St. Mary’s High School senior Marianne Halas will experience mixed emotions when she receives her diploma at commencement ceremonies Thursday night.
The Lynn resident and Class of 2012 graduate said she is sad that her four years as a member of the St. Mary’s family will be coming to an end. She will miss the day-to-day school life that she enjoyed with her classmates and friends.
But she is happy knowing that her career at St. Mary’s has been a cherished time of academic and personal development and creating lifelong friendships – an experience that has prepared her well for the next chapter in her life.
Halas will attend Emmanuel College as a recipient of the Connell Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship was established in 1997 through the generosity of William Connell and is awarded to students with excellent academic credentials and potential, demonstrated contributions to school and to community, and financial need.
Halas is appreciative to the Connell family for the scholarship that will provide four years of full tuition to Emmanuel.
“I’m honored to be chosen for the Connell Scholarship,” said Halas. “I truly appreciate all the Connell family has done to help make St. Mary’s the great school it is. They’ve been very good to St. Mary’s and all the students.”
Halas’s academic achievements and contributions to the school community were exemplary, according to Principal Carl DiMaiti.
“Marianne has been a joy to work with – she’s the whole package,” said DiMaiti. “Her service is impeccable. Her academics are outstanding. She has a high moral character, a great role model for our younger girls and she’s a very good athlete. I couldn’t be happier for her. She has a bright future and I know she’ll continue to excel at Emmanuel.”
“Marianne is just a tremendous all-around person,” said Jeffrey Newhall, director of athletics. “She is respected by all of her students and sets a fine example for the underclassmen.”
Ranked third academically in the Class of 2012, Halas is an honor roll student and holds a 4.0 grade point average in a challenging curriculum of Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She is president of the National Honor Society, captain of the cheerleading squad and the softball team, and a member of the Catholic Identity Team.
A starting outfielder for the state champion Wyoma Little League softball team that finished fourth in the Eastern Regionals, Halas been a part of two state champion softball teams at St. Mary’s. She hopes that the Spartans can claim another crown in her tournament finale in June. She’ll compete against several of her former Wyoma all-star teammates from Classical in the John Holland Tournament Saturday.
“We play them the first game – it’s going to be a good game,” said Halas.
Though she was a cheerleader at Sacred Heart School, she didn’t join the St. Mary’s squad until her senior year after her friend, Lauren Folino, asked her to try out. It proved to be an enjoyable and fun season. Halas said cheering for the state champion St. Mary’s boys basketball team at games, including the North sectional final at Emmanuel College and the state final at the Boston Garden, are some of her best memories.
Set to enroll in the pre-medical program at Emmanuel with the hope of attending medical school and becoming a pediatrician, Halas said the teachers at St. Mary’s are excellent and the smaller class sizes maximized her educational experience.
“I received a tremendous education here,” said Halas. Teachers like Dr. Marshall, who was my English teacher for all four years, Miss Patten in math (Algebra I and II), which is my favorite subject, Mrs. Colleen Newbury, who was my geometry teacher and softball coach, Miss DeAmato, who was my AP biology and anatomy teacher this year – they’ve been super and so encouraging and supportive.”
She also singled out [Head of School] Dr. Raymond Bastarache, who is retiring this year.
“Dr. Raymond Bastarache is my favorite person here,” said Halas. “He wrote recommendations for me and was always there to offer his support. I know he’s retiring and I want to thank him on behalf of all my classmates for what he’s meant to our school.
A graduate of Sacred Heart School in Lynn, Halas came to St. Mary’s as a legacy student, having followed her grandparents, retired Lynn Police Chief John Hollow and Mary Hollow, who are St. Mary’s alumni. Her mother, Marijean, is a reading teacher in the Lynn school system and a football booster at St. Mary’s. Her father, Paul, is a product of a highly respected Chelsea family known for its athletic excellence. Paul excelled on the only undefeated team in Chelsea Youth Baseball League history. Her younger brother, Paul, is a three-sport athlete at St. Mary’s.
“I want to thank my parents for supporting me, always being there and being helpful,” said Halas.
She said she decided early on that St. Mary’s would be the best choice for her high school career.
“I always knew that I wanted to attend St. Mary’s,” said Halas. “What I’ll remember most about the school is how every student is successful in their own way and how the school is small enough so you get to know everyone. It’s a real family. I’ve made friends here that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”