St. Peter R.C. School held an outdoor celebration of its eighth grade class on Monday, abiding by the governor’s rules for social distancing and graduation ceremonies. One dedicated parking space was reserved for each of the participating 16 students. This squared-off section provided them with a space to sit, stand and take a bow; and allowed one family-occupied vehicle to park in front and watch the program.
Principal Maureen Ingham and new St. Peter R.C. Church administrator the Rev. Cole Webster served as emcees for the event. Ingham presented diplomas and was joined by teachers in doling out more than a dozen class awards.
Keynote speeches were provided by class President Joshua DeSilva, salutatorian Alexia Seider and valedictorian Marissa Gibas.
Ingham said the goal was “to make sure we helped them create some memories to take to all of the different places that were going to attend next year.”
“This year, although in a very different type of ceremony, we bid farewell to the grade 8 class; the 17 young men and women who will leave St. Peter Roman Catholic School and move on to high school,” she said. “They have been ‘real troopers,’ even while missing so many of the fun traditions that go along with being the senior class in the building. But ... it is important to know that the teachers and the parents and the Home School Association and the staff worked hard, and were creative and understanding as they planned the final evening for graduation as seen in these photos.
“Through the rain, we saw the smiles and the tears of students and parents ... and even the principal! Happiness and sadness, fear of the unknown and excitement for the challenges that lie ahead ... all so real and evident in our great Class of 2020. Remote learning was their past three months and may very well be their future. We are proud of each and every graduate ... of their skills, their talents and, most importantly, their hearts.
“Their names, their high school choice and their favorite saying is included here. As our SPS theme played out this year, each name included here is a wonderful ‘Child of God!’ ”
Gideon Abbondanza, Lewiston-Porter High School
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Amaya Avojan, Lewiston-Porter High School
“I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts.”
Natalie Bonnette, undecided
“My motivation might seem trivial compared to yours, but I can’t lose either. I have to live up to the hopes of those who supported me.”
Joshua DeSilva, St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Reece Gall, Mount St. Mary’s Academy
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work!”
Marissa Gibas, Lewiston-Porter High School
“You will always have me.”
Olivia Hopkins, Lewiston-Porter High School
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Jack Ingwersen, Wilson High School
“I am a man with few words and I wish to have a mildly successful life.”
Kaliope Krassopoulos, Wilson High School
“Life is like a camera. Just focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, just take another shot.”
Ty Mangione, Cardinal O’Hara High School
“SUCCESS isn’t owned, it’s leased. And rent is DUE every day.”
Robert McCartney, Cardinal O’Hara High School
“Try my best ... be my best ... learn to YouTube.”
John Robinson, Lewiston-Porter High School
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Camila Santiago, Cardinal O’Hara High School
“Being happy is not having a perfect life. Being happy is recognizing that life is worth living despite all of the difficulties.”
Alexia Seider, Nichols School
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”
Alexander Thom, Lewiston Porter High School
“Winners are not people who never fail, but people that never quit!”
Ava Vanoni, WNY Christian Academy
“This is life and imperfection ... don’t ever be afraid of that!”
Elizabeth Wagner, Niagara Falls High School
“I want to be a singer or a doctor, and always remember St. Peter’s.
Ingham said St. Peter’s “graduated,” or moved up, 48 preschool students on Tuesday night in a drive-by motorcade ceremony led by the Lewiston Police Department.