Class of 2019: Tiny start, big finish for Maimone twins at Mercy High, Loyola Blakefield

Born 10 weeks ahead of their due date, Connor and Kayleigh Maimone began an enduring connection to Mercy High School by being baptized in its chapel.

Kayleigh was in Mercy’s class of 2019, Connor in Loyola Blakefield’s.  In addition, his Eagle Scout status included a service project that involved renovating the faculty dining room at Mercy.

Karen and Bob Maimone hold their twins, Kayleigh and Connor, after their baptism at Mercy High’s Chapel. (Courtesy Maimone Family)

Back in 2001, Bob and Karen Lippy Maimone were advised to limit their premature newborns’ time in crowds, which meant finding a place smaller than their home parish of Sacred Heart, Glyndon, for baptism. Our Lady of Mercy Chapel was not only more intimate, it was also her alma mater.

“I wanted them to have that connection,” added the 1992 graduate, now the Mercy alumnae engagement manager.

Kayleigh and Connor followed diverse paths as they grew.

One of Mercy’s three Archdiocesan Distinctive Scholars, Kayleigh will study biology at Washington College in Chestertown, where she will be a Presidential Fellow and John S. Toll Science and Mathematics Apprentice, with plans to be a neonatal physician.

Mercy’s Women in Medicine program sent her to Mercy Medical Center, and its newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Her senior year included completing research on a NICU-related topic and designing a baby book template for parents to document their babies’ early progress.

She was vice president of communications for the student council; sang with the Madrigals and served as captain of cheerleading, field hockey and Field Day – the latter all four years.

“I loved how it brought us together,” she said.

A National Honor Society member, Kayleigh received the Sister Michelle Carroll Award for academic achievement and contributions to student life at the senior awards assembly.

Sue Ann Ness, Kayleigh’s favorite science teacher, called her “an outstanding role model and truly a woman of mercy.”

Of her time at Mercy, Kayleigh said, “It definitely prepared me for college. I formed many relationships that I will definitely keep.”

Of the education he received at Loyola Blakefield, Connor said, “It really opened my eyes to the value of a Jesuit school,” to the point where he will head to another Jesuit institution, Marquette University in Milwaukee, to study civil engineering.

Connor played electric guitar with the school’s jazz combo at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival in Boston; worked on the yearbook; was active in Loyola Blakefield’s retreat program, and was a pole-vaulter for track and field.

Over his junior and senior years, Connor live-streamed as part of the school’s Sports Broadcasting Club.

“I regret not joining it sooner,” he said. “I fell in love with it.”

It was in August 2017 when Connor, a member of Troop 706, which is sponsored by Sacred Heart Parish, rounded up Scouts and Mercy students, including his twin, to paint the faculty dining room walls and install new cabinets and floors at Mercy.

Brian Marana, Loyola’s assistant principal for academics, noted Connor’s dedication.

As different as they are, the twins share some things, such as Advanced Placement courses and working at Pappas Restaurant in Cockeysville. They drove to school together and even attended the other’s prom.

After their mother recalled their competitiveness in grade school, Connor said, “We’re still competitive.”

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Mary K. Tilghman

Mary K. Tilghman

Mary Tilghman is a freelance contributor to the Catholic Review who previously served as managing editor, news editor and staff writer for the Review.

A parishioner of St. Ignatius in Baltimore, she and her husband have three adult children. Her first novel, “Divided Loyalties” (Black Rose Writing), a historical novel set in the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, was published in 2017.