Cheverus High School celebrates Class of 2024’s graduation along with Bishop James Ruggieri

“The future is full of time, but only if you make the most of it. So, start here.”

Cheverus High School valedictorian Daniel McCartney spoke to his classmates at the 106th commencement urging them to find joy in every moment. Cheverus High School celebrated its graduation on Monday, June 3, at a packed Merrill Auditorium in Portland with Bishop James Ruggieri, family, and friends in attendance.

Bishop Ruggieri handed out diplomas to the 81 graduates and sent them ahead into the world with inspiration and a prayer for their journey. Fr. Robert Pecoraro, SJ, the president of Cheverus, gave the invocation, asking God to lead the graduates to be unifying and enlightening forces for a world in need.

“As you embark on your journey from Cheverus, embrace the twists and turns - even the apparent roadblocks and failures. Life does not always pan out in linear, predictable ways,” Fr. Pecoraro said. “These experiences will shape who you will become. Oftentimes, it is the unexpected path that makes it a ‘marvelous journey.’”

The graduation celebrated the 81 members of the Cheverus High School class of 2024, whose journey that started during the pandemic. Classmates reminisced about tests, performances and games and always having unwavering support of classmates.

“We needed each other. Being surrounded by extremely passionate and dedicated people made the class better as a whole. From great success in the classroom, on the stage, and in sports, the community was always there for each other, constantly uplifting one another,” Madigan Fitzpatrick, who was named Outstanding Senior and All-Around Student for the Cheverus Class of 2024.

“Cheverus has taught us how to look into someone’s face with love and acceptance. Cheverus taught us how to cultivate meaningful connection, how to reveal our true selves, and how to be vulnerable, so these relationships were authentic,” President of the Class of 2024 and Master of Ceremonies Peter Wycoff said.

Daniel McCartney quoted “Have it All” by singer songwriter Jason Mraz, telling classmates to find glimmers of happiness in every experience.  

"I've learned though, that true joy is found in embracing what's around you - in every one of those small moments. Enjoy this moment, soak in our last day together as a class, enjoy tomorrow and every day, and find joy in every moment you can,” McCartney said.

The speeches and congratulations lead to a slow clap from the entire class of 2024. Graduation speaker, multi-sport coach Theresa Arsenault, told the students to feel God in every moment and used the words of St. Ignatius to, “go forth and set the world on fire.”

“Collectively, you all have impacted hundreds of peoples’ lives in a positive way. You have changed lives, and the best part is you are all just getting started,” Arsenault said.

Members of the Cheverus High School class of 1974 were honored with golden diplomas to celebrate their 50th class reunion. Mary Campbell, who was a French teacher at Cheverus High School in 1974, handed out the golden diplomas.  

The Cheverus High School list of top 10 students (in alphabetical order), including college plans are:

Reese Belanger - Florida Institute of Technology 
Lillian Hanley - Boston College 
Lily Johnson - Boston University
Jackson Kingsley - Bates College
Lauren Grace Kutz, Salutatorian - Dartmouth College
Jeffrey Lafrance - Northeastern University
Abigail Marshall - College of Charleston
Daniel McCartney - College of the Holy Cross
Ashley Nguyen - University of Southern California
Peter Wycoff - Boston College

Cheverus High School is an inclusive Jesuit Catholic college preparatory school in Portland. Cheverus teaches students to be people for and with others and to pursue intellectual, spiritual, physical, and personal excellence for the greater glory of God. Cheverus High School serves nearly 350 students from 9th through 12th grade from 50 communities in southern Maine. A hallmark of Jesuit education is to form “men and women for others.”

Bishop walking in the crowd
Cheverus High School Class of 1974
Cheverus High School Class of 1974
speaker at the ceremony
speaker at the ceremony
speaker at the ceremony
speaker at the ceremony
Bishop Ruggieri handing out diplomas
Bishop Ruggieri handing out diplomas
Bishop Ruggieri handing out diplomas
graduate with their family
graduate with their family
Cheverus High School Class of 2024