The stately old church at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish was filled to near capacity with friends, family members and participants themselves as Leo High School celebrated its 86th Commencement on Sunday, May 31.
What the 21 member class lacked in numbers, they made up for in exuberance as they shared their enjoyment of an event four years in the making. Dexter Dale Jr., earning the role of valedictorian on the basis of his class high GPA, urged his fellow graduates to fortify the bond and solidify the brotherhood that characterized their time at Leo.
Commencement speaker Dave Leitao, head basketball coach at DePaul University, reminded the grads to be grateful for the sacrifices their parents made to send them to Leo, as well as the opportunities a Leo education provided, and to pay that gratitude forward.
Leo achieved a 100 percent graduation rate among its senior class for the sixth year in succession. All 21 graduates have been accepted to at least one college.
The Class of 2015, with their most probable college choices:
Saheed Afolabi Adewole (Eastern Illinois University)
Justin Edward Branch (Spoon River Community College)
James Leo Britten III (Northern Illinois University)
Aaron Anthony Byrdsong* (Southern University)
Zuriel AlbertWil Cook (Central International University)
Dexter Dale Jr. *# (University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign)
Latrell Maurice Giles* (St. Joseph’s College)
Alexander Terrell Green *# (undecided)
Mailk Jakarie Harris (Lincoln College)
Jabari Deion Jackson (Eastern Illinois University)
Christopher Devonte Livingston (Chicago State University)
Isaiah Joshua Nichols*# (Arrupe College of Loyola University)
Joe Shorter Jr. (Mississippi Valley State University)
Darioun Charles Smith* (Northern Illinois University)
Joshua Phillip Thomas* (Anderson College)
Keshawn Christin Thomas (Iowa Central Community College)
Clifton Michael Thurman Jr. (Palomar College)
Austin Melvin Walker (undecided)
Darius Edward Williams Jr. (Western Illinois University)
Marquis Amonte Williams* (United States Coast Guard Academy)
Raheem Reginald Williams* (Robert Morris University)
#National Honor Society member
Class of 2015 Individual Awards
William J. Koloseike Gold Medal for athletics: Latrell Giles
Bishop John R. Gorman Gold Medal for religion: Joshua Thomas
Michael L. Thompson Gold Medal for music: Alexander Green
Donald F. Flynn Gold Medal for history: Isaiah Nichols
Dr. James J. Ahern Gold Medal for science: Dexter Dale Jr.
Thomas and Mary Owens Gold Medal for math: Marquis Williams
Dr. Stafford L. Hood Gold Medal for english: Raheem Williams
Matt Lamb Gold Medal for fine arts: Alexander Green
Dr. James Glos Gold Medal for foreign language: Jabari Jackson
Frank W. Considine Gold Medal for social justice: Saheed Adewole
Andrew J. McKenna Gold Medal for leadership: Latrell Giles