Congratulations to the Stuart Class of 2022! On June 11, 2022, this group of 32 confident and resilient seniors marked a new beginning in their Stuart career - as Stuart graduates! Gathered together on the Cor Unum stage before a full audience reminiscent of pre-COVID times, students were celebrated for their growth and unity through some of the darkest times of their adolescent lives.
The ceremony opened with Keya Patel, president of the senior class, who reflected on the “unique” obstacles the class faced as the pandemic hit when relationships and bonds were being formed. The past two years redefined the meaning of strength and courage for the class:
“Stuart has allowed us to spread our wings and find fulfillment in whatever we do. As we grow as individuals, our reach will continue to expand and we will be able to develop each of our diverse talents and interests. We will use each opportunity, each event, each trial, and each success to write our own stories. Through our four years of high school, the class of 2022 has matured and flourished into people who are not afraid to use their voices and stand up for others. We know what we can do, we know our values, and we know we will do what it takes to make change happen.”
Senior Class Speaker, Tess Chiarello, likened the growth of the class to that of Mother Stuart’s life-changing experience in the garden of blue hyacinths. And just as our namesake was called to God on this very day, the senior class had their own awakening through the pandemic, ultimately growing in their unity and compassion toward one another while excelling in academic pursuits and social action:
“The compassion and empathy in the grade runs deep in our roots. We took pride in helping students younger than us so that they could have the tools for success that we did not. Intermingling between grades has never been more common and important to the high school until we came along. With our help and love, friend groups were created that included all grades, cultures, and ethnicities. We strove to have diversity in every space we took charge of.”
Equating the class to a “lush garden” of hyacinths, Tess went on to credit the faculty and staff at Stuart for lovingly tending to their students. "Our water is the teachers and the staff who have guided us during our time here. By constantly asking us to think deeper and to consider the “hows” and the “whys” of the world, you have given us the tools and the tenacity to engage with its beauty and its challenges."
Following the conferring of diplomas with Dr. Fagin and Board Chair Cheryl A. Lagay, the graduates then heard from Dr. Siobhan McCarty '03, obstetrician gynecologist, who used her own journey into medicine to illustrate the importance of pushing through those who will try to thwart a desire to follow ones passions. "There are others in this world who will suggest perhaps that the path you have sketched for your life at this young age is unreasonable or unattainable. Continue to follow your passions harnessed by your faith and deep respect for intellectual values. Each of you has a gift, and when insecurities start to flood your thoughts and you begin to question if you belong, or if you are worthy, lean on your faith – your faith in God, your faith in family, your faith in friendships, your faith in humanity - to provide you with amplified confidence to continue in your passion and your purpose." Perhaps even more defining in her professional and personal development was the commitment to service and the transformational power of empathy and compassion in any field. Guided by her mother and the Sacred Heart goals 3 and 4, Dr. McCarty was driven to work in underserved countries through the Peace Corps and often saving lives of the women she treated by donating her own blood as often as she could. As she told the group of students, who would go on to a variety of careers in business, tech, science, the humanities and other fruitful pursuits, she reminded them of a place for service no matter where they go and what they do. "Service teaches us compassion, empathy, and the actions needed to stand in solidarity with others. Be a quiet observer and an active listener while standing in solidarity with planetary and human suffering. Bear witness to nature and the
climate. Bear witness to those who have opposing beliefs, those who are marginalized and the poor.
Drive yourselves towards building community and being of service. Whether you are still exploring an area of study or majoring in art and entertainment, business or finance, fashion, marketing, computer or aeronautical science, engineering, journalism, health or nursing, economics, politics, sociology, psychology, biology, or technology, embrace innovations and create solutions that are based in uplifting communities."
In her concluding remarks to the class - and her final remarks as Stuart's Head of School - Dr. Patty L. Fagin, also spoke of leaning on faith as a beacon and the words of Mother Stuart as a source of strength and guidance on their journeys ahead. "Mother Stuart understood how you must be feeling today....excited, nervous, anticipating the best of collegiate experiences, worried about taking the first step. I think she was speaking directly to you when she wrote: 'The higher we want to fly, the greater the risk, but that is the glorious part of it. The great uncertainties in which we trust God, the breathless risks we run, with no assurance but our great trust in God - that seems to me to be the essence of our life and its beauty. This will grow upon you. You will get your balance in the risk and get to love it.' "Though written over 125 years ago, she is speaking to you, her Children of the Sacred Heart, today, and offering you a roadmap to tomorrow. She encourages you, calms your fears, and sends you on your journey. Fly high. Run breathless risks. Trust God with the uncertainties. Find your balance in the risk and get to love it."
