Mother Seton RHS Holds Commencement Exercises

Valedictorian Jessica Leszczyk, Principal Sister Regina Martin and Salutatorian Zenalenia Sockwell (Photo by Joan Barron/Mother Seton RHS)

Valedictorian Jessica Leszczyk, Principal Sister Regina Martin and Salutatorian Zenalenia Sockwell (Photo by Joan Barron/Mother Seton RHS)

CLARK — Mother Seton Regional High School in Clark held Commencement exercises on Thursday, May 30. Principal, Sister Regina Martin, awarded diplomas to the graduating class.

In her congratulatory remarks, Sister Regina stated: “None of us could have imagined what God had in store for any of you when you made the decision to come to Mother Seton four years ago. Each of you experienced Mother Seton in your own unique way. The wonderful story about today is that it is a commencement – a day of celebration but also a day of commencement, of beginning, of beginning anew. You have a wonderful opportunity to set new goals and to build on the old ones. Accept the challenge. There are three aspects to this challenge: academics, of course, but also values and a deep abiding faith in God, in yourself and in your mission. Live the values through your clarity of purpose, your service, your faith, your leadership. Where will you go from here? For you, the choice is clear. Today, you leave these halls of truth and knowledge and head for new beginnings at colleges and universities. Use your opportunities well.”

The Principal’s Award for academic excellence during the past four years was awarded to Valedictorian Jessica Leszczyk of Fords and Salutatorian Zenalenia Sockwell of Newark. The Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award for exemplary witness to Christian values during the past four years was awarded to Mary McDermott of Westfield.

Leszczyk shared these thoughts with her classmates: “When someone accomplishes something great, he or she receives recognition – an academy award, a Nobel Prize, or a big golden trophy. The diploma that each of us will receive today recognizes all the effort and hard work we have put in these past four years. We started out as timid freshmen, and now we are confident seniors. All of our accomplishments these past few years have brought us to this one moment. We have worked tirelessly for this, and each one of us should be proud: as should our parents, grandparents, teachers and friends. They have supported and aided us in getting to where we are today. There is a place in California, which I am sure most of you are aware of, where the stars have their names on the sidewalk – the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Your mark on this world may not be as well known, but it will be as permanent. The journey continues today as you walk up and receive your diploma. Now as for what your mark will be? That’s up to you.”

Sockwell said “Our high school careers are coming to a close. This marks the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one: college. There is a famous quote by the ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius – that goes ‘Study the past if you would define the future.’ We are about to embark on a new journey in life, but the only way we can define our futures to fit our desires, dreams and goals, is to study our pasts – where we’ve been, what we’ve done, who we’ve met, and what we would change. Coming to find ourselves starts inside of us: it’s what we value, the decisions we make, who we surround ourselves with, how we spend our free time, and what we share with others. I’d like to thank all of those, especially those present who have helped us along the way within the past four years to bring us to where we are today. Thank-you: to the members of the administration, who have afforded us endless opportunities to excel and to thrive. Thank-you: to our wonderful teachers and staff, who have somehow taken the awkward freshmen we were in 2009 and transformed us into outstanding graduates we’ve become today. Thank-you: to the parents, family and friends of every graduate here today, especially to my own. To the class of 2013, I want you to all go forward now with the confidence and dignity that you’ve built for yourselves here at Mother Seton.”

Class President Janeclare McCann, , invited the members of the class of 2013 to join her in turning their tassels as a symbol of their graduation from Mother Seton Regional High School.

Departmental Awards for academic excellence are awarded to the following:

Art – Janeclare McCann, Cranford
AP Calculus – Jessica Leszczyk, Fords
AP English – Ann Mary Hanna, Union
AP French – Zenalenia Sockwell, Newark, Carla Souza, Rahway
Physical Education – Julianne Cornell, Sayreville, Janeclare McCann, Cranford
Religious Studies – Ann Mary Hanna, Union
AP Biology – Danielle Pfleghaar, Colonia
AP Chemistry – Simrann Rai, Edison
AP Physics – Jessica Leszczyk, Fords
AP Social Studies – Caitlynn Fiol, Carteret, Hannah Clark, Scotch Plains
AP Spanish – Jessica Leszczyk, Fords, Tiffany Soares, East Brunswick

National Merit Scholarship Program Commended Students:

  • Caitilin Conroy, Scotch Plains
  • Ann Mary Hanna, Union
  • Jessica Leszczyk, Fords
  • Danielle Pfleghaar, Colonia
  • Zenalenia Sockwell, Newark

National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholar: Danielle Pfleghaar, Colonia

Seton Distinguished Scholars

  • Judith Alba, Union
  • Jessica Leszczyk, Fords
  • Hannah Clark, Scotch Plains
  • Kieran O’Connell, South Amboy
  • Caitilin Conroy, Scotch Plains
  • Danielle Pfleghaar, Colonia
  • Kayley Erla, Parlin
  • Tiffany Soares, East Brunswick
  • Nicole Fruehwirth, Perth Amboy
  • Zenalenia Sockwell, Newark
  • Ann Mary Hanna, Union
  • Jeannide Vincent, Irvington


Students Lead the Commencement Procession –  Carrying the U.S. Flag: Brianna Skuriat; Cross: Catherine Serzan;
Candle-Bearer: Christine Jerome Erica Barry; Papal Flag: Mary McDermott; Yearbook: Hannah Clark; Diploma: Ann Mary Hanna (Photo by Joan Barron/Mother Seton RHS)

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