Stang grads are everywhere

May 29, 2023

Bishop Stang High School’s saying “spartans are everywhere” was reaffirmed by the graduating class of 2023 who completed their high school careers on May 26.

Students will go as far as Trinity College Dublin and University of Hawaii at Manoa and stay as close as UMass Dartmouth.

Valedictorian Julia Downey of Mattapoisett won’t be too far from Stang while she attends Harvard College.

In her time at Stang she served as treasurer on the student council and was Vice President of the National Honor Society as a junior and senior. She was a member of the debate team and became captain in her final two years.

In the community, Downey volunteered at My Brother’s Keeper, the Buttonwood Park Zoo and Mattapoisett Library. In addition, Julia played soccer, track and lacrosse at Stang.

In her speech at the graduation ceremony she joked about the class’s obsession with online chess and reminded students they made it through the four years together.

“We all have diverse gifts that we have offered to our Stang community,” she said. “Whether that be an artist who designed our class shirt or performers who starred in our plays, friendly classmates … everyone has used their gifts to help us through high school.”

Salutatorian Kevin Santiago of New Bedford will also stay in state, attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

While at Bishop Stang, Santiago was a member of the Math Team, Robotics Club, Student Council, and President of the Student Ambassadors. In the community, he volunteered at My Brothers Keeper and Camp Invention. Additionally, he was a part of the NB Votes project for the City of New Bedford. Kevin was on the swim team, and was captain his junior and senior year.

In his speech he reminisced on the highs and lows of their four years.

There is a Latin phrase memento mortem, which means remember your death,” Santiago said. “We are each given a particular amount of time on this Earth, each second a blessing, a gift to cherish. Every second give thanks for the time we spend learning the things we love, the time we spend doing the hobbies we love and most importantly the time we spend with the people we love.”

James Benson, President of Bishop Stang, reminded students of the need to spread the goodness they have learned and experienced at Stang.

“The graduation ceremony from high school is a springboard into a society that needs your goodness, and needs it more than ever,” he said.