June 9, 2020

LYNN — Academically-driven, well-rounded, and resilient are some of the words St. Mary’s High School administrators have used to describe the Class of 2020. 

It’s a class that saw its senior year cut short by more than two months and had its traditional graduation and other year-end events canceled due to the pandemic. 

Even with all that the school’s graduating seniors have faced this year, they have remained positive and appreciative for what’s being done to honor them in lieu of traditional ceremonies, according to Jamie Gigliotti, director of external affairs for St. Mary’s Lynn. 

“I don’t think I’ve heard one complaint from the senior class,” said Gigliotti. “They appreciate everything we’re trying to do for them, to honor them. They’re persevering through the situation. It’s such a great group of kids. They really came together when it was so important to do so (by) working with the school and with each other.” 

On the day of their scheduled graduation, May 20, St. Mary’s leadership carried out a drive-by ceremony, which consisted of a box drop at each senior’s home. The boxes contained each student’s cap and gown, diploma, yearbook, some keepsake items and a class T-shirt, according to Associate Head of School David J. Angeramo. 

A virtual commencement ceremony, highlighted by a video tribute, will be held this Thursday at 6 p.m. Seniors will be honored in person during an outdoor ceremony at Manning Field on July 30.

“I think the students deserve to be able to come back to the school as a group one last time,” said Angeramo. “They missed the last two and half months of their senior year. This is a chance for them to come back and be celebrated, which they rightfully earned.”

The Class of 2020 is noted for their academic and athletic achievements, including six state championships, and commitment to community service, Angeramo said. 

Seniors have been accepted into some “amazing colleges,” noted Gigliotti, who rattled off several schools, including Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University, Bentley University, and Georgetown University. 

“The majority of our graduates go on to pursue college and university,” said Gigliotti. 

Some of the St. Mary’s graduates are from legacy families, with parents and grandparents who graduated from the Catholic school as well, Gigliotti said.

Ten seniors have been with the school for all seven years, attending the St. Mary’s ‘Marian Division” campus from sixth grade and then moving on to the high school. Those students are not only graduating from high school, but from “the whole St. Mary’s experience,” said Gigliotti. 

“It’s like a seven-year journey,” she said. 

The St. Mary’s graduating class is also unique in that its 115 students are not only from Lynn, but from other communities such as East Boston, Georgetown, Melrose, Peabody, Rockport, Saugus, Wakefield, and Winthrop.

Gigliotti said the senior class has been involved in service both inside and outside of the St. Mary’s community. As part of that service, students tend to be supportive of each other’s efforts and often become lifelong friends, she said. 

“We take our Catholic identity and our mission seriously and there’s been a lot of service in this class that leaves us and they’ve set a great example for those who are behind them,” said Angeramo. 

St. Mary’s provided this list of highlights for the Class of 2020: 

  • 115 graduates
  • 15 members of St. Mary’s Scholars Program
  • 28 members of National Honor Society
  • 22 members began in Marian Division grades 6, 7, 8 with 10 being at St. Mary’s from grade 6 for 7 years
  • 11 International Students
  • Senior Class awarded almost $2 million in scholarships to top colleges and universities across the country
  • College acceptances include Bentley, Georgetown University, Boston College, Northeastern University, Endicott, Merrimack College, UMass Amherst, Suffolk, St. Anselm, and Holy Cross
  • Seniors collectively won six state championships in their time competing together in Spartan Athletics
  • Numerous hours of service work through our Campus Ministry program

By Gayla Cawley