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Mount St. Charles Commencement June 3

School celebrates largest graduating class in its history.

will hold its commencement ceremony June 3, 1 p.m., for 196 graduates, the largest graduating class in the school's history.

Edwin Burke, Principal of Mount Saint Charles Academy, announced the top three students of the Class of 2012: Benjamin Swiszcz, Dylan Schaffer, and Daniel Cahaly.

 Benjamin Swiszcz, son of Monique and Brian Swiszcz of Cumberland, has been named Valedictorian. Benjamin is a member of the National Honor Society and has been listed on the Excelsior Honor Roll* for four years.  An interesting fact about Benjamin is that his mother, Monique, was Valedictorian of Mount’s Class of 1980.

Benjamin is also a published author. In 11th grade, he wrote A Guide to Chess Success which is available for sale on Amazon.com.  As an active member of the school community, he participated in several school activities. He was a committee leader for Campus Ministry, team founder and captain for the chess team, and captain of the math team. He was also a lector for Mount’s school masses and assisted with set-up and breakdown at all of the masses. For an athletic activity, Benjamin was involved in cycling and completed the MS 150 in June 2011.

His extracurricular activities included being a volunteer at Cumberland Hill Elementary School, chess (he was the RI representative at the national Denker Tournament of High School Champions), and being a member of the RI Chess Association board of directors. In the fall, Ben will be attending Providence College.

Dylan Schaffer, son of Susan and Gary Schaffer of Cumberland, has been named Salutatorian.

Dylan is a member of the National Honor Society and has been listed on the Excelsior Honor Roll* for four years. Dylan has also been the recipient of several awards and honors during his high career. He received the Young American Leaders Award, and received honorable mention in the Prudential Spirit of Community Recognition.

Dylan was selected as one of two RI winners at the United States Senate Youth Program where he received a $5,000 scholarship and went to Washington, DC for a week-long summit that included meetings with top government leaders like President Obama and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. He was a National History Day school contest winner as well as a national contest participant. He received 1st grant for the school contest portion at the International Science and Engineering Fair and consequently was a state contest participant.

In addition to all of Dylan’s honors and achievements, he managed to stay actively involved in his school community. He was class treasurer and school secretary for the Student Administrative Council, Model Legislature leader, and a very involved leader in Campus Ministry. An excellent musician, Dylan was a member of the jazz band, glee club, and All-State Chorus. He was the co-founder, director, and lead singer for Mount’s acapella quartet, Mount Rush 4. He served as a pit orchestra pianist for the drama club as well as an actor. Currently, he is a freelance musician and is the music ministry director, pianist, and singer at Holy Family Parish in Pawtucket. In the fall, Dylan will be attending Harvard University.

Daniel Cahaly, son of Eloise and John Cahaly of Hopkinton, MA, has been named Master of Ceremonies. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has been listed on the Excelsior Honor Roll* for four years. 

During his time at Mount, Daniel has also been the recipient of several other academic achievements and awards. He received the American Citizenship Award, AP Scholar Award, and University of Notre Dame Book Award. He was nominated for the National Youth Leadership Forum and he received the Young American Leader Award. He took first place at Mount’s History Day Fair and participated in the RI State History Day Fair. He received Best in Show at Mount’s Science Fair and participated in the RI State Science Fair, receiving 2nd grant. Daniel has had stories published in Teen Ink and he has had poems published in A Celebration of Poets.  

In addition to all of these achievements, Daniel was actively involved in several service initiatives. In the community, he was a member of the St. Mary’s youth group and volunteered for four years at the St. Charles Soup Kitchen in Providence, RI. For school service, he was a member of the Christian Action Program, Best Buddies Program, and served as a math and Spanish tutor. Daniel was also heavily involved in volleyball. He played at Mount for four years and was named RI MVP for the JV boys team in 2010. He was the travel team captain for Beantown volleyball (NERVA Volleyball Tournament Champions) and also played volleyball for the Milford Rippers. In the fall, Daniel will be attending Providence College.  

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