Eight students from the Toronto District Catholic School Board graduated this year with perfect grades — and six of them are all from the same high school.
Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School and Regional Arts Centera high school in Etobicoke, just south of Lake Shore Boulevard West, had the most 100 percent grades in the 2022-23 school year.
Six students leave the school with flawless averages – the most the school has ever seen in a senior year, principal John D'Onofrio confirmed to CTV News Toronto on Monday. Last year, the Toronto District School Board found that five graduates left high school with perfect grades — and even then, all of the students went to different schools.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” D'Onofrio told CTV News Toronto. “A bit shocked but knowing these kids [it was] With these six students, that was not unexpected.”
Amelia Campoli, Honora Murphy, Tano Nguyen, Natalia Zulek, and Zachary
D'Onofrio called the students “passionate, hardworking and very disciplined”, which fits well with the school's motto: “Teach me well, disciplined and knowing”. And while D'Onofrio says those qualities should be honored, he also pointed to the support that surrounds them.
“It's because of the students and the support they get back home, certainly from their families and friends,” D'Onofrio said. “As a school, we do what we need to do to encourage student engagement, support those students, nurture their passions and interests, and provide them with constant feedback on how to improve and meet expectations.”
Xerri told CTV News Toronto he was proud and happy for his peers' success.
“It was definitely a great performance,” said Xerri. “I always do my best and always do my best in college. There was no way I was expecting such recognition, I was really, really grateful for the recognition.”
Zachary Xerri, 17, on his way to his high school graduation. (Courtesy of Zachary Xerri)
The Catholic school prides itself on focusing on academics, arts and athletics, following in the footsteps of Father John Redmond, the Basilian priest for whom the school is named.
Xerri took the “Triple A” approach to his high school education as he participated in the Congregated Advanced Placement (CAP) program, the Regional Arts Band (RAP) program, the Safe Schools Committee, the leadership collective, peer tutoring, and was involved with the school's peer ministry team and was a member of the cross country and track teams.
Outside of school, Xerri said he's volunteered 200 hours of his time at Humber River Hospital, worked part-time making dough at a local bakery in the Junction, and played the piano and saxophone — “It's just a great way to make a move.” ” back from studies.”
While Xerri attributed his passion for learning – especially math and science – and his learning environment to stoking his fire to stay motivated, he says that without time management, he wouldn't have been able to do it all on his own.
“I still use a physical planner – I love it. It's great for me to write everything down, keep myself on track, and time management involves prioritizing and identifying my priorities as a student,” Xerri told CTV News Toronto.
“It's definitely a balancing act… I've really been able to improve my time management and I think that will help at uni as well.”
Zachary Xerri at a cross-country gathering (left) and he plays the saxophone at the RAP Band's final concert. (Courtesy of Zachary Xerri)
If he had to leave any words of wisdom to his classmates who are now entering their senior year of high school, Xerri said he would leave only one: “Participation.”
Aside from participating in class discussions and answering questions in class, Xerri said it's important to participate in the school's programs.
“I have learned many essential skills through my extracurricular involvement with Father John Redmond and these are skills I am definitely grateful to have learned and I am sure they will be of use in my future as well.”
The 17-year-old is expected to attend the University of Toronto's life sciences program.
“I'm so excited to be back in this environment with like-minded people,” said Xerri.