CALDWELL, NJ — Trinity Academy recently graduated 16 eighth-graders during its 28th commencement ceremony held at St. Aloysius Parish in Caldwell.  

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

During the formal graduation ceremony that evening, administration and faculty led the procession of the Class of 2019 graduates. Family and friends in attendance watched as the eighth-graders received their diplomas.

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Patrick Russo, a former staff member of Trinity Academy, returned to address the graduates as a guest speaker. He encouraged each of them to “continue to be the wonderful individuals they are, and do great things in the world.”

Father Thomas Dente, pastor of Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell, Msgr. Robert E. Emery, pastor of St. Aloysius, and Father Antonio L. Ricarte of Blessed Sacrament in Roseland presented the awards and diplomas to the class, led by Trinity Academy's Principal Linda Payonzeck.

“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,” Payonzeck said. “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.”
The graduation festivities actually began on Tuesday, June 4 with a field trip to Hershey, Pa., followed on Thursday by the traditional “Clap Out,” an annual event in which the entire student body, grades Pre-K through grade 7, 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 Eighth-Grade Social.

The Trinity Academy graduates have been accepted to and have received a cumulative total of more than $248,000 in academic scholarships to top Catholic private high schools, including Mt. St. Dominic Academy’s Siena Scholarship to Amanda Rohde and Veritas Merit Award winners Julia Camporeale and Kaitlin King; Head of School Award to Oratory Prep winners Eric Perez, Matthew Gupta and Justin Smith; Seton Hall Prep Headmaster’s Scholarship to Mathew Gupta; and Angel Sullivan Scholarship winners Amanda Rohde, Katie King, Anabella DiGiovanni, Ava Racioppi, Elizabeth Blenden, Julia Camporeale and Ruby Faust to Mt. St. Dominic Academy.  

In addition, students Amanda Rohde and Katherine Gupta were awarded certificates of merit and purple ribbons for achieving perfect scores on their National Latin Exams. Only 462 students, out of more than 22,000 who took the exam, achieved a perfect score.

The entire Trinity Academy Class of 2019 will be continuing their education at private Catholic institutions, including: Mt. St. Dominic Academy, Seton Hall Prep, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, Morris Catholic, DePaul, Don Bosco Prep, and Oratory Prep. Graduates have also been invited to participate in honors classes in English, Math, Biology, History, World Language and Theology.

The Trinity Academy Class of 2019 (in alphabetical order) includes:

Elizabeth Blenden, Little Falls
Marcus Brozon, Caldwell
Julia Camporeale, Caldwell
Anabella DiGiovanni, Essex Fells
Ruby Faust, North Caldwell
Katherine Gupta, West Orange
Matthew Gupta, West Orange
Cameron Haughton, Roseland
Kaitlin King, Essex Fells
Eric Perez, Clifton
Ava Racioppi, Roseland
Amanda Rohde, North Caldwell
Justin Smith, North Caldwell
Anna Stiesi, West Orange
Christian Turner, North Caldwell
John Turner, North Caldwell

For more information about Trinity Academy, visit, or call (973) 226-3386.