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Area Catholic schools celebrate commencement ceremonies

Class of 2018 graduate Emma Friedlander, right, is conferred her diploma by Bishop James F. Checchio during the June 2 commencement exercises at Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison.

Five hundred seventy-three graduates of the four Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Metuchen reached the culmination of their high school education when they were presented their diplomas by Bishop James F. Checchio.

Seniors at Saint Joseph Regional High School in Metuchen were the first graduating class this year on May 20, marking the occasion at the Church of the Sacred Heart in South Plainfield. Graduates of Immaculata High School in Somerville received their diplomas on June 1, followed a day later by graduates of Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison and Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung.

Among the 231 graduating seniors at Bishop Ahr, more than $46 million in scholarships and grants were awarded. Over four years, the Class of 2018 averaged nearly 272 hours of community service per student, and 98 percent of graduates will continue their studies at a college or university, according to a statement from the diocese.

Class valedictorian Taylor Chan will pursue degrees in economics and international studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, while salutatorian Rebecca Yang will study mathematics at the University of Toronto in Canada.

At Saint Joseph High, the 155 graduating seniors cumulatively received more than $37.2 million in scholarships. The school had four National Merit finalists and six National Merit commended students, and 94 percent of the graduates received scholarships in excess of the four-year cost of attending the private Catholic all-boys college preparatory school run by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, according to the statement.

Valedictorian Devin Busono will pursue a degree in marine biology at Rutgers University-New Brunswick, and salutatorian Jason Manuel plans to study applied math and computer science at Brown University in Rhode Island.

The graduating seniors who received the 2018 Bishop James F. Checchio Award for Religion are Jude Roche of Bishop Ahr, Leo James Melancon of Immaculata, Cara Condodina of Mount Saint Mary and Christian Consales of Saint Joseph.

Together, students at the four schools amassed more than $114 million in scholarships and awards, an increase of $21.5 million from last year, according to the statement.

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Metuchen are currently enrolling students for the fall. For more information, visit diometuchen.org/schools or call 732-562-2446.

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