St. Paul grads look back, gaze forward

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

As they gathered in the lower cathedral of the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, the members of St. Paul Catholic High School’s Class of 2017 had an opportunity to reflect on the past four years and the future beyond before they graduated last Tuesday.

“I had really great memories (at St. Paul) but my fondest memory had to be being on the United Way (of West Central Connecticut) Youth Boards,” said Jaymie Bianca as she gathered among her classmates, donning her cap and gown before walking into the upper cathedral. “I was able to meet kids from other schools. We set up a senior citizen prom. We did the (United Way) Day of Caring. We did a lot of community service events. It allowed me to reach out beyond St. Paul, which is great.”

“I think my fondest memories will be spending all theses years with such a close family,” said Nicholas Palumbo. “Our class is really close and we’ve been able to spend these four years together and (experienced) events the school has planned. I think these are going to stick with me for a long time.”

“My fondest memory was doing the Monday Morning Assemblies with our grade. It was a great way to start off our week. We sat together with our grade. We just went over the events for the week,” said Mae Archacki. “It was something where we all bonded together and were all in the same room.”

“I think looking back on our freshman convocation (was my favorite memory). It was the first time we were really together as a class. We didn’t know each other yet— although I knew a couple of people from my middle school. It was a chance for us to be united as one for the first time,” said Elizabeth Theriault “Looking back now and to see all of us and see how we’ve grown as a family… and as people, I’m just going to miss everyone so much.”

Heading into the future, Bianca said, “I’m just looking forward to know that this is nowhere I peak… I know when I move on to college, it’s the beginning of my career. That’s when I really begin to narrow down what I want to do in life. I’m really looking forward to doing that and being able to see what I can accomplish in later years.”

“I’m looking forward to independence because we’ve been so close together, I just want to go out on my more own and explore the world,” said Theriault. “I’m just ready for it.”

Palumbo, who will be attending Quinnipiac University, said, “I feel like I had such a great base at St. Paul. I’m looking forward to continuing drama…  In St. Paul’s drama program, I feel I learned a lot from here.” Addtionally, he said, “A lot of teachers have inspired me at St. Paul so I’m also going to go into education.”

“I’m looking forward to being more into the world because it was a very close knit community (at St. Paul),” said Archacki. “But I know I will always have these people there to come back to and to call for help when I need something in the future.”

Upstairs, before family and friends of the graduates, valedictorian Jordan Silva told his fellow graduates in his commencement speech, “When we leave here tonight, many of us will go on to pursue higher education, some with hopes of pursuing a professional career. Some of us will decide to dedicate their lives to service to our country and some of us will take on a trade. In whichever case, we will all play an integral role in society and have the opportunity to not only honor our past, but shape our future. So set your goals high, find your purpose, and trust in God and each of us will make a positive difference in the world.”

“Although right now, this graduation may still seem to many of us to be a culmination of our life’s work, an ultimate goal that we have finally reached, the reality is that we still do have an entire lifetime ahead of us.,” said Benjamin Czuprinski in his salutatorian address. “Regardless of how great an achievement this graduation may seem, not a single one of us has yet reached our peak in life.”

The St. Paul Catholic High School class of 2017 is as follows:

Jordan Michael Silva – Valedictorian

Benjamin Chester Czuprinski – Salutatorian

Jeremy M. Adams   , Katelyn Nicole Albert, Mae Elizabeth Archacki * , Eric Attle + , Victoria Ashley Bairos * , Julianne Marie Balavender , Pia Barlotta * , Jack Ryan Bator + , Violet Yvonne Bell , Jaymie Dawn Bianca # * , Grace Marcia Carey * , Alexia Megan Chrzanowski , Hannah Rose Cifone + , Paul Richard Crouse , Benjamin Chester Czuprinski # * , Alyssa Corinne Daly , Noah Thomas Diaz * , Bianca Allysandra Di Lernia , Molly Li Eaton * , Mariah MacKenzie Fiscella , Ryan T. Flanders , Elliot A. Garcia , Arthur Edward Grant * , Robert Matthew Gray , Melissa Teresa Gurzenda * , Thomas Dean Houle , Karina Rook Hubeny , Brigid Catherine Johndrow + , Joseph Johnson Barnes , Austin Michael Jones , Alyssa Rose Kaczynski , Annie Kathryn Karner * , Natasha Kempes , Elijah James Kennedy , Hyung Jun Kim, Christian M. King , William Michael Konikowski, Matthew Keith Koser, Thomas Justin Kretsch *, Evan J. Kulig * +, Victoria Elizabeth Lagace * +, Wesley Lahey, Andrew John Lee +, Jaeui “Jay” Lee, Wenbo Li, Molin Liu, Peter Nicholas Longo, Chantell-Marie Lopez, David Lyder, Jr. *, Erika L. Malczynski, Luke Maluszewski, Lyndsey Marie Martin, Jacob James Mazzarelli, Morgan Lynne Middleton *, Alessandra Milardo, Devin Jacob Moore +, Miriam R. Morek, Daniel Morelli, Jr. +, Alexa Marie Morneault, Alexandria Leigh Mourges *, Emily Kathryn Mourges, Meagan Mulcahy #, Marc Georges Noujaim, Hunter Oakes, Andrew Michael Owsianko +, Sydney Rose Palma +, Nicholas Jacob Palumbo # *, Yixian Pan, Zachary Robert Parent , Eric Peter James Passeck , Sophia Kristine Penisse * , Brooke Perez , Pierce Peake Piana , Harley Michele Pilch , Brandon Kenneth Poirot , Tyler Michael Posten , Amelia Anne Sanchez * , Joseph Mark Schigas + , Madison Elizabeth Shea , Anna Elizabeth Shields , Jordan Michael Silva # * , Timothy James Singler * , Nadia Veronica Skarba * , Daniel Michael Spatafore, Jr. +, Gregory John Stefanko, Thomas James Stolfi, Elizabeth Strasser *, Anne Elizabeth Sullivan *, Elizabeth Grace Theriault *, Rebecca Lynne Thibodeau, Paulina V. Varela-Marin, Yuhao Wang, Naomi Monica Wells, Evan J. Winslow, Chandler Thomas Wright, Christopher John Zajac, Matthew James Zering, Alec D. Zukauskas,

# Summa Scholar *National Honor Society + Legacy Student