TCPA graduates 51 students, honors three scholars

June 22, 2023 at 4:59 p.m.
TCPA graduates 51 students, honors three scholars
TCPA graduates 51 students, honors three scholars

By Christina Leslie | Correspondent

Commencement exercises for 51 graduates of the Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy brought a tear or two to the eyes of proud parents, family and friends.

At a May 31 ceremony on the school’s Hamilton campus, Tracey Destribats, a member of TCPA’s Class of 1981 and owner of the Eet Gud Bakery in Hamilton, inducted the new graduates into the academy’s alumni association with a prayer that neatly summarized what virtues they had absorbed during their school careers:

“God, as we leave Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy and become members of the ‘Iron Mike’ Alumni Association, we pledge to uphold the values and morals we have learned here. In doing so, we honor the memory of Msgr. McCorristin and those who have followed him. We will strive to live our lives representing Christian ideals to benefit our communities and the world. May we always be signs of peace. Amen.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Trenton Catholic Prep Baccalaureate Mass

PHOTO GALLERY: Trenton Catholic Prep Graduation

Before the graduation, Father Daniel Cahill, a retired diocesan priest, celebrated a Baccalaureate Mass.

Class members earned $4.9 million in college scholarships and recognized three top students: valedictorian Mikayla Blackwood, the first student in the school’s history to be accepted into Johns Hopkins University; salutatorian Arthur Huggins, and Bishop Ahr Religion Medal winner Kevin Encarnacion.

After a welcome address by Dr. Lauren Brazil, upper school director, students Rebeca Tapia and Christopher Semexen led the candle-lighting ceremony; upon conclusion of the student speeches and presentation of awards, Dr. Brazil was joined by Margaret Raymond-Flood, president of the TCPA board, to present the diplomas.

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Dr. Brazil reflected upon the academy’s new graduates, saying, “I encourage them to carry the essence of their Catholic education with them, to allow the principles of love, kindness, and service to guide their actions and shape their decisions.

“I want them to embrace diversity and treat every person they encounter with respect and dignity, regardless of their background, beliefs or circumstances… never be afraid to fail because that is where the most growth happens and the strength they have will fuel their abilities,” she continued.

“You are part of something greater than yourselves; while creating your own story and pursuing your dreams, always seek opportunities to serve others, to use your talents, skills and knowledge to uplift and inspire, to heal and reconcile and to bring joy and laughter to those who need it most.” 


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Commencement exercises for 51 graduates of the Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy brought a tear or two to the eyes of proud parents, family and friends.

At a May 31 ceremony on the school’s Hamilton campus, Tracey Destribats, a member of TCPA’s Class of 1981 and owner of the Eet Gud Bakery in Hamilton, inducted the new graduates into the academy’s alumni association with a prayer that neatly summarized what virtues they had absorbed during their school careers:

“God, as we leave Trenton Catholic Preparatory Academy and become members of the ‘Iron Mike’ Alumni Association, we pledge to uphold the values and morals we have learned here. In doing so, we honor the memory of Msgr. McCorristin and those who have followed him. We will strive to live our lives representing Christian ideals to benefit our communities and the world. May we always be signs of peace. Amen.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Trenton Catholic Prep Baccalaureate Mass

PHOTO GALLERY: Trenton Catholic Prep Graduation

Before the graduation, Father Daniel Cahill, a retired diocesan priest, celebrated a Baccalaureate Mass.

Class members earned $4.9 million in college scholarships and recognized three top students: valedictorian Mikayla Blackwood, the first student in the school’s history to be accepted into Johns Hopkins University; salutatorian Arthur Huggins, and Bishop Ahr Religion Medal winner Kevin Encarnacion.

After a welcome address by Dr. Lauren Brazil, upper school director, students Rebeca Tapia and Christopher Semexen led the candle-lighting ceremony; upon conclusion of the student speeches and presentation of awards, Dr. Brazil was joined by Margaret Raymond-Flood, president of the TCPA board, to present the diplomas.

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Dr. Brazil reflected upon the academy’s new graduates, saying, “I encourage them to carry the essence of their Catholic education with them, to allow the principles of love, kindness, and service to guide their actions and shape their decisions.

“I want them to embrace diversity and treat every person they encounter with respect and dignity, regardless of their background, beliefs or circumstances… never be afraid to fail because that is where the most growth happens and the strength they have will fuel their abilities,” she continued.

“You are part of something greater than yourselves; while creating your own story and pursuing your dreams, always seek opportunities to serve others, to use your talents, skills and knowledge to uplift and inspire, to heal and reconcile and to bring joy and laughter to those who need it most.” 

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