Commencement rites for kindergarten, 8th-, and 12th-grade students
To conclude the 2020-2021 school year, Mount Carmel School held face-to-face ceremonies for all its kindergarten, eighth-grade, and 12th-grade graduates.
All the ceremonies were held at the Mount Carmel Cathedral with limited invited guests to meet COVID-19 safety restrictions. The graduation ceremonies were also streamed live online through the Mount Carmel School Facebook page for family and friends who were not able to attend in-person.
This year, Mount Carmel School conferred diplomas for 30 kindergarten students, 59 eighth-grade students, and 40 graduating seniors.
During her welcoming remarks, MCS principal Frances Taimanao congratulated all the students and thanked both the students and parents for their patience and support during the first full-school year during the pandemic.
“This commencement exercise marks another success for all of us especially during this pandemic. Opening this school year was not easy. We were faced with a lot of challenges and changes, but we made it work and made sure we were all safe and guided by the COVID-19 guidelines. It took all of us, parents, grandparents, teachers, and students in our community to work together to get where we are right now. Thank you for standing along with us to make it today,” said Taimanao.
Mount Carmel School’s keynote speaker and director of institutional development, Victoria Deleon Guerrero, focused on the significance of fear during important moments in a person’s life: “When that time comes, where you’re faced with the opportunity to work [toward] your true potential and fear begins to creep up and hold you back, I want each of you to know in your hearts that you are worth it, your future is worth it, and the only person that can hold you back from the person you want to be is yourself.”
Among the eighth-grade graduates, Kaeli Jo Pathil earned the salutatorian award with Latisha De Jesus earning the title as the eighth-grade class valedictorian.
Among high school graduates from the class of 2021, Katherine Avendaño-Woodruff earned the salutatorian award and Victoria Nicole Santos earned the title as the school’s valedictorian.
In both Santos’ and Avendaño-Woodruff’s speeches, they highlighted the importance of all the best memories that were made despite the stress and challenges the pandemic and school year presented them. Santos said, “Life is full of chaos and despite all the bad things, there are moments where life is just so good that you don’t want anything to change, so soak it all in.”
Similarly in Avendaño-Woodruff’s speech, she said, “Trust your heart more than your head sometimes. …Letting your heart decide some things for you can paint your years just a little bit of a brighter shade of gold. In a few years, you won’t remember the assignments and projects. You’ll remember the time you spent with the people you love. …It was my head that decided to leave this school four years ago, but it was my heart that brought me back and quite honestly that was the best decision I ever made.”
The following awards were given during the MCS 12th-grade ceremony.
Valedictorian- Victoria Nicole Santos
Salutatorian – Katherine Avendaño-Woodruff
1st Honor- Connie Lao Zhu
2nd Honor- Brandee Concepcion Hunter
3rd Honor- Mikee Mame N. Mendoza
4th Honor- Skyler Poon
5th Honor- Trinity Ann Camacho Cruz
6th Honor- Vince Philip D. Salvador
7th Honor- Brain Youn
8th Honor- Carmille Jade Agulto Perez
9th Honor- Christian Dean Palattao
10th Honor- Xavier P. Gatmaitan
12th Grade Special Awards
Bishop Christian Service Award- James Patrick L. San Nicolas
President’s Award- Brandee Conception Hunter
Governor’s Leadership Award- Brandee Conception Hunter
Lieutenant Governor’s Leadership Award- Maria Ayuyu
Most Outstanding Female Graduate- Victoria Nicole Santos
12th Grade Subject Awards
English Language Award- Katherine Avendaño-Woodruff
Science Award- Victoria Nicole Santos
Mathematics Award- Victoria Nicole Santos
Social Science Award-
Theology Award- Victoria Nicole Santos
Music Award- Penelope Feliciano Sablan
Art Award- Katherine Avendaño-Woodruff
Foreign Language Award- Skyler Poon
Computer Science Award- Victoria Nicole Santos
Physical/Health Education Award
Female- Puti’on Primitiva Palacios Camacho
Male- James Patrick L. San Nicolas
Speech Award- Victoria Nicole Santos
Drama Award- Brandee Conception Hunter
8th Grade Special Awards
Citizenship Award- Jay Francis Dominic O. Pineda
Leadership Award- Kaeli Jo Pathil
Principal’s Award- Latisha Anne L. De Jesus
Delivering his final closing remarks as Mount Carmel School president, Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero gave a heartfelt farewell using the childhood stories of Winnie-the-Pooh: “As Pooh Bear puts it, ‘I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I’ve been.’ When we leave, you and I can take comfort knowing that our hundred-acre wood, our alma mater, will always be here and so long as it’s here we must never forget where we came from, all that we learned here, everyone that has been here for us, and who we are deep down inside. Whether that be an optimistic Tigger, a pessimistic Eeyore, or an inquisitive Pooh Bear. Deep down inside we are all Knights and together we are Knight Strong. So as we say goodbye one last time, let us all remember this lesson from Pooh Bear, ‘ How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’” (PR)