Thankful for the Moments: Commencement of the STA Class of 2023
Posted on 06/03/2023
As the sun sets on another academic year, the St. Thomas Aquinas High School community gathered to celebrate a monumental occasion: the graduation of its 50th senior class. Amidst the joyous atmosphere, an unmistakable sense of nostalgia permeates the air, as students, parents, faculty, administrators, and distinguished guests reflected on the countless moments that have shaped the journey of the STA Class of 2023. Each step, each smile, and each challenge faced together has contributed to the growth and transformation of these young individuals. It was a time to express heartfelt appreciation for the memories made, the lessons learned, and the bonds forged. The words and symbol shared during the ceremony all evoked the theme of "Thankful for the Moments,” recalling the times, both big and small, that shaped these graduates.

There were also the gentle reminders of the people who helped each member of the Class of 2023 arrive at where they are now. “Who remembers the friends, coaches, directors, and teachers we met over these four years, who came to be like family, and who will forever be part of each one of our life stories?” said Class President Isabella Danner and Vice President Morgan Ryan. “Thank you to everyone who has made the Class of 2023’s high school experience unforgettable. We’re so thankful for the moments, and for everything in between.”

Foremost, the Divine presence of God through which all things are possible, is and always has been the guiding light on the path of the Class of 2023. “This school has produced so many graduates in over 50 years, but you got so much more because of the challenges that you faced,” observed the Most Revered Bishop James F. Checchio of the Diocese of Metuchen. “That God is still with us, that God is always for us no matter the challenges that we face.”

As they were reminded of the countless moments that they spent at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, the graduating seniors were struck by a vibrant tapestry of memories. In classrooms, science experiments came to life, igniting the spark of curiosity. In the gymnasium, cheers echoed as athletes gave their all, celebrating victories and learning from defeat. In the chapel, quiet contemplation fostered spiritual growth and deepened faith. On the stage, actors moved audiences to laughter and tears. These moments, both big and small, have left an indelible mark on the graduates' hearts.

"You were most likely not the person you were four years ago. Both the trying times and the joyous experiences have shaped us in many ways, some rather unexpected. We have persevered through many hardships and made it out on the other side," reflected Sara Murillo, Salutatorian.

“You rebounded from a global pandemic to create an unforgettable school year filled with momentous achievements,” added Principal Harry Ziegler. “You had the courage to face a challenging world and pursue your goals without hesitation. You said yes to life. And in doing so, you encourage all of us to do the same.”

St. Thomas Aquinas High School is tremendously proud of the graduating Class of 2023, its accomplishments, its perseverance, and the unique mark that it has left on the school. 98% of the members of the class will go directly to one of 59 different universities in 12 different states. Others will serve in the military or enter trade schools.

“Let us think of today as the beginning of a new chapter in our lives which is filled with infinite possibilities and endless opportunities,” challenged Valedictorian Rajoshi Basu. “As we spread our wings across the whole country, let us show who we are as St. Thomas alumni by proudly representing the values and lessons we have learned.”

As they turned their tassels, the St. Thomas Aquinas High School Class of 2023 graduates look ahead, armed with a trove of memories and filled with knowledge and memories as they embark on a new chapter, ready to face the challenges and joys of what is to come.

Graduation Class of 2023