The Toronto District Catholic School Board is making headlines after eight of its students graduated from high school with flawless 100% averages. While it isn’t exactly out of the ordinary for students to graduate from the district with perfect scores, as 5 students did so in 2022, this year six of the eight perfect scores came from just one Catholic school.
According to local news outlet CP24, the school that produced six scholastic heavy-hitters was Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School and Regional Arts Centre. They set a new record for outgoing students with perfect scores in the 2022-2023 school year, and now Principal John D’Onofrio is celebrating their success. He said:
“I was pleasantly surprised. A little shocked, but knowing these kids, [it was] not unexpected with these six students.”
The students in question are Amelia Campoli, Honora Murphy, Tano Nguyen, Natalia Zulek, Zachary Xerri and Robert Zupancic. These students not only aced their finals, they went through their entire high school careers without ever missing a point on any test, assignment, or through participation. D’Onofrio described the students as “passionate, hardworking, and very disciplined,” which exemplifies their school’s motto: “Teach me goodness, discipline, and knowledge.”
Zachary Xerri commented that he never expected recognition for his academic achievements to reach the headlines, but was grateful for the acknowledgment. In his explanation of what his schedule was like, he painted a picture of a dedicated student who optimized every moment of his day to get the most out of it. Along with playing two instruments, he was in advanced placement courses, on the safe schools committee, leadership collective, peer tutoring, and peer ministry team. Somehow, he also found time to run cross country and track.
When his school day ended, however, Xerri’s work was not over. He would volunteer at Humber River Hospital, work part time at a local bakery, and practice his music. He said that he would never have been able to pull off a perfect score if not for his daily planner, which he writes by hand rather than keeping it digital.
“It’s definitely a balancing act … I’ve been able to really hone down on my time management and I think that’ll be helpful as well, come university.”
Principal D’Onofrio hailed the exceptional efforts of his students who graduated with such honors, but he noted that credit for their success lies also with the support of their parents and families, who devoted much of their time to their children’s education. He said:
“It is because of the students and the support they have at home, for sure from their families and their friends,” D’Onofrio said. “As a school we do what we need to do with respect to student engagement, and supporting these students and nourishing their passions and nourishing their interests, and giving them constant feedback as to how they can improve and meet the expectations.”