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Graduating seniors throughout the Diocese of Palm Beach eagerly participated in ceremonies this month, a rite of passage that the class of 2021 did not take 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 John Carroll High School. Read the previous e-editions for a feature on the top graduates of Cardinal Newman and Saint John Paul II Academy. 

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. 

John Carroll High School, Fort Pierce

Valedictorian Johanna Rizo will be attending the University of Florida in the fall on the pre-med track in the Honors and Undergraduate Research programs. She has gone to Catholic school her whole life, attending St. Anastasia School from preschool to eighth grade before enrolling at John Carroll High School. She is most proud of her classmates, stating that she has known many of them since pre-school. 

“We’re a pretty close group,” she said. “We have overcome so many obstacles, and when the pandemic hit it only brought us closer together. I really admire the way we made the most of this year and made every moment together count. It brings joy to my heart thinking about how much this school community can do for one another.”

Julia Jessup, salutatorian, agrees that this strong sense of community has left a lasting impression on her high school career. She will be attending the University of Central Florida as a student in the Burnett Honors College.

“One thing of which I am proud is my time in my school’s choir. I can confidently say that joining my school’s choir was the best decision I made during my high school career. I not only improved my musical skills, but I also made lifelong friends and improved my confidence.”

To read the full story in The Florida Catholic e-edition, click here.