Congratulations to the graduates of St. Philip Neri School -- to those who moved onto high school and the little ones who left kindergarten for first grade.
The eighth-grade Mass and commencement exercises took place June 2. The Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Francis X. Zorbach with the Rev. John Lippold and newly ordained Rev. Jack Fullen. Forty-seven students were given diplomas and awards by Monsignor Zorbach and principal Mary E. Healey.
Ms. Healy is retiring, and she was presented with a diploma signed by everyone in the graduating class.
The Presidential Award for Academic Excellence was given to students who received a 90 percent or better grade on standardized tests and a B average or better from fourth through eighth grades. Recipients are: Justin Cuffley, Thomas Haslup Jr., Rebecca Martin, Katherine Pecheco and Edward Schultheis.
The Presidential Award for Educational Improvement went to students who had shown consistent effort: Kateryna Choma, Kelly Dorsey, Stephanie Laumann and Gregory Svarczkopf.
Seth Whetzel was awarded the four-year Ryken Scholarship to Mount St. Joseph High School.
Other graduates are: William Adkins Jr., William Airey, Terry Brown Jr., Kelly Bruce, Mark Cadarette, Kevin Clark, Nichole Colley, Sarah Cook, Kevin Crocetti, Martin Dietrich III, Julia Fabian, Jennifer Gaynor, Rebecca Gorzo, Felicia Johnston, Richard Kaschner, Paul Kern, Joseph Kopplelman III, Sean LaBarbera, Julie Mannion, Robert Messenger, Melissa Miller and Sarah Mitchell.
Others are: Timothy Nelson, Robert O'Brocki, Daniel O'Toole, Kristen Peterson, Bethany Rice, Heather Royer, Anne Rupert, Frederick Smith II, Michael Smith, Paula Strack, Mary Sturgill, Daniel Tucker, Susan Watson, Christina Wilcox and Crystal Williams.
After the ceremony, the sixth grade held a reception.
Earlier in the day, the seventh-graders and their parents sponsored a luncheon in the school hall to honor the eighth-grade graduates. A program with a Flintstones theme entertained the students.
The St. Philip Neri kindergarten graduation May 30 had a "Children Around the World" theme with international costumes, flags and singing. Diplomas were presented by Monsignor Zorbach and Ms. Healy.