NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - New Providence High School's Class of 2014 graduated on Friday. Family and friends filled the stands of Edward H. Lieder Field. The event officially began with the faculty processional to Charles Gounod’s “March Pontifcale,” performed by the New Providence High School Marching Band. The 167 graduates subsequently followed, to Edward Elgar’s “Pomp & Circumstance.”
All rose for the flag salute, conducted by Kevin Maluso, Senior Class President. Benjamin Keller, Student Council President, delivered the welcoming address. The marching band and chorus performed the NP Pioneer Alma Matter and Z. Randall Stroope’s “Omnia Sol.”
Mark Andrew Hays, valedictorian, addressed the attendees. He encouraged his fellow Pioneers to take the harder way in life, the road less traveled. Although there might be “overgrown bushes and weeds in the way, plants with thorns ready to scratch us, and maybe even some poison ivy,” “we are Pioneers ready” to wend through these difficult paths, said Hays.
Salutatorian Anna Nicole Westerhaus then spoke with gratitude to New Providence’s strong communal spirit and to the privilege of having attended NPHS, with its athletic and scholastic prowess. “We’ve made so many lasting memories, and we can all leave New Providence High School with such a great sense of pride. New Providence High School, our families, and the town itself, have made us the responsible citizens we are today,” said Westerhaus.
NPHS Principal Lauren Zirpoli addressed the attendees. “Each of you in this graduating class has offered parts to what makes the whole...each of you, in your own indisputable way, has offered so much to New Providence High School,” said Zirpoli. She also thanked retiring faculty members.
Dr. David Miceli, Superintendent of Schools, then joined Zirpoli at the podium. Zirpoli certified that the students all met the graduation requirements, and Miceli happily accepted the graduating class. He asked the students to stand for the faculty and thank them for their service. He also recognized those members of the board of education for their support of the school community and shared with the Class of 2014 the message of Colonel Ellison Onizuka: to lead a purposeful life of edification, innovation, and imagination.
The graduates, whose names were called by Hays and Westerhaus, then walked on stage to receive their diplomas.
Keller spoke of the familial cohesion of the Class of 2014, the lasting effect his peers will have on future Pioneers, and the memories that the graduates will cherish for their entire lives. In his final remarks, Keller asked his fellow classmates to join him in moving their tassels to the other side of their caps. “Let’s go out and conquer the world,” said Keller.
The recessional, conducted again to Gounod’s “March Pontifcale,” concluded the graduation ceremony.