The Rosarian Academy graduated 30 young men and women from its eighth-grade class on Thursday, May 24.
Class of 2009 alumna Melanie Grande addressed the Class of 2018 as the commencement speaker. It was a beautiful graduation ceremony, honoring the graduates for their hard work and achievements.
Grande spoke to the graduates about her dream to become an astronaut and how that dream motivates her, and she encouraged the graduates to find something that motivates them, hold onto it, and “let the passion define your journey.”
Earlier this year, Grande was selected by the Purdue chapter of the Mars Society to be part of a seven-person team in a two-week simulation mission at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.
A “Charter Club” member of the Rosarian Academy, Grande attended Rosarian continuously from the Early Childhood Montessori program through eighth grade. She graduated from Rosarian with the highest GPA in her graduating class and proceeded to attend Suncoast High School with her focus in math, science and engineering. She holds an undergraduate degree from Purdue University in aeronautics and astronautics. Grande currently works for NASA at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. She will soon return to Purdue for graduate school.
Following the commencement address, eighth-grade class president Macarena Gonzalez-Cabanellas presented the class gift of a mosaic cross. The eighth grade coordinated and produced a school-wide talent show to raise money for the gift.
Special awards given to students included the 2018 President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence, presented to Maggie Acosta for earning the highest academic achievement in the eighth grade class; the St. Dominic Award, presented to Christian Azqueta and Robby Vargas, for demonstrating a strong belief in God, the pursuit of truth in all forms, and the Christian values of kindness, respect and integrity; and the Rowdy Award, honoring Christian Azqueta and Wilder Breckenridge for three years of outstanding dedication and participation in school athletics.
Outstanding achievement in subject area awards went to: religion, Delaney Groth; literature, Caleb Curtis; English, Mercedes Cassidy; geometry, Madison Fabbri; algebra I, Joseph Coates; pre-algebra, Kalla Kerkorian; history, Finley Murray; science, Macarena Gonzalez-Cabanellas; Spanish, Caleb Curtis; STEM, Chase Koeppel; art, Logan McGruder; drama, Robby Vargas; music, Emma Hardyman; and physical education, Jack Keogh.
Head of School Stephen Rubenacker closed the ceremony with a few words about the Class of 2018.
“The class you see before you represents a continuing legacy that started more than 90 years ago,” he said. “Our Adrian Dominican roots have instilled the power of prayer, the importance of service, and the need for a critical intellect that has the potential not only to challenge injustice, but also to seek truth, make peace and reverence life. Your diplomas should always remind you of this and that you will forever be part of this community — one that has obligations to others and to a God who created you.”
For more information about the Rosarian Academy, located in downtown West Palm Beach, visit www.rosarian.org or call (561) 345-3106.