Hundreds Attend Academic Awards Ceremony

Clare Ravizza , Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

The annual Academic Awards ceremony for Notre Dame Academy took place Tuesday, Feb. 10.

Students who made the Honor Roll or High Honor Roll in second semester of last year or first semester of this year were recognized, as well as the Top Ten seniors and four students who were named finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Program.

The ceremony commenced with an opening prayer from Derek Campbell, student body president. Mr. Greg Masarik, associate principal, then began with the Sophomore Honors and High Honors, followed by Freshman Honors and High Honors, and so on throughout the grade levels.

Each student in attendance who made Honors or High Honors from each grade level was recognized and received an academic medal, bar or pin, depending on his year and academic achievements. In a switch from previous years, the parents of the seniors were asked to walk across the stage with their child.

After all the students were recognized, Dr. John Ravizza, principal, spoke about the importance of academics. He then announced the Top Ten seniors from the Class of 2015 . The Top Ten have the highest GPAs(Grade Point Averages) in the senior class through three and a half years of high school.

Valedictorian is Bryn Allen, salutatorian is Melaina Rapisarda, and those two are followed by Megan Krzewinski, Anna Wolfenberger, Claire Skaletski, Karlie Hornberger, Connor Curtin, Sarah Smilanich and Emily Morgan.  Kayla Borseth and Marie Vogel tied for the Number Ten spot.

Next Dr. Ravizza announced the students recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program based on their qualifying scores on the PSAT, high academic record, a written essay and their SAT scores.  Seniors who joined this tiny percentage of scholars in the whole country were Emma Adams, Bryn Allen, Marie Vogel and Anna Wolfenberger.

Next, the IB Diploma Program Candidates were recognized. These students are seniors who are hoping to graduate with a Full International Baccalaureate Diploma.

The ceremony closed with a blessing and prayer read by Mr. Bob Pauly, president.

Freshman High Honor Roll student Danielle Lippert attended the ceremony for the first time on Tuesday.

“I really liked seeing everyone that was there,” said Lippert. “It was nice to see that so many people cared about their accomplishments.”

Many people did care about their accomplishments. In fact, this year’s ceremony had the highest attendance ever at Notre Dame Academy.

“We have a lot of students who really work hard. They dedicate a lot of time and energy to their academics,” Dr. Ravizza said, “so it’s appropriate that we should take time to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our students.”