This was the first time a high school commencement ceremony was held on campus. The livestreamed ceremonies were designed to meet the current DC Health guidelines limiting groups to a maximum of 50 people per gathering. Each assembly of approximately 45 mask-wearing graduates were socially distanced under a large tent while parents viewed the ceremony’s livestream in Cassidy Commons and Frana Auditorium.
The ceremonies began with an opening prayer by Principal Chris Themistos and the recognition of the class’s valedictorian, Madeline Vincent, and salutatorian, Cady Hyde. Following the opening remarks, President Jeffrey Mancabelli conferred the diplomas, and Themistos presented the graduates with their diplomas. Each senior walked across the stage and posed for a photograph with the president. Academic and special awards were presented to the recipients in attendance, and the young alumni class representatives James Rogan and Kennedy Sanders were announced.
Following the distribution of diplomas and awards, Mancabelli offered closing remarks. He told the school’s newest alumni, “Our Lasallian philosophy inspires us to enter to learn and leave to serve… Not knowing what awaits in the future, your education at St. John’s has prepared you for uncertainty because it provides a moral compass that gives confidence, insight, and direction. Tough moral choices will have to be made and you will be equipped to take action for justice.”
He also used the words of the class’s valedictorian to define and honor the Class of 2020.
“Through these instances, we have proven that the St. John’s community is much stronger and our roots much deeper than simply a collection of students, teachers, and administrators confined by a school building. We are a community whose bonds defy physical boundaries and whose love endures even the darkest of circumstances. When the unthinkable happens, the St. John’s community perseveres.” –– Maddie Vincent ’20
At the end of each ceremony, graduates were invited to ring the Class of 2020 bell, and parents had the opportunity to witness this new tradition in Gletner Courtyard. Click here to read more about the Class of 2020 bell tower.