Class of 2020: A Virtual Graduation

While it was an unusual end to their final year of secondary school, the St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) Class of 2020 persevered, graduating in the midst of a pandemic.

On October 9, the SMCS community and families of the Class of 2020 gathered virtually again to celebrate the achievements of 176 graduates in the first-ever Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony.

James McKinnon, Principal speaking at the Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony for the Class of 2020.

James McKinnon, Principal of St. Michael's College School addresses the Class of 2020 in the school's first Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony.

“Congratulations to everyone,” James McKinnon, Principal of SMCS said during his closing remarks at the virtual ceremony. “We have all been through so much in the past year in living and finding ways to thrive in one of the most challenging periods in our history.” 

In addition to recognizing the major award and scholarship winners, the virtual ceremony featured keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Cardella ’93 who addressed the graduates from his home in Connecticut, as well as class valedictorian and former Student Government President, Edward Qu ’20.

Dr. Jonathan Cardella speaking at the Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony for the Class of 2020.

Dr. Jonathan Cardella '93 speaking at St. Michael's College School's Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony for the Class of 2020.

“I just wanted to say to everyone there, how special a day this is,” says Dr. Cardella. “There are very few moments in my life that I can remember with crystal clarity, and my graduation from St. Mike’s was one of them."

“You’re all on the road to the start of something great,” he says. “I want to congratulate you all, and I hope to be able to see some or all of you in person next year. Be well, and congratulations.”

Here are the major award winners and scholarship recipients:

Awards

St. Thomas More Legal Advocacy & Shaughnessy Family Award (Law & Advocacy) ($500) – established by the Honourable Mr. Justice Bryan Shaughnessy ’68, OSM and awarded annually to the graduating student who has shown an aptitude for the study of Law and the various forms of advocacy practised during the year.
Edward Qu

Fr. Tony Kelly Classics Medal ($500) – awarded annually to a graduating student who has demonstrated a high degree of achievement in and enthusiasm for classical studies.
Malcolm Garvey

John B. Guerriere Award ($500) – awarded annually to the graduate who has shown an aptitude for music while at St. Michael’s and plans to continue with his studies in music.
Seung Jae Yang

Killin Family Scholarship ($500) – awarded to the graduate who will be continuing the study of Canadian History.
Dylan Amato-Gauci

Cattana Family Award ($500) – honouring Mr. Joseph Cattana ’46, awarded to the graduate who has achieved excellence in the Writer’s Craft course, and shows a passion for writing.
Kevin Zheng

Fr. Bernard Holland Award ($500) – awarded to the graduate who has achieved a high standard of excellence in Industrial Arts. Fr. Holland ’27 built St. Pius Church in Calgary, Alberta, which was founded by the Basilian Fathers.
Peter-Michael Sum

Byron Lumsden & Oscar Muller Memorial Award ($1,000) – presented by the Lumsden family to a student who studies accounting in his graduating year, who shows a passion for business studies, and who is a strong role model for those around him.
Niklaus Boatswain

The St. Michael's College School Class of 2020


Charlie Lewis Memorial Award ($500) – presented by the faculty of St. Michael’s College School to a student who studies Law and/or Geography in his graduating year, and who best exemplifies the  attributes of strong character, scholarship, a thirst for knowledge, and a passion for justice, advocacy and activism as epitomized by the late Mr. Charlie Lewis, a former teacher and coach at St. Michael’s College School.
Jake Laville

Robert J. Buckley Memorial Scholarship ($500) – awarded annually to the graduate who has made an outstanding contribution to the arts while at St. Michael’s.
Antonio Davila 

Dr. Salvatore Arrigo Award ($500) – in his honour, the Class of 1991 established the Dr. Salvatore Arrigo ND Award, presented to the student who achieves the highest academic mark in Grade 12 Biology.
Sicheng Hong

Patricia Boland Memorial Award ($500) – awarded to the graduate who has made a significant contribution to the Reach for the Top programme.
Michael Shu 

Eddy Narducci Memorial Award ($1,000) – presented by the teachers of St. Michael’s College School to honour the memory of Mr. Eddy Narducci who was a founding member and dedicated leader of the St. Michael’s College School Teachers’ Association. This award is presented to a graduating student who, during his years at St. Michael’s, exemplified this same spirit of perseverance and service to others.
Marcus Gibbons

Social Justice Bursary ($500) – presented by the teachers of St. Michael’s College School to the graduating student who best exemplified the Christian ideal of service to the needy while at St. Michael’s.
Eric Mugford

