Santos, Villagomez lead MCS’ high school Class of 2022

Posted on Jun 08 2022



Valedictorian Aleia Carlinne Hofschneider Santos and salutatorian Richard Jesus Mafnas Villagomez led Mount Carmel School’s high school graduating class last June 4, 2022, during the annual commencement ceremony at Mount Carmel Cathedral.

Santos also received the Most Outstanding Female Award from the Women’s Affairs Office, Social Science Award, Theology Award, Computer Science Award, and Speech Award.

Villagomez was also presented with the Bishop Christian Service Award, the President’s Award for Meritorious Achievement, the Governor’s Leadership Award, English Language Arts Award, and Mathematics Award. He was also awarded the MCS Class of 1990 Scholarship of $1,000.

To be considered for the valedictorian and salutatorian awards, graduating high school students must complete at least two consecutive years of credits from Mount Carmel School, take at least two Advanced Placement courses, and earn the highest grade point average.


In her speech, Santos acknowledged that while her hard work and efforts are recognized during the commencement ceremony, more often than not “many of the strongest, bravest, and most deserving individuals don’t get recognition for the great obstacles they’ve overcome or the fantastic feats they’ve accomplished.”

She thanked the many people in her life that have supported her throughout her academic journey. “Thank you to my friends—each and every one of you has a piece of my heart forever. The closest I’ve ever been to having abs was all the times we laughed so hard that no sound came out-and the reason why I don’t have those abs is because of all the food we ate together. Thank you to the endlessly patient and dedicated administrators, teachers, faculty, and staff at Mount Carmel. To the people I was lucky enough to study under—Ms. Lucero, Mr. Camacho, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Buenaflor, Akemi Sensei, Mr. San Nicolas, Ms. V, Mr. Z, our fearless acting president Mrs. Taimanao, and, of course, our legendary, Jedi master slash keynote speaker, Dr. G—thank you. I’m sure it isn’t easy caring for over 300 students that possess varying levels of control over hormonal reactions. And last, but certainly not least, chebut na si yu’us ma’ase to my family. They’ve showered me with love, support, and what I like to call nicknames, such as ka’duduka, tumalu’ si tan loliga, and the only serious one: maga’neni. I will forever be indebted to and in awe of all them.”

In his speech, Villagomez shared his story about the stereotypes he assumed was true about Mount Carmel School. “The first time I heard about those stereotypes was before I moved to MCS. I was told to be careful because there’s so much drama here—or that MCS kids are stubborn or privileged or aren’t studious at all.”

He later debunked those misconceptions. “I noticed a lot of things when I first moved here. I noticed the diversity in our student community—not just in terms of ethnicity, but in terms of personality and passions, talents, and abilities. I noticed the vast opportunities at MCS in terms of both academics and extracurriculars, and how involved the student body was. I noticed that most students were not, in fact, stubborn, privileged kids—they knew the sacrifice that their parents were making to send them here and worked hard to make the most out of their education. Although we are neither far from perfect nor free of drama, I can proudly say that the people who warned me against moving to MCS were wrong. In fact, there’s a lot that they left out. …They left out the part about how supportive MCS students are of each other, even when we slip up. They skipped over the part about how we work through our struggles and strive for excellence. The people here at MCS have taught me a lot about who I am and what it means to be strong. They have helped me grow within and beyond the classroom—and that’s more than I could ever ask for from a school.”

Santos has committed to attend the University of Washington and major in public health, while Villagomez will attend the University of California, Berkeley, to pursue a degree in computer science. (PR)

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