Celebrating the First Graduating Class of Cristo Rey Tampa

09 Sep 2020

Photo credit: Terrie Dodson

by Terrie Dodson, Director of Communications & Public Relations, Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School & Corporate Work Study Program

(Tampa, FL — August 24, 2020) – Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School celebrated its first graduating class with a Senior Send-off Celebration in June and a formal Commencement Ceremony in August.

The pep rally like atmosphere was created with clappers, signs, and DJ Davidson, also known as Dean Davidson, moving the crowd to their feet. Students were introduced one-by-one to families, friends, and Corporate Work Study Partners as they cheered for their accomplishments. Students took their final lap around the Mary Help of Christians Gymnasium when they stopped to get their cap and gown from Principal Torano. There, they also snapped a photo with President Morreale, received their swag bags and senior t-shirts, enjoyed some sweet treats and a photo booth, and topped it off with a generous gift from LIFT, a volunteer group.

As these young adults basked in the excitement of their final lap as Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School students, one thing was made clear—this memorable celebration reminded us that we can still move forward and succeed through adversity and challenge.

On August 8, the first graduating class of Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School and their families came together for a Commencement Ceremony. The event was held at Tabella’s at Delaney Creek, a beautiful outdoor venue that allowed for social distancing. This lovely day was marked by greetings from Fr. Steve Ryan, SDB, a founding member of Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School.

Valedictorian Jeremy Hurtado, who is attending Rice University as a Questbridge Scholar, was introduced by his Corporate Work Study Supervisor from JP Morgan Chase & Co., Jordan Minus. Jeremy shared, “…never look back and always move forward. We did it together.” In addition, Salutatorian Jonathan Clesca, who is attending the University of Central Florida, shared his sentiments with the class of 2020.

Photo credit: Terrie Dodson

President Scott Morreale delivered his first President’s address to the Class of 2020 and reflected on the importance of this moment. “Always be a team player. One team united in good times and bad. Remember one thing, stick together no matter what,” shared Morreale as he gifted a Challenge Coin to each graduate. He went on to explain that the Challenge Coin originated during the Vietnam War and was awarded to a team honoring a special moment, symbolizing membership of a special team. Indeed, the first graduating class of Cristo Rey Tampa Salesian High School spent four years as a team who persevered and paved the way for students to come.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020. They made history in more ways than one! #CRTproud