Dr. H. Patrick Higgins Memorial Scholarship ($2,500) – awarded to the graduate who, through his involvement in scholastic and co-curricular activities, has directly improved the status and condition of his fellow man.
Tyson Lowe

Fr. Patrick Fogarty Catholic Student Award – presented by the Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario to the student who exemplifies the ideals and values of a Catholic high school.
Carlos Sebastian Vinasco-Lasso 

Fr. Frank McCabe Commemorative Humanitarian Award ($500) – awarded by the Parents’ Association to the student who best reflects the humanitarian qualities of Fr. Frank McCabe, CSB during his many years of service as a Basilian priest, teacher, and friend.
Lucas D’Elia 

Fr. Dennis Foy Award ($500) – presented to the graduate who has successfully integrated faith and culture.
Seung Jae Yang

Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award – awarded to a student for exemplary community contribution or outstanding achievement through volunteer activity.
Michael Orrico

Archangel Awards ($500) – awarded to students who have made an outstanding contribution to the school by combining academics and co-curriculars well during their years at St. Michael’s. 
Luca Bernardini, Markus Geiger, Noah Rondinone, Miklos Bukta, Vincent Marraffino, Selby Warren, Bobby Fobih, Joshua McBain, Jason Xu, Cassius Francis, and William O’Brien

Leo McArthur ’55 Exit Scholarship ($600) – is awarded to a graduating student who will be studying Civil Engineering at a post-secondary institution. 
John Sopta

Emile John, Vice Principal speaking at the Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony for the Class of 2020.

Emile John, Vice Principal of St. Michael's College School presents awards at the Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony.

Foundation Scholarship Awards

Fr. Norman Fitzpatrick Scholarship ($1,000) – awarded to the graduating student who has made a significant contribution to the theatre productions at St. Michael’s College School.
Technical Award - Luke De Bartolo 
Performance Award - Connor Leicht 

Robel Solomon ’13 Scholarship ($1,000) – awarded to the graduating student who is in good standing within all aspects of the St. Michael’s Community.
Issay Amaha 

Thomas Campbell ’04 Achievement Award ($1,000) – presented annually on behalf of the Campbell family to the graduating student whose reflective and curious mind has pushed education beyond classroom learning and has thereby enhanced the experience for those around him.
Alexander Casalanguida

Matthew Stephen Antolin ’03 Memorial Scholarship ($5,000) – awarded to the graduate who embodied the ideals of optimism, selflessness, faith, positivity, and service during his time at St. Michael’s College School.
Aidan Bischoff 

Basilian Sponsored Scholarships

Fr. Joseph Penny Scholarship ($1,000) – awarded annually to the graduating students who achieve the third highest academic average based on six SMCS subjects in the graduating year. 
Gregory James Choma-Sutter, Jonah Leduc, Michael Shu, and Yun Seok Yang

Fr. Albert Butler Scholarship ($3,000) – awarded annually to the graduating student who achieves the second highest academic average based on six SMCS subjects in the graduating year.
Maximilian Venchiarutti

Fr. Matthew Mulcahy Scholarship ($5,000) – awarded annually to the graduating student who achieves the highest academic average based on six SMCS subjects in the graduating year.
Joseph Cressatti

Proficiency Awards

Brian Dunn Memorial Award for General Proficiency – established by the Dunn Family in memory of their son Brian Dunn (1959–1978), a former student at St. Michael’s. The award, consisting of the St. Michael’s Medal and a $500 bursary, is given to the graduate with the highest academic average in his graduating year.
Joseph Cressatti

Medal of the Governor General of Canada – awarded to the student who graduates with the highest standing in the graduating class. Calculation is based on all Grade 11 and 12 courses as listed on the student’s official Transcript of Grades issued by the Ministry of Education.
Joseph Cressatti

The Spiritus Trophy

Spiritus Trophy – was presented to St. Michael’s College School on behalf of the Holy Ghost Fathers in 1958 by Fr. Gary McCarthy, CSSP, who taught at St. Michael’s in preparation for the opening of Neil McNeil High School in September of that year. It is awarded each year to the graduate who best embodies the spirit of St. Michael’s.
Aidan Bischoff

Spiritus Trophy recipient announced at the Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony for the Class of 2020.

Aidan Bischoff '20 is presented with the Spiritus Trophy at the St. Michael's College School's Virtual Graduation Awards Ceremony.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 and all the award winners and scholarship recipients! 

“We recognize you have persevered and demonstrated resilience in your pursuit of excellence,” says McKinnon. “In the words of Martin Luther King Jr., ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy.’ You have demonstrated where you stand, and we are proud to call you graduates, last June, today, and tomorrow.”

Watch the entire recorded awards ceremony below: