The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools granted diplomas to 469 students in graduation ceremonies held simultaneously on all five campuses on June 27.

“I know that all of the people here have been a part of your journey and they are all still committed to you,” Middlesex County Freeholder Shanti Narra said before a packed auditorium on the MCVTS Perth Amboy Campus.

Taking note of the national political climate, she added, “The world of 2018 is a very difficult one. Remember to be kind to everyone in your lives. I know you’ve had an education here in which everyone has been kind and supportive, and now you need to give it back.”

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Perth Amboy Campus valedictorian Piero Coronado of Carteret, a computer systems technology major, recalled some advice he received from a teacher early in his high school years: “If your circle doesn’t help you to grow, you are in the wrong circle.”

“Don’t be afraid of leaving your comfort zone,” he told his classmates. “That’s the only way you can grow as a person.”

Salutatorian Antonia Patterson recalled that she was supported by her teachers and classmates after returning to Perth Amboy from Florida at the start of high school. Despite having “absolutely no computer knowledge,” she was able to earn multiple certifications by the time of graduation.

The East Brunswick Campus valedictorian was Sean Mejorada of Old Bridge, while the salutatorian was Jennifer Obrizan of Carteret. On the Piscataway Campus, the valedictorian was Gursewek Singh of Carteret and the salutatorian was Branden Barnes of Edison. At the Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences in Woodbridge, the valedictorian was Tanvi Banota of South Brunswick and the salutatorian was Owais Aftab of North Brunswick. The valedictorian of the Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies in Edison was Anjali Gupta of Edison and the salutatorian was Abhishek Hariharan of South River.

Seventy-seven percent of MCVTS graduates from the regular high school program will be attending college or other post-secondary schools, including Baylor, Boston University, Brown, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Fordham, Harvard, Lehigh, NJIT, NYU, Penn State, Princeton, Purdue, RPI, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Stanford, Stevens Institute, Cal-Berkeley, Illinois, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt and Villanova.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, has seven schools on five campuses. More information is available at www.mcvts.net. The Perth Amboy Campus, the Edison Academy and the Woodbridge Academy have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools. The East Brunswick Campus has been designated a National Green Ribbon School in recognition of its “green” curriculum and sustainable building management practices. More information is available at www.mcvts.net.