Below is the full list of the Class of 2022
*Indicates students who are Stuart Lifers
Audrey Lynn Blandford
Kelsie Shea Bouyer
Trinity Faith Broughton*
Yuhua (Caroline) Chen
Tess Annique Chiarello
Wencheng (Alice) Gong
Lauren S. Gracias
Sonya Shi Jin
Alexandra Amy Elizabeth Knill*
Noelia Melissa Manion
Anna Giulia Momo
Jadyn Cruz Piotrowski
Hanqi (Fiona) Qiao
Lauren Alessandra Richey
Sara E. Stillitano
Gabriela Velazquez Gonzalez
Susanna Katherine Weiss
Zihuizhong (Angelina) Ye
Below is the list of senior awards given at Upper School Prize ahead of graduation.
Goal 1: Tess Chiarello
a personal and active faith in God
Goal 2: Angela Cirelli
a deep respect for intellectual values
Goal 3: Diya Paul
a social awareness which impels to action
Goal 4: Kelsie Bouyer
the building of community as a Christian value
Goal 5: Gabriela Velasquez Gonzalez
personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom
Senior Head of School Award: Keya Patel
The Head of School Award, established in Honor of Sister Frances de la Chapelle is selected by faculty, is presented to a student in each of the four grades who through the process of challenging herself and by her willingness to take risks, has grown in self-awareness and has positively impacted the quality of life in the Upper School.
Senior Barat Award: Kelsie Bouyer
The Barat Award, instituted by Student Government and selected by students, recognizes one student from each grade who demonstrates self-sacrifice, compassion, respect for self and others, courtesy, a sense of balance and good judgment, and overall citizenship.
Departmental Awards are presented to graduating students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in one or more disciplines. The recipients are selected by the faculty in each department.
The English awards for writing and outstanding achievement in all areas of English are presented to: AUDREY BLANDFORD and AMANDA LONG
The Departmental Award for History is presented to: SARA STILLITANO
The Departmental Award for Mathematics is presented to: CAROLINE CHEN
The Departmental Award for Computer Science is presented to: KEYA PATEL
The Peter and Delia Mark Departmental Award for Science is presented to: SONYA JIN
The Theology Department recognizes outstanding students for their commitment to and proficiency in theological studies. Beginning this year the department is giving two awards. The Bishop Ahr Medal is awarded to a senior who has demonstrated a commitment to and academic proficiency in, theology: The medal is presented to: AUDREY BLANDFORD
The prize for French is awarded in honor of Madame Hilda Ronel, former Stuart French Teacher. It is presented to a Senior who enthusiastically embraces the French language, literature and culture. The prize is awarded to: KELSIE BOUYER
The Mary Anne Guerrero Award for Spanish was established by a Stuart Family. It is awarded to a Senior who demonstrates mastery of the Spanish language, and reflects a passion for the cultures and literature of the Spanish-speaking world. Congratulations to: ANGELA CIRELLI
The Departmental Award for Latin is presented to: CAROLINE CHEN
The Visual and Performing Arts Department is honored to acknowledge several outstanding students for their accomplishments in the Arts at Stuart and in the Greater community.
For her commitment to using her art as a catalyst for change in the world– The visual art award is given to: DIYA PAUL
For her persistence and remarkable ability to connect the earth sciences with art and lead students in the National Art Honor Society. The visual art award is given to: ANGELINA YE
The Digital Art Award is presented to: NOELIA MANION
For her commitment to leadership in stage management, The Performing Arts Award for Technical Theater is awarded to: LAUREN GRACIAS
For her outstanding performances at every Stuart show and her commitment to sharing her commitment to Film and Theater, The Performing Arts Award for Performance is awarded to: PAIGE ROSICA
This year we have two Department Awards in Music to recognize two seniors who have shown an outstanding commitment to our musical community while at Stuart.
Our first recipient is recognized for her lifelong passion for music and creativity, which she will continue as she pursues her studies in the Recording and Entertainment Industry next fall. Congratulations to: AMANDA LONG
Our second recipient is recognized for her musical excellence and artistry as a violinist, and for her musical achievements on both local and international scales. Congratulations to: SONYA JIN
The Carrol Florkiewicz Award, established in 2004, is named in honor of Carrol Florkiewicz, who for many years served as Athletic Director, Coach, and Chair of the Physical Education and Health Department. This award is presented to an outstanding senior athlete who has demonstrated mastery of athletic skills on Stuart athletic teams. The Carrol Florkiewicz Award is presented to: KAITLYN MAGNANI and JADYN PIOTROWSKI
Leadership Endorsement: We are excited to celebrate the seniors who have taken all the necessary steps to fully develop their leadership potential through the Leadership Endorsement Program. This year we award the National Center for Girls' Leadership Pin to these recipients. It is our hope that you will wear your NCGLS pin to all future Leadership Programming, Conferences, and speaking engagements, as we will be asking you to continue to act as a mentor to our school community even after you graduate.
The following students have completed all the requirements of the Leadership Endorsement.