Malagad and another student showed up in class dressed up in medical scrubs when reporting on their summer experiences one year at the National New Leadership Forum on Medicine.
She sold the school on the concept of a field trip to Philadelphia. Later at Teacher Appreciation Day, she arrived at school playing the role of her favorite teacher.
"I guess the best way to describe Shaina Marie is that she is full of surprises," Assistant Principal Alice J. Miesnik said. "She is a brilliant student with a creative flair."
Marist, as a Roman Catholic institution, has a particular focus on faith. As a result of this, Malagad is active in not one, but two Christian youth groups and is expected to celebrate All Youth Day with Pope Benedict in Australia in July.
Planning on attending Seton Hall with the aim of majoring in pre-med, Malagad, in her address to the class, said she was normally reserved and that giving the Valedictorian Address was perhaps the first time her voice rose above the voices of her classmates.
Caught in the heavy echo of the school's auditorium, Malagad urged the members of her class to speak up and have their voices heard.
Instead of voting for school president, they move on from Marist to take their part in a world where they, as adults, get to vote for president of the United States.
"But will you vote? Will you make your voice heard?" she asked. "You might say 'I'm only one voice. I can't make a difference.' But if everyone said that, then nothing would change. Yes, I am this one voice. But together, our voices can shake the rafters and rock the boat."
A large class
Several hundred gathered early to celebrate the awarding of diplomas to the 140 students - one of the largest classes in recent memory - despite 90-degree temperatures outside.
This was the 51st annual graduation ceremony held at Marist, honoring the accomplishments of students from Bayonne, Jersey City and other parts of Hudson County.
During his remarks, Marist President Robert Slaski humorously suggested that he hoped one or more of the high school's graduates might "make it big" and donate an air conditioning system to the school.
While "Pomp and Circumstance" played, graduates dressed in blue gowns moved up the center aisle to explosions of applause, cheers and flashing cameras, each graduating student's expression differing in its reaction to these final moments ending their careers here.
Some grinned at family members in the crowd, but many looked straight ahead, as if they understood only at this moment that they would no longer be attending Marist and would no longer see many of the familiar faces of teachers and friends they have known since entering these doors four years ago.
Slaski echoed this in his remarks to the graduates.
"I'm sure some of you are upset to see this day end," he said, "while others may be breathing a sigh of relief. In any case, here you are, diplomas in hand, and college is just outside that door."
But he encouraged each graduate to "take a piece of Marist High School" with them.
In his invocation prayer, Brother Stephen Schlitte celebrated this right of passage into the future, asking for God to give them peace of mind, courage, compassion, perseverance and joy.
An exploration of life
Quoting poet T.S. Elliott, salutatorian Miguel Kevin Deldoc said students are beginning an exploration of life and the world. Although the graduates will come to appreciate the value of their education, they will also "open their hearts to love" and come to realize that "love is the most valuable human emotion."
"At the end of our exploration, we will find, I hope, a world better off for our having been there," he said.
Deldoc as been one of those people who makes you feel as if you're the most important person in the world.
"Miguel's strength definitely comes from his deep faith," Miesnik said.
He belongs to a Christian singing group called Living Water Christian International.
"He says he loves leading others to worship," Miesnik said. "Many of us who have seen him in the Marist Jazz Ensemble know this is true."
As a student of Marist High School, Deldoc has excelled in math and science, and will be attending Rutgers University in Newark, where he will study nursing.
Some of the award winners
The top 10 academic leaders in this year's graduating class are Malagad, Deldoc, Adrienne Joy Sapal, Adolfo Arias, Jennifer Figueroa, Jessica Cordova, Samantha Dacasin, Samantha Behrooj, Mathew R. Francisco and Lauren Lenzo.
Malagad, Deldoc and Sapal also received the Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholars Award.
Deldoc took top honors in school excellence in religion and mathematics, finishing second in English and science.
Malagad finished first in science, history and Spanish, and second in mathematics.
Sapal finished second in religion and history.
Samantha Behrooj, who finished tops in English, also received the Bayonne Writers Group Award for 2008.
Eufalis Perez received the Champagnat Award. Lenzo received the Royal Knight/Lady Knight of Marist High School Award for excellence in academics, athletics and school involvement. She also received the Bayonne Rotary Club Award.
Kevin Scarpa received the Caritas Award for outstanding service to Marist High School.
Arias, Melissa Arocho, Bryan Barrera and Patrick Farrell received the Marist Parent Council Book Scholarship Award to help defray the cost of textbooks at college.
Arias and Malagad also won NJSIAA Scholar-Athlete Awards.
Christine Centeno won the Marist Student Athlete Award.
Sapal received the Fireman's Mutual Benevolent Association Award.
Jean-Marie Hamilton won the Bayonne Lions Club Joseph R. Lamparello Citizenship Award.
Ajamu Offord received the Integrity, Leadership, and Community Involvement Award (in memory of Sara and Louis Wigdor). Nehal Sayedahmed received the same award in memory of Barney Stock.
Paul Rajah won the Christopher Columbus Foundation Scholarship, and Stephanie Lopes won the George and Regina Matthews Scholarship.