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Special Meaning On First Day At Kennedy Catholic

SOMERS, N.Y. – Friday, the first full day of school at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, will be marked by several major events during the 9 a.m. Mass of the Holy Spirit.

The school will announce the winner of the Marc Napolitano Freshman Scholarship, given by the family and friends of the 19-year-old Kennedy alumnus who died in a wintertime automobile accident upstate in 2010. Killed with him was Kaitlyn Lonergan, a 2011 graduate of Somers High School.

The Mass itself will be dedicated to 2006 Kennedy graduate and star athlete, Lt. Tyrell Thompson, who collapsed and died in August while playing basketball in Fort Lee, Va. Thompson graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point and was playing on behalf of the Fort Lee Army base team. Thompson was buried on Thursday evening at Arlington National Cemetery.

State Sen. Greg Ball will be at the Mass to present $10,000 in 'bullet aid," which will be used toward programs at Kennedy that impact the larger community. “Bullet aid” is money above and beyond the state's $15 billion budget item designated for learning institutions and libraries.

Among the programs the aid will be used for at Kennedy are the summer-school program and the PSAT and High School Readiness programs.

“For the past two years our staff has worked hard to fill the void of summer enrichment programming in North Westchester,” said the principal, the Rev. Mark G. Vaillancourt. “We’re pleased that the senator has recognized that we, too, are ‘gettin’ it done.’”

Ball said, “As a former Air Force officer, my heart goes out to the Thompson family and his Kennedy Catholic community. My hope is that this funding will enable Kennedy to continue producing the kind of upstanding men and women, like Tyrell, who serve their country with courage and compassion.”

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