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Local Middle Schoolers Reunite at Long Last For A Socially Distanced Live Graduation Ceremony

By Saint Catherine of Sienna School

Local Middle Schoolers Reunite at Long Last For A Socially Distanced Live Graduation Ceremony

It was a night to remember during a time we will never forget.

After over 85 days apart, St. Catharine of Siena School’s 8th grade class was reunited on June 11 at a special graduation Mass and Commencement in Reading. Like other schools in the area, the middle school graduation plans had been put on hold during the governor-mandated school closure. But with the move to “yellow” on June 5, plans were immediately put in place for a modified live ceremony to celebrate the 29 graduates. St. Catharine of Siena School is a parochial school for students from grades PreK through 8, and thus many of the graduates had attended the school for the past 9 or 10 years.

Held at the school’s affiliated parish church, St. Catharine of Siena in Reading, faculty and household members of the graduates were the only ones in attendance, and all attendees were masked and socially distanced inside the Church. The ceremony was streamed live through Facebook for extended family and friends.

Principal, Mrs. Marcella Kraycik, commended the class for coming together during the recent crisis. They helped to keep the entire school community of 250-plus students engaged with virtual announcements, virtual spirit days, and other class projects, including the May Procession, an annual tradition, led by the 8th grade class as a virtual event this year. They also collaborated as a class to develop a moving 8th grade act to the first ever virtual School Talent Show.

“As you head into high school, you will learn many life lessons on your own …. Through it all, never think that it can’t be done. Look at what you have accomplished in these last 85 days.” Mrs. Kraycik said as she addressed the students.

Student Council President, Paisley Lutz, also addressed the class, reminding them: “All of our differences make us strong … I believe that we are family. Together, our generation, this class of amazing people, will change the world.”

Over thirty awards and special recognitions were given out to members of the Class, including scholarships and monetary awards made possible by alumni, and other community organizations. Students of the graduating class will go on to further their education at Wyomissing High School, Exeter High School, Oley High School, and Berks Catholic.

For more information about St. Catharine of Siena School, please visit