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Graduating seniors throughout the Diocese of Palm Beach eagerly participated in in-person ceremonies this month, a rite of passage that the class of 2021 is not taking for granted after witnessing the class of 2020 adjust to virtual ceremonies and socially distanced drive-throughs. 

Regardless of in-person or virtual graduations, the Diocese of Palm Beach continues to honor its Catholic high school graduates, in particular the valedictorian and salutatorian, with senior spotlights.

In this e-edition of the Florida Catholic, the Diocese of Palm Beach shines a spotlight on Cardinal Newman High School. Read the following e-edition for a feature on the top graduates of John Carroll High School.

The diocese wishes all graduates the best in their future endeavors and continues to pray for their success, well-being and steadfast faith in God’s plan for them.

Cardinal Newman High School

Valedictorian Gabriela Farber will be attending the Honors Program at the University of Florida. She is most proud of her academic achievements throughout her high school career.

“Being able to end high school with straight A’s throughout the last four years has been one of my proudest moments,” she said.

Donald Webster, salutatorian, will be joining Farber at the University of Florida. He shared that he is extremely proud of his varsity football career, noting that “the hard work and accolades both individual and as a team have been proud moments” for him.

When asked how a Catholic education influenced their lives academically and spiritually, both students called upon their life-long connection to Catholic school, a constant in their lives that has provided stability through challenging academics and personal spiritual growth.

Farber reflected on her time in Catholic education from middle school to now, saying she has “loved every single moment of it.”

“Going to Catholic school has built a foundation for me where God is a supporting figure at all times,” she added.

Webster said, “A Catholic education has been an amazing foundation for me. Having gone to Catholic school my whole life, the trust in Christ that is established through a Catholic education sets its students up for success.”

Farber and Webster also expressed that if it were not for the teachers at Cardinal Newman High School, they would not be where they are today.

“My English teacher Mrs. Kristine Byrne has been my motivator through these last two years and has influenced me to work even harder than I had before. Her desire to see her students succeed are evident and by doing so, she has helped me become a better writer and speaker,” said Farber.

Webster said, “The teacher that has inspired me most has been Mrs. Patricia Smith, a math teacher and debate coach at Cardinal Newman. She has been extremely influential in my desire to speak and write in a manner that matters in life.”

As for advice for incoming freshman, Farber and Webster offer these words of wisdom.

“High school and life are not easy. As a result, effort matters more in all situations,” Webster noted.  

“Begin your high school career the second you enter as freshmen,” remarked Farber. “Freshmen year is extremely important, so begin strong so that you can enjoy your time left. Join as many clubs and sports as you desire and find the things you are interested in, as it will not only help for college, but will assist in finding your path and your passions.”

To learn more about Cardinal Newman High School, visit or call 561-683-6266. Follow the school on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @cncrusaders. Stay updated on the Office of Catholic Schools at or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @dopbcatholicschools.