Fatima graduation a ‘bittersweet goodbye’

School celebrates final commencement

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WARREN — It seemed like just yesterday that the members of the Class of 2012 were freshman, apprehensive yet excited about the opportunities to come. Now, on their graduation day, the final commencement at Our Lady of Fatima High School, students and their families celebrate their achievements and memories made at their beloved school.

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Class President Victoria Kosowski of Pawtucket, shared that the evening was a “bittersweet goodbye” not only to each other but to Fatima.

“Once we step off this stage and walk out the doors, they will be closed forever,” she said. “Instead of walking into Fatima, we find ourselves walking out of here with an education, friends, and memories that could never be forgotten.”

The Sisters of St. Dorothy, who staff Fatima, announced earlier this year that the 47 year-old school would close at the end of the current academic year due to declining enrollment.

Valedictorian Leslie Pavao shared that the devotion and dedication of her parents, teachers and coaches have helped her to achieve her goals. She added that the lessons she has learned at Fatima have influenced her for a lifetime.

“The small and wonderful school will soon shut its doors for the final time, but its example has been firmly etched upon all who have been a part of it,” said Pavao.

“Opportunities to grow do not arise solely from positive experiences,” she continued. “But the best outcomes result from an ability to rise above the mire and keep an open heart and mind.”

Leslie’s mother, Laurie Pavao of Warren, expressed how very proud she is of her daughter, who will be attending Stonehill College this fall. She shared how fortunate she feels that Leslie was able to attend Our Lady of Fatima High School.

“She found her niche,” she said. “Her experience here has been fabulous. She did quite well here.”

For Tighe Ratcliffe of Seekonk, his graduation day coincided with the anniversary of his grandfather’s passing.

“I know he’s smiling down on me today,” he said. “I want to make him proud. It’s going to be a little emotional today.”

Graduate Marisa King, who transferred to Fatima, couldn’t be happier with the education that she received.

“Fatima saved my life,” she said. “I loved it so much.”

As one door closes, another door opens, said Salutatorian John Delamer, expressing his excitement for the future and sharing his gratitude for the support of the people that helped him and his classmates along the way.

“This past year, my senior year, I felt that I have grown so much and I feel that I am ready for college life, despite having to say goodbye to so many friends,” he said. “So here we stand before you, ready to do Fatima proud as her last graduating class. I feel bad for any students who were planning to enter Fatima, because they will never have the experience of being part of the Fatima family.”

Our Lady of Fatima Class of 2012

Amie Achilli?

Hailey M. Bober?

Dongxia Mia Chen

?John P. Delamer?

Nicholas L. Drury

?Patrick J. Fogarty?

Chelsleigh A. Gomez

?Kendra M. Hicks?

Christine F. Johnson

?Marisa C.B. King?

Victoria V. Kosowski?

Megan E. Lawson?

Alexander G. Melfi?

Jamie A. Nunes

?Emma L. O'Halloran

?Alexandra L. Parayno

?Leslie E. Pavao?

Tighe D. A. Ratcliffe

?Linda a. Rebello?

Dillon K. Renzi?

Ryan Salois?

William E. Waddicor?

Fatima