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Seniors in 'Goretti family' graduate during school's commencement

May 26, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • 2012 St. Maria Goretti Graduate Becca Everetts takes time before her commencement ceremony to sign friend's yearbooks.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

As a private Catholic institution, St. Maria Goretti High School is unique from other public schools because students from all over the area can attend classes there.

Many students hail from different hometowns or even different states, but once a member, always a member when it comes to the “Goretti family,” Principal Richard Fairley said Saturday at the school’s commencement.

“It seems like they don’t want to go,” he said. “I think when any of us leave a family, we feel that way. We know it’s the next stage in our life, but again, it’s bittersweet.”

In front of dozens of friends, family and previous graduates, 49 Goretti seniors received their diplomas and became the Class of 2012 at St. Ann Roman Catholic Church in Hagerstown.

Fairley said his graduating seniors had a great sense of humor, were very talented athletically and were always great in the classroom.

All 49 graduates have been accepted to colleges all across the country, many on scholarships, Fairley said. This year’s graduating class has been awarded more than $1.8 million in college scholarships.

Class valedictorian Theresa Barton will be attending the University of Notre Dame next fall and may consider going on to medical school.

Barton urged her classmates to break away from the reality that they’ve known over the past four years, and take chances as they transition into the next phase of life.

Leaving behind that reality might be difficult, but necessary, she said.

“A reality you will all face in three short months that can make us or break us,” Barton said during her address. “Let it make you. Move into this next phase of your journey with confidence and enthusiasm.”

Christina Reimond was recognized as class salutatorian, and Peter Rettig was honored with the Pro Deo et Patria Award, the lone award given out at graduation to a student who shows exemplary character and represents the school to the fullest.

“This school has honestly formed me into the perfect person who I want to be for the future,” Rettig said. “I gained so much religious insight through this school, which has supported me throughout my whole life.”

Rettig, who will attend Louisiana State University in the fall to study geography and Spanish, is one of the students who will be going far away for college, but distance is nothing for Goretti grads, Fairley said.

“Alumni here always come back and visit,” he said. “So it’s goodbye for awhile, but we know they’ll be back; always a part of the family.”

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