SDA holds 140th Commencement Exercises

On Sunday, June 3, Saint Dominic Academy held its 140th commencement exercises for the Class of 2018. Ms. Sarah Degnan Moje, Head of School, presided over the event held at 3:00 p.m. at St. Aedan’s, the Saint Peter’s University Church on Bergen Avenue. A Baccalaureate Mass and dinner were held on Wednesday, May 30 at St. Aedan’s Church and the Saint Peter’s University MacMahon Student Center respectively.

The 43 members of the Class of 2018 were collectively awarded   $12,363,762.52 in college scholarship and grant monies. The class valedictorian addressed those gathered at St. Aedan’s Church.  A member of the National Honor Society, and President of both the Asian Interests Club and the Anime Club, she also received the Science and Business awards for having achieved the highest cumulative average in each of those subjects.  She will attend Rutgers University in the fall. 

The class salutatorian, who gave her address at the Baccalaureate Mass, did a reflective reading of “Don’t Forget,” by Amanda Bradley.  President of National Honor Society and Captain of the National Champion Dance Team, she received both the Social Studies and Mathematics awards for having the highest cumulative average in those respective subjects.   She will attend Fordham University.  

Ms. Degnan along with Board of Trustees chairperson, Susan Mulvaney Odenthal ’73 presented additional academic awards in English, Spanish, French, Religion, Art, Music, Drama, Physical Education and Outstanding Service to the SDA community. Two seniors were honored for having had 4 years of perfect attendance.  

Commencement speaker, SDA Class of 2004 alumna, Noel Descalzi Fiorentinos reminded the graduates, “Whatever you want in life is attainable and whichever power of yours you choose to step into – I ask you to share it with others.  Be kind and embrace positivity. Ask questions. But, most importantly, listen. Be open-minded. Try not to take things personally all the time.  Take chances. Be ambitious. And at the end of the day, be willing to live inside of your many powers.” Mrs. Fiorentinos is the founder and CEO of a Hoboken based fitness brand called, Work It Out, which has two locations, over 1000 members and a staff of more than 40 people.  She was a competitive gymnast for over 16 years holding three state championship titles and graduated from Pace University in 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and Advertising.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Degnan, Head of School thanked and congratulated not only the graduates, but also their parents. She concluded with, “The gift to make yourself happy, to make yourself successful, to become the best person you can be resides inside of each of you, and has from the moment you took your first breath. Our role as your guides and helpers is done; it is now your turn to head off on your next adventure and I wish you the best of luck on whatever roads you follow in the future.”  The commencement exercises were concluded with Benediction and the Academy’s “Alma Mater.”