Burke Catholic celebrates Class of 2018 One hundred and eleven students graduate at West Point commencement
Burke Catholic Class of 2018 Valedictorian Kellyanne Murphy (left) and Salutatorian Kayla Johnson (Photo provided)
GOSHEN — Proud parents and relatives waved and cheered Burke Catholic High School seniors as they walked up to receive their diplomas at a joyous commencement ceremony held June 2 at the United States Military Academy at West Point. With 111 students enrolled in 12th grade, and all receiving diplomas this year, Burke Catholic’s graduation rate is 100 percent, among the highest in Orange County. Graduating students received approximately $14.5 million in scholarship money combined. “We look forward to seeing what the future holds for these graduates and we hope to see them back in our hallways one day, for Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle,” said Janice Clark, Principal for Academics. Zachary Nadrotowicz, a graduating senior who plans to study computer science at the University of Maryland, fondly remembered his years at Burke Catholic. “Throughout the years, Burke has helped me grow in my faith, and I’ve really found myself a new family here,” Nadrotowicz said. The two hour-long ceremony included heart-warming speeches and a recessional song by the Orange County Ancient Order of Hibernians. Commencement speaker James O’Donnell, the Orange County legislator for the 21 District, encouraged the students to live every day of their lives to the fullest, to strive for success and to lead a good life. “I wouldn’t trade my four years at Burke Catholic for anything,” said Valedictorian Kellyanne Murphy, who is headed to Seton Hall University for a seven-year bio-medical track program in the fall. “You know everyone personally, even your teachers, and you really get to bond with your classmates. Leaving here tonight, I’m going to be sad. I’m going to miss this community.” Though sad to see their time at Burke Catholic end, the graduating students said they felt prepared to take what they have learned and thrive in the next stage of their lives. “Burke Catholic has provided us with a stress-free, fun environment where we were able to figure out who we are meant to be,” said Kayla Johnson, who will be attending the University of South Carolina. “In our four years, we’ve collected invaluable memories. Burke Catholic allowed us to flourish.” John Douthit, Principal for Operations, had kind words for the graduating class. “The Class of 2018 encouraged and supported us as a faculty," he said. "They hold a very special place in our hearts."