Nazareth Academy celebrates the class of 2014

Nazareth Academy held a graduation Mass and commencement May 25 for the 213 graduates of the class of 2014.

These graduates will attend 93 colleges across 24 states. They have earned more than $21 million in merit-based scholarships and awards. The class of 2014 boasts two National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Scholars, two National Merit Scholarship Program Outstanding Participants and 42 Illinois State Scholars. The class also has one Chick Evans Scholar and an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy Prep School.

Students from the Class of 2014 were accepted to more than 150 colleges and universities, including such prestigious institutions as Stanford University, UCLA, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Washington University, Vanderbilt and Boston College.

Theresa Denton of the class of 1979 served as homilist, delivering the baccalaureate address on behalf of the school’s faculty and staff, encouraging the graduates to shine their light on the world wherever they travel and whatever they do. Senior Class President Erin Getty offered a reflection and Kiley Roache, valedictorian, gave the graduation address.

Each student also received a medal of St. Joseph “On the Journey,” designed by Mary Southard, CSJ, Nazareth class of 1954, for the graduates of the three Congregation of Saint Joseph sister schools. Graduation brings each class to a new journey in a world that hungers for generous leadership. The medal serves as a reminder for graduates to value their Catholic education at Nazareth Academy.

The valedictorian was Kiley Roache of La Grange who will attend Stanford University next fall, seeking to co-term, a major in political science and master’s degree in communication in about four years. While undertaking a rigorous Nazareth course schedule of honors and five AP classes, Roache has finished her Nazareth career with a 4.8 GPA. Roache has been on “A” Honor Roll every quarter, received a National Merit Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation, is an Illinois State Scholar and a member of National Honor Society and National English Honor Society.

The salutatorian was Kevin Saladino of La Grange, who will pursue a neuroscience degree at Vanderbilt University in the fall. Saladino is an “A” Honor Roll student taking a challenging course schedule of all honors and AP classes while maintaining a 4.74 GPA. He is also a two sport athlete (golf and tennis) which earned him the class of 2014 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as ESCC Scholar-Athlete honors.

“To me, being salutatorian is recognition that my hard work has paid off, but I wouldn’t have gotten here without the support of my family, teachers and friends,” Saladino said. “With this honor comes the responsibility to represent Nazareth in the best light possible. Being salutatorian is useless unless I go on to make a positive impact on the world, so that is what I plan to do.”

Saladino is also a member of several honor societies, Health Careers Club, Math Club and Senior Board.

Devinne Love of Westchester received the Oliver Donlin Service Award, named Sister Oliver Donlin who gave 35 years of her life to Nazareth Academy as teacher and principal. Each year, in her memory, the faculty and staff are asked to nominate a senior who has given outstanding service to Nazareth Academy. This is the very highest service award that can be earned by a graduating senior and the only award given out on the day of graduation.

Love has upheld Nazareth’s pillars of scholarship, service, spirit and unity and has accepted the challenge of striving to reach her potential by developing the whole person. Love has been a leader throughout her high school years as a member of the Youth Initiative Program, serving as a focus group leader, freshman orientation leader and member of the Red Ribbon team. She has been a leader on the basketball court and in track and field. She participates as a leader on Student Council and in the Roadrunner Club and served as a retreat leader for the freshman and sophomore classes.

Love is also the 2014 recipient of the Richport YMCA Men’s Club Service Award and a Comcast Leaders and Achievers Award recipient.

“Her energy, enthusiasm and outgoing personality, combined with her outstanding communication skills, make her one of the finest leaders to have graced our halls. Her contributions have truly left a mark on Nazareth Academy and in the hearts of all of us who have been lucky enough to know and work with her,” said Principal Deborah Tracy.

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