Mount Saint Charles graduates 118 seniors

Mount Saint Charles graduates 118 seniors

Abigail Dalpe, left, and Kaitlyn D’Abrosca both of Cumberland and Gianna Crispino, of Lincoln, wait in line for the start of the Mount Saint Charles Academy graduation ceremony, held at the school in Woonsocket last Sunday. (Breeze photos by Bill Murphy)

WOONSOCKET – Mount Saint Charles Academy awarded diplomas to 118 seniors at graduation exercises Sunday, sending them off to top colleges and military careers in a ceremony laden with almost 100 years of tradition in the school’s gym.

The school bells rang as Mount’s 94th graduating class prepared to depart the school. The graduates walked through a crowd of faculty and staff in academic gowns and said a final prayer as a class with the faculty in front of the Sacred Heart statue.

The ceremony began with a greeting by mistress of ceremonies Nikki Velletri, opening remarks by President Alan Tenreiro (’92), and an invocation by Deacon Tony Gagliani. Featured speakers were Salutatorian Alicia Bergeron of Douglas, Mass., and Valedictorian Andrew Goyette of Smithfield.

Bergeron, who will study biology at Boston College in the fall, encouraged her classmates to not be afraid to change or look at things with a new perspective, whether that be an age-old graduation superstition or a school history project. Change, she said, was an important part of high school that taught students to discover their passions rather than going along with the status quo.

“I am here, and we are here, because those changes taught us to be passionate about what we care about, to have opinions, to speak our minds, to work through what had to be changed and to accept what we couldn’t,” she said.

Goyette, who is headed to Dartmouth College to study biochemistry in the fall, talked about his eight years trying to succeed as an undersized hockey player, an experience he said taught him the importance of refusing to give up but also the new doors that can open when you try something new. In his case, those new opportunities included success in track and field and on the school golf team after he decided to leave hockey for other sports.

“Even through our failures, we can discover special talents and characteristics about ourselves that we would not have known otherwise,” he said. “By learning from our failures, we can reinvent ourselves and find our true self. As long as we work hard afterwards, these failures can blossom into successes.”

Also in attendance on Sunday were members of the Class of 1969, who received 50th anniversary diplomas and greeted the Class of 2019 according to Mount Saint Charles tradition. Tenreiro and Principal Edwin Burke presented the 50th anniversary diplomas.

During the ceremony, administrators presented the school’s top three student honor prizes. Alicia Bergeron received the Excelsior Award in recognition of her leadership, extracurricular participation, collaboration and academic excellence. Katie Lynch received the All Mountie Award in recognition of her academic and athletic excellence and contributions to the welfare of the school. Hannah Piedmonte received the Ametur Cor Jesu Award as a student who has exemplified the Catholic mission of the school as well as the charisma of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

The Class of 2019 had a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent college and military acceptance rate. Seventeen of the students are the first in their families to go to college. As a class, they were awarded $15 million in scholarships.

Nikki Velletri, of Blackstone, checks out her hair in her cell phone before the start of the Mount Saint Charles Academy Graduation.
Mount Saint Charles Academy senior Charlotte Ackman, right, of Bellingham, Mass., receives her diploma from Academy President Alan Tenreiro, at the graduation ceremony.