June 12, 2023

Class of 2023 Valedictorian and Salutatorian

We are proud to recognize Brandon as Valedictorian, and Michael as Salutatorian for our Class of 2023.  Both will graduate together with their classmates on Friday, June 16th.

As graduation approaches, we asked Brandon and Michael to describe their experiences at St. Andrew’s:


Brandon will be attending Stuyvesant High School in the fall.  Graduating from St. Andrews is an experience Brandon will always cherish, especially after spending over four years there and creating countless memories. He said that “although St. Andrew’s may seem like just another run-of-the-mill Catholic private school from an outsider's perspective,” it holds a special place in his heart due to the brotherhood and friendships that were formed during trials and tribulations, such as tests. The faculty, teachers, and authority figures are all extremely supportive and knowledgeable in their areas of expertise, whether it be exercise, subjects, or anything else that came to mind. From enthusiastic principals to math Regents classes, St. Andrew’s offers a plethora of opportunities and experiences that Brandon will always appreciate.

Brandon feels that leaving St. Andrew’s will be bittersweet, as he will miss the supportive faculty and the friendships and partnerships that he has built during his time there.  “The religious education at St. Andrew’s is highly regarded and has helped to answer many theological questions that I had,” he said.  Brandon’s favorite memory from St. Andrew’s is the 4th grade Statue of Liberty trip.  He remembers certain parts of the trip in great detail, but others have faded from memory.  The trip has provided him with an opportunity to socialize with friends and escape from classwork, while exploring the world beyond the usual school parameters.

According to Brandon, the academics at St. Andrew’s are not extremely difficult but manageable.  He has had his struggles, such as “his un-condensed writing running rampant on Miss. Quinn's desk,” but he has learned from these experiences and relied on God as his main driving force.  The science tests are always challenging, Brandon says, but they encourage a deep understanding of the subject and the ability to skim and summarize.  Religion is the most immersive subject for him, due to the bonus questions that were often related to the liturgy mass, which encouraged the eighth-graders to pay attention during Father McIlhenney's homilies each week.

Science club, led by Mrs. Busse, is like a second art club to Brandon as it was imbued with a deep passion for the subject.  He feels that, although it is similar to art club in terms of the chaotic energy and clamoring around, it is a unique experience that allowed him to create art pieces beyond his previously known abilities.  Regents classes are beneficial in terms of considering a high school career, and Ms. DiStasi's hard work empowers the students to be prepared for our tests.

Brandon feels prepared for high school, but also anxious about the challenging curriculum that Stuyvesant is known for.  Nevertheless, the Regents classes have provided him with an "inside scoop" on high school studies and the arduous, time-consuming practices associated with this next chapter in his life.   Brandon would like to especially thank the junior high teachers, particularly Mrs. Busse, Miss. Quinn, and Ms. DiStasi, for preparing him for high school these last few months.

Looking towards the future, Brandon aspires to be someone who is “down-to-earth and relatable.”  He says that “taking a simple job would allow him to relate to the predicaments of others rather than being too wealthy to notice.  Although money is important in our society, religious fortitude cannot be bought with slips of paper. If it is God's will, I would like to become a worship minister or pursue any profession of the sort. If not, I would like to become a doctor and save lives as a general practitioner in the medical field.”


Michael will be attending Archbishop Molloy School in the fall.  As he prepares to graduate from St. Andrew's, Michael said he “feels both happiness and sadness.” Michael will miss most are the people and the connections he has made with them.  Among his fondest memories is the field trip to the Statue of Liberty with his teacher, Ms. Cassey Hanna. “The ferry ride, tour, and learning about the statue's history and structure were all intriguing,” he said.  

Reflecting on the academics, Michael feels that St. Andrew's challenged him to work hard and strive towards his goals. “After spending most of my life at St. Andrew's, I feel equipped to face high school and beyond. The school instilled in me a strong work ethic that will serve me well in the future.”

Extracurricular activities were also enjoyable to Michael, and the supervisors and fellow students made them even more fun.

When asked about his career aspirations, Michael says he is considering the diplomatic, engineering, and medical fields.  “Becoming a diplomat would allow me to strengthen ties between nations in a [potential] time where the threat of nuclear devastation may loom large. Pursuing engineering could lead me to inventing new solutions that benefit society, pushing us forward into a brighter future. Alternatively, working in the medical field would allow me by the grace of God to help others by curing diseases, preventing life-threatening illnesses, and making families happier.”

Our warmest congratulations to Brandon and Michael! We wish you both and the Class of 2023 good luck in high school and beyond!