominic Academy, Seton Hall Prep, St. Peter’s Prep, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, Mary Help of Christians Academy, Don Bosco Prep, Passaic Valley High School, James Caldwell High School and West Essex Regional High School. Graduates have also been invited to participate in honors classes in English, math, biology, history, world language and theology.

Trinity Academy administration, faculty and staff and the families of the eighth graders expressed pride in the students' accomplishments and wished them the best in their future endeavors. 

The Trinity Academy Class of 2018 (alphabetical order) graduated as follows:

Alivia J. Ayuso, West Orange

Matthew Stanley Burgers, Little Falls

Maryann Teresa Capalbo, Woodland Park

Isabella Clara Castillo, Verona

Angelo Michael DelGuercio, Roseland

Kenneth John Ferris, Fairfield

Michael Anthony Gajewski, West Caldwell

Lindsay Grace Hoffman, West Caldwell

Tyler James Jones, Caldwell

Natalie Marie Laguardia, West Caldwell

Michelle Lara Ann Malagiere, West Caldwell

Teresa Helene McKiernan, Essex Fells

William J. Mielnicki, Jr.West Orange

Alfred Michael Pacicco, North Caldwell

Lauren Regina Pacicco, North Caldwell

Stephanie Ann Perretti, Caldwell

Michael N. Pescatore, Roseland

Sophia Danielle Sosnoski, Fairfield

Siobhan Valerie Stack, Bloomfield

Nicholas Richard Weinstein, Fairfield

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