SPARTA, NJ-The senior class of Sparta High School was blessed with another perfect evening for graduation on Friday. Even with the ceremony held outdoors, it was standing room only for the class of 329 students. Hundreds of friends and family members gathered at Cassel Field in front of the high school to watch the girls in white and boys in blue caps and gowns receive their diplomas.
The evening began with music from the student orchestra lead by student conductors Linda Carlson, Ian Clark, Amanda Esso, Bernard Corbett and Elizabeth Willis. The students processed to the traditional Pomp and Circumstance performed by the high school Wind Ensemble. The Honors Choir performed the Star Spangled Banner, led by student conductor Haley Barna.
Opening remarks were given by Senior Class President Daniel Warhol followed by Salutatorian Isabella Cuan. There were then musical selections performed by Honors and Senior choirs led by student conductor Travis Prol. Peter Jin was next to the podium to deliver the Valedictorian Address.
Class officers President Warhol, Vice President Henri Brooks, Secretary Mark Von Eisenburg and Treasurer Isabella Cuan presented Principal Daniel Johnson with the class gift.
The seniors had already celebrated athletic achievement at the Monogram Dinner on May 28 and on June 5 the Senior Academic Awards celebrated their academic achievement. At the graduation Johnson announced two additional awards that had been decided by the high school staff. Megan Lepore received the Citizenship award and Isabella Cuan received the Scholarship award.
In his address, Superintendent Dennis Tobin spoke of the successes of the class of 2014. “The class of 2014 were crowned Sussex County Academic Bowl and Debate Team Champions, received acceptance into every Ivy League school, has 16 perfect SAT section scores, seven National Merit Scholar commendations, a West Point appointment and was awarded close to 27 million dollars in college scholarship money.”
President of the Board of Education Karen Scott was the final speaker of the evening before the students were called one by one to receive their diploma. By the time Shannon Zensen was announced the sky was beginning to darken. Students recessed and all were invited back into the decorated high school cafeteria where the PSTO provided a reception of cake, cookies, fruit and juice.
After a few more photo the students traded cap and gown for t-shirts, shorts and the wrist band that gained them access to the all-night alcohol free Project Graduation celebration at Mendham Racquet Club.
There was laughter and even some tears as the families and friends left the building. Expressing the sentiment shared by many, senior mother Ann Puszcz said, “What a nice night. I can’t believe they are finished. It just went so fast.”