HomeBlocksFront-GridSt. Francis Bids Farewell to Class of 2024

St. Francis Bids Farewell to Class of 2024

St. Francis educators and administrators honored 124 Golden Knights during the 75th annual commencement ceremony on May 25 on the campus of St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge.
Fr. Joseph Seraphin Dederick, the Provincial of the Western American Province of the Capuchin Franciscan Order, represented Bishop José Gómez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, at the ceremony that said recognized the Class of 2024. St. Francis President Fr. Tony Marti, Principal Tracy Traver and Chairman of the Board of Directors Mark Heydorff also officiated the ceremony for the local Catholic, college preparatory institution. Vice Principal of Academics Ted Carroll and Dean of Studies Patrick Davitt served as the masters of ceremonies for the celebration.
Sergio Gonzalez led the national anthem, Marti gave the invocation and presented the scholastic awards, while senior class president Landon Castillo welcomed those in attendance.
Valedictorian Holden Deitch gave the valedictory address to the audience, Marti presented the diplomas and Traver delivered her address to the graduates. Dederick offered the final blessing, while Joaquin Garcia and Peter Knight led the singing of the alma mater.
Deitch received the Capuchin Award and Medal for Scholarship. The program also recognized salutatorian Arek Yacoubian for his exceptional achievement. Additionally, Noah McElroy was presented with the Rudy Trujillo Award for superior academic effort. The Tom Moran Award for virtue and integrity was presented to William “Brody” Ruyle.
Community service awards were presented to the following individuals: Dustin Bell (Pro Deo et Patria for Leadership); Preston Lee (Pro Deo et Ecclesia for Leadership); Lucas Crespo (Fred Purner Humanitarian Award); Phillip Ocon (Roger Barkley Award for Outstanding Character); Isaac Buntarja and Kevin Henneberry (Archdiocesan Christian Service Award); John Calmette (Peter Brang Medal for Good Citizenship); Aidan Henriques (Franciscan Spirit and Life Award). In addition, Cissie Andrews and Cushon Bell were honored for their service to St. Francis with the St. Clare of Assisi Award. Walter Calmette was also recognized for his service to the school as this year’s recipient of the St. Francis of Assisi Award.
The inaugural Allen Lund Good and Faithful Servant Award was presented to Jayden Siques. This award celebrates the legacy of founding Board Chairman, Allen Lund, who lived a life of servant leadership and modeled perseverance and grit. Lund founded the Allen Lund Company in 1976 and became well-known as a business visionary, extraordinary listener and problem solver. He believed wholeheartedly in the value of a Catholic, Franciscan education, leading the Board for 19 years and actively engaged with numerous Catholic organizations. The award honors a senior who has demonstrated and modeled values and attributes that Lund personified.
Kennedy Mitchell-Egbo was awarded the inaugural Black Student Union Academic Excellence and Community Engagement Scholarship Award. This scholarship award, the vision of a mother of a current Black student and selected by school administration, recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated the Franciscan virtues and exhibited his commitment to higher education. This award supports and encourages the winner in his pursuit of academic endeavors and as a beacon of light for equity.
The fifth annual Jim Bonds Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Preston Jernegan. The Fr. Lawrence Caruso Memorial College Scholarship was awarded to Luke Metcalf. The California Wellness Scholarship was awarded to Isaac Buntarja. Forty graduates received the special St. Francis High School Honors Diploma, an award given for Christian service, high academic achievement, and completion of at least one Advanced Placement course during their senior year at the school. Fifty-nine of the graduating seniors were recognized as California Scholarship Federation Sealbearers. The California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer Scholarship was presented to Nicholas Hagobian, Charles Hynes, Peter Lindberg, Michael McCarthy and Siques.
Nathan Kim, Henriques, Buntarja and Metcalf received National Merit Program Commendation. Fifty-eight students graduated as members of the National Honor Society. The National Honor Society Certificate of Merit was awarded to Jeremiah Su, Andrew Tchakmakjian, Aguilar, Deitch and Garcia. Kenneth Carpenter, Lucas Favretto, Su, Henriques and Kim graduated as Mu Alpha Theta members. The National Honor Society of Sports Medicine graduated five members: David Alveno, Landon Castillo, Richard Cucullu, Steffone Owino and Nicolas Salgado.
Adrian Arteaga, Tyler Cofre, Noah Geihm, Jasper Jones, Augustine Martinez, Noah McElroy, Kalani Quiroz, Adam Sandoval, Michael Vidrio, Aidan Villalobos, Aguilar, Deitch and Garcia were recognized as National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars. McElroy and Mitchell-Egbo were recognized as a National African American Recognition Program Scholars. Thirty-five graduates were recognized as members of the National English Honor Society.
At the time of graduation, students from St. Francis High School’s graduating Class of 2024 received 285 scholarships, awards, and/or grants to colleges and universities throughout the United States. These scholarships and awards add up to a total amount of $14,543,147 offered towards the recipients’ educational costs.

First published in the May 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.


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