gostrum / By Gus Ostrum, GCHS Director of Advancement
GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (April 10, 2017)--Just outside the main high school office in the hallway at the Cumberland Street entrance sits a piece of history that all Gloucester Catholic students and alumni alike should be proud to share.
It is the ‘Alumni Wall of Honor,’ and if you haven’t had a chance to see it, you should stop for a visit. Oh, and by the way, you can thank GCHS senior Santino Capone for this impressive display that sits prominently in the school’s main hallway.
On Sunday, March 26, “Tino’s” Eagle Court of Honor was held at Gloucester Catholic. He was presented The Eagle Scout award during a special ceremony conducted by the leadership and scouts of Troop 7083. Representatives from the Garden State Boy Scout Council of Southern NJ, along with Bishop Dennis Sullivan of the Diocese of Camden and Father Allain Caparas, former Director of Catholic Identity here were in attendance.
As proud family members and friends looked on, Tino – a member of Troop 7083 based in Mantua Township – was honored for the first time as an Eagle Scout, which is the highest rank achieved in the Boy Scouts of America. Only 4% of all Boy Scouts achieve this rank.
After completing five plus years in the Cub Scouts and seven years in the Boy Scouts, Tino was approved as an Eagle Scout by the Eagle Scout Board of Review on September 13, 2016, when he presented his completed Eagle Scout project to the Review Board. Eagle projects require the scout to develop a project plan, establish a budget, raise funds, and manage the manpower and resources.
Tino’s Eagle Scout project was the “Alumni Wall of Honor”, an idea he received from Father Caparas, now the Principal at St. Joseph’s High School in Hammonton.
“Father Caparas brought up the idea of a Wall of Honor because he had seen one at a high school where he previously visited,” Tino said. “I loved the idea, and received a lot of support from my family and friends here at the school to make this become a reality.”
Tino began the project in late 2015 by mailing a survey to Gloucester Catholic alumni asking them to highlight their military service. Word spread quickly about the project, and soon dozens of Ram alumni had provided their names, career details and photos related to their service. The GCHS Alumni Wall of Honor was installed on July 19, 2016.
Currently, there are approximately 90 alumni honored. The plates on the wall distinguish those alumni who have previously served and the photos recognize those alumni currently on active duty. Alumni will continue to be added to the display over the course of time as GC’s proud tradition of service to our nation is visible for all to see!
“What a thrill it has been to hear from our veterans and meet many of them,” Tino said. “This has been a project that really hit home and meant a lot to me personally.”
One reason for the personal connection is that Tino has several family members who served both in the Army, Army Air Corp and Navy during WWII and have served tours of duty in Vietnam as well as the War on Terror.
“I know full well the sacrifices our military members make for their families and our country,” he said. “I know this is certainly the case within my own family.”
Aside from his Boy Scout activities through the years, Tino has enjoyed a well-grounded Christian education at Gloucester Catholic. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has served in the Liturgy Club throughout high school. Santino has taught CCD classes at Holy Family and has volunteered as an assistant for the Special Olympics Bowling program. In addition to participating in the annual Scout Food Drives, Santino conducted several food drives in his neighborhood to benefit the clients of the St. Vincent DePaul Society of Infant Jesus Parish in addition to delivering Thanksgiving Food Baskets and Christmas Presents. Santino has his own lawn mowing service, and has worked as a dishwasher and bus boy. He is currently employed as a pizza delivery driver at Pat’s Select in Washington Twp. On the football team, he proved to be one of the top wide receivers in the West Jersey Football League in helping the Rams to a 6-4 record during his senior season. He also earned Varsity letters in Basketball and Track.
Tino will attend Rutgers University in New Brunswick and will study business and accounting. His ultimate career goal is to become a Detective with the FBI.