BARNEGAT, NJ - Barnegat High School’s Class of 2020 wasn’t the only one to go virtual when it came to graduation. At the middle school level, the transition from middle school to high school is known as a promotion.  Russell O. Brackman Middle School eighth graders just ended the year in a virtual promotion. Next year’s high school freshmen will also have the opportunity to do it again – live, and in person.

According to Brackman Principal Shannon Smith, the virtual promotion ceremony took three days to record. Smith is quick to acknowledge the extensive list of individuals that assisted with the production. In no particular order, they include Erich Wald, Sound Engineer, Michael Palmieri, Photography, Allison Stella, Videography, Thomas Lowe, Video Editing, and Tech Support, Angela Polisano. Decorations were provided by Stylized Events.

Smith also contributed to the video editing portion of the virtual promotion. There is no doubt that Smith has a great deal of insight when it comes to working  with video editing presentations. After all, she’s made headlines as the “Fresh Prince(pal) of Online Instruction.”

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“Although this year and ceremony are quite different from the one you probably envisioned, these experiences have contributed to your uniqueness, increased your inner strength, and foster your ability to adapt,” said Smith to those moving onto to the high school.  “All tangible skills that will serve you well going forward.”

Citing both Doctor Seuss and Harper Lee, Smith focused her message on the importance of kindness and courage as a means of achieving personal fulfillment.

Smith concluded her remarks with a reminder to the graduating class to always do their jobs and to be kind. However, she first expressed her aspirations for the graduating class.

“If anyone were to ask me, “What would you want the students of Brackman to find in their pots of gold at the end of their rainbows, “emphasized Smith.  “I would firmly reply, “Kindness in tone and action and endless energy to perform their jobs.”

Several Brackman students were recognized for academic and other important achievements upon their promotion from the middle school. The list includes:

Valedictorian: Kailei Hickey

Salutatorian: Alyson Sojak

Principal's Award: Jane Haviland

The Bulldog Way Recognition Award: Mirian Delgado

The Caring Award: Alexis Brunson & Meghan McDermott

Sportsmanship Award: Michael Spano & Jamison Hogan

NJHS Exemplary Character & Academic Distinction Award: Karsyn Oliver & Grace King

Superintendent's Honor Roll:

Robert Ash, Jr.

Gage Bowie

Alyssa Branz

Alan Cheng

Bradley Collins

Siena Desai

Ryan Dos Santos

Kassandra Doty

Joshua Goldman

Mina Griffin

Joseph Harrer

Kailei Hickey

Izakk Horton

Shawn Javines

Kaitlin Kessler

Grace King

Mikayla Klein

Brandon Kondrk

Allison Larsen

Christopher Littleford

Philip Littleford

Krystina Lynch

Samantha N. Manco

Meghan McDermott

Seth Nicolay

Gabriella O'Neill

Karsyn Oliver

Celestina Passiatore

Riley Seagriff

Alyson Sojak

Joseph Valles

Cedric Worthy, Jr.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Latwis said that he looked forward to watching to Brackman students excel as they entered the freshman class of Barnegat High School. He also applauded them on their successes.

Board of Education President Michael Hickey echoed Latwis’ sentiments and offered congratulations on behalf of the Board of Education.

An in-person promotion ceremony is in the works for July 8th, with a rain date of July 9th or 10th.


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