Providence Catholic High School Celebrates the Class of 2019 Commencement

NEW LENOX (May 24, 2019) – Providence Catholic High School concluded its 100th Anniversary year by celebrating the Class of 2019 graduation on May 23 at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. Members of the class crossed the Rialto Theatre stage to receive their PCHS diploma from President, Rev. John Merkelis, OSA, marking the completion of four successful and memorable years. 

During the ceremony, Valedictorian Allison Brankin (Orland Park) and Salutatorian Alyssa LaBine (Mokena) each addressed their classmates with powerful words of encouragement and expressed their gratefulness to family, friends and Providence faculty and staff.

During the special awards portion of the graduation ceremony, Fr. John Merkelis, O.S.A. named Matthew Cerven (New Lenox) and Sarah Deffenbaugh (Plainfield) as the recipients of the Bishop Blanchette Religion Award. Furthermore, John McGuire (Frankfort) and Elise Persicketti (Manhattan) received the prestigious Bishop Roger Kaffer Leadership Award.

Athletic Director, Doug Ternik ’89 announced Matthew Cerven of (New Lenox) as the recipient of the Senior Athletic-Spirit Award and Eleanor Bilotta of (Frankfort) as the recipient of the Jaime Garcia Scholastic Athlete Award.

“The class of 2019 will carry with them the core Augustinian values of truth, unity, and love,” says, Dr. John Harper, Principal, and alumnus. “There is no doubt that they will all find great success as they continue their academic careers.”

Ninety-eight percent of the Class of 2019 will continue their education at a college or university. Scholarships valued at nearly $45 million were offered to this class. Forty-one of these graduates were named Illinois State Scholars. These seniors volunteered in excess of 100,000 hours of community service during their high school careers. Fourteen percent of student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent or made commitments to continue their respective sports at the collegiate level. Providence Catholic now has 30 state championship titles; the most among private high schools in the state of Illinois.

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