Bishop Donahue Memorial High School conferred diplomas on the Class of 2016 at the Fr. Raymond Jablinske Gymnasium on Tuesday evening, May 17th.
Among the highlights of the Graduation celebration were the addresses of the Valedictorian and Salutatorian of the Class of 2016. Sommer South achieved the highest grade point average in her class and is the 2016 Valedictorian. She is the daughter of Ron and Lori South of Wheeling, WV, where she is a member of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church. Sommer will attend West Virginia University this fall and plans to major in Nursing. Coleton Berletch earned the second highest GPA among his classmates to become the Salutatorian of the class. Coleton is the son of Rick and Becky Berletch of Benwood, WV and is member of Our Lady of Peace Parish. He will matriculate to West Liberty University where he will study Finance.
The special awards for the BDHS Class of 2016 include: Kaitlyn Harris was presented a Bible by the Knights of Columbus Council 1907 for being this year’s Aquinas Medal winner. Samantha Zimla also received a Bible by the Knights of Columbus Council 1907 for being this year’s St. Sebastian Medal winner.
Zachary McCoy received the Fred Calissie Memorial Award. This award is given annually in memory of Our Lady of Peace and Bishop Donahue Class of 1980 graduate, Fred Calissie. Fred illustrated the ideals of a parochial school education being respectful, honest, unselfish, sincere, and industrious. Though Fred’s life was short, he touched the lives of many. This award goes to the graduate who best exemplifies Fred’s character.
The Religion Awards are bestowed on one female and one male graduate. Our Lady of Peace Parish in Mt. Olivet, WV presented a Bible to the male and female student with the highest Religion 12 grade point average. This year, Sommer South and Andrew Rush are the winners.
Being a school in the Marist Tradition, Bishop Donahue rewards those graduating seniors each year who emulate the founder of the Marist Brothers, St. Marcellin Champagnat, by going above and beyond the service requirement of the school in serving the least favored among us. The following graduates were awarded the Champagnat Award for logging in excess of 100 hours of service: Shelby Davis, Kaitlyn Harris, Abigail Mele, Adrienne Rulong, Andrew Rush, and Kyle Swann.
Finally, 94.4% of the Class of 2016 has been accepted to college or university and head off to schools all over WV in August. This year, 88.2% of the BDHS Class of 2016 have been offered a full or partial scholarship to continue their education. They have been offered in excess of $730,765.00 over the next four years. This amount will continue to climb as scholarship offers continue to arrive. This is a testament to the scholarship, leadership, dedication, character, perseverance, and service of this class.