NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Upperclassmen at Iona Preparatory School continue to demonstrate the superlative value of the rigorous, innovative curriculum they receive, with the percentage of seniors earning academic scholarships soaring beyond the national average for the second straight year.
This year, 76 percent of Iona Prep’s senior class received academic scholarships. The national average is 45 percent.
Iona Prep seniors have been awarded more than $23 million in academic scholarship money in each of the last two years. The average amount per scholarship received by members of Iona Prep’s Class of 2016 was nearly $55,000, and often more than their four-year tuition.
“The recent achievements of our graduating classes make the value proposition of Iona Preparatory quite clear,” Iona Preparatory President Brother Thomas Leto said. “An investment in an Iona Prep education is one that pays dividends during the college acceptance process.”
Commencement ceremonies were held Thursday, May 26, at Iona College. Commander Robert Gerosa Jr. of the USS Constitution, a 1986 graduate of Iona Preparatory Lower School and 1990 graduate of the Upper School, was the featured speaker and recipient of Iona Prep’s annual Alumni Award.
Here’s a look at Iona Prep’s Class of 2016:
· Maurice Pierre, a Stormville resident, is the valedictorian. Pierre carried an average of (GPA) and scored 2360 (out of 2400) on his SATs and 35 (out of 36) on his ACTs. He will attend Cornell University and double major in mathematics and physics. His goal is “to work for NASA or one of the many prestigious technical schools in the United States. As a physicist, I would like to uncover what happened when the universe began.”
· Michael Calicchia, a Crestwood resident, is the salutatorian. Calicchia, who will attend Manhattan College, is a member of Iona Prep’s National Foreign Language Honor Society in Spanish and Latin. He also was named team captain of the varsity football team as a senior.
· Seven students will attend Division I and II schools on athletic scholarships. They are:
o Baseball: Christopher Dutra (Rye Brook), Duke University; Joseph LaSorsa (Katonah), St. John’s University
o Basketball: Ty Jerome (Bronxville), University of Virginia; Patrick Fleming (Dobbs Ferry), Assumption College
o Lacrosse: Zachary Kryza (Somers), Villanova University; Christian McHugh, (Tuckahoe), Lehigh University
o Track & field: Andrew Cannistraci (New Rochelle), Northeastern University
· Twelve Gaels, including Pierre, will attend schools ranked among the top 35 national colleges and universities by U.S. News & World Report. Georgetown University (2), University of Virginia (2), Boston College, Cornell University, Duke University, University of Michigan, New York University, University of Notre Dame, University of Rochester and University of Southern California have all welcomed members of Iona Prep’s graduating class.
· This year’s Iona Prep graduates will attend college in 19 states plus the District of Columbia. Gaels will venture as far north as Burlington, Vermont; as far south as Tampa, Florida; and as far West as Santa Barbara, California.
o One student will study at the New York University campus in Shanghai, the first American college to receive independent registration status from China's Ministry of Education.
· Russell Taormina, a New Rochelle resident with juvenile dermatomyositis, a debilitating, life-threatening auto-immune disease, will attend Boston University. Scarsdale resident Antonio Dell’Orto, who befriended Taormina, carried his books and supported him through his grueling treatments, will attend Hofstra University on a scholarship and study pre-med, having been inspired to become a doctor by watching his friend courageously battle through treatments. They are shining examples of the Iona Prep brotherhood and commitment to service.
“Iona Preparatory is a unique and accepting community where the gifted student, star athlete and dedicated volunteer can grow and thrive,” Upper School Principal Edward O’Neill said. “Every graduation is a reminder of that, and the Class of 2016 has demonstrated its readiness to be lifelong learners, responsible to their commitment of service to others, and confident in their self-worth.”