St. Mary’s Parish and School is privileged to welcome one of its own parishioners, Haley Scott DeMaria, as the commencement speaker for the class of 2017 graduating class at St. Mary’s Parish and School.
Principal Mindi Imes says, “St. Mary's High School is honored that Mrs. Haley ScottDeMariahas agreed to be our 2017 Commencement Speaker. Mrs. ScottDeMariahas motivated so many through her perseverance and her gift of storytelling about her inspiring life experiences. Mrs. Haley ScottDeMariainspires us and we know she will have a lasting impact on our graduates and those who will be present to witness our Commencement Exercises in May.”
Each year an inspirational and positive speaker is sought out to speak to the graduating seniors as they prepare to begin the next chapter in their lives and celebrate their accomplishments at St. Mary’s. This year we are blessed to have a speaker that has made a life based in the Catholic faith and the strength that can be drawn from it. Haley Scott DeMaria says, “It is a great honor to be asked to speak at St. Mary's High School's graduation. Graduation is a special day for the graduates and their families, and I feel privileged to play a small role in helping to celebrate their accomplishments. The most meaningful life lessons I have experienced through adversity, faith, and joy, emerged from my Catholic education, and I look forward to sharing these blessings and with the graduates.”
In 1992, on a cold snow and ice covered Indiana highway, Scott DeMaria was in a tragic bus accident along with her teammates from the Notre Dame University Women’s swimming and diving team that left two of her teammates dead and Scott DeMaria facing the real possibility of being a paraplegic for the rest of her life at age 18. She would not only walk again but compete with her teammates, even winning her first heat back in competition with her best time ever in the 50-meter freestyle. Later she married her husband, Jamie, with the knowledge that she would unlikely be able to give birth to a child. Today, she and her husband are blessed to have two children despite the long odds they faced. Scott DeMaria found strength in family, the faith they shared and a will “to get back to where she had been” before that bus crash on that cold Indiana highway.
Haley Scott DeMaria was graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1995, with a bachelor’s degree in History and returned to Xavier College Preparatory, her high school alma mater in Phoenix, Arizona, to teach and coach swimming. She later received her Master’s in Teaching from the University of Southern California, and several national awards as a result of her inspirational recovery and lives and worships in Annapolis, Maryland. Please join us to hear her compelling story of family, faith, perseverance and the Catholic community she attributes her recovery to.
St. Mary’s Parish, a Catholic congregation served by the Redemptorist Order, includes St. Mary’s Church and St. John Neumann Mission Church. St. Mary's Elementary and High School located in downtown Annapolis, Maryland, serve students in grades Kindergarten through 12. Anchored in faith, rooted in tradition, and committed to excellence, our programs build lifelong learners who are servant leaders.