MADISON, NJ Madison High School Class of 2019 graduated tonight in the school’s 123rd Commencement. After a week of rain, the sun shined bright on the 225 students as they were awarded their diplomas in Ted Monica Stadium.
Sitting on the dais were Superintendent Mark Schwarz and other senior members of the administration, retiring MHS principal Greg Robertson, and members of the Madison Board of Education. The audience was filled with parents and grandparents bearing congratulatory bouquets. The Madison High School Symphonic Band, directed by Russ Batsch, played a medley of songs as the seats filled and Pomp and Circumstance as the graduating seniors walked in. The Madison High School Concert Choir, directed by Dan Malloy, sang America the Beautiful.
Class President Emma Andersson addressed her classmates. She thanked her family and the school’s custodial staff for keeping the school “literally standing” and for setting up the graduation. She opined that senior year was the first time she and her classmates had to make independent decisions and she quoted author Malcolm Gladwell on the virtues of changing one’s mind.
Class Salutatorian Maya Sze thanked Principal Robertson and said his shoes would be hard to fill. She recited a quotation by Harvey MacKay “Time is free, but it's priceless. You can't own it, but you can use it. You can't keep it, but you can spend it. Once you've lost it you can never get it back.” She has a bucket list and said that when she looks back at her life, she hopes she can say she lived her life wisely. She hopes that the high school years are not the best years of her life – that life will get even better.
Class Valedictorian Aidan Fetterly likened the four years of high school to surviving on an island. He enthused that “every Dodger is destined for purposes beyond our imagination…We must attack our passions, fears, injustice.”
Superintendent Schwarz appealed to the students on “behalf of the present.” He asked that all those present close their eyes and focus on senses other than sight to anchor themselves in the present. He advised the students that “you are on the precipice of now.”
Principal Robertson was greeted with resounding applause as he addressed his final graduating class. After 15 years as principal, he said “the class of 2019 is so great, I wanted to walk out with you.” He explained four of the lessons he has learned over the years: (1) not to take life for granted and that it goes by faster than you can imagine; (2) respect is earned, not given; (3) not to be afraid of risks as he did when he assumed the job of principal; and (4) character is everything and to hold oneself accountable. He finished by stating “it is always a good day to be a Dodger!”
Gabriel Schlicksup and Madeline Yost were presented Rotary/Madison High School Parent-Teacher Student Organization Awards given to those members of the Senior Class “who have best upheld in their life and work the ideals and traditions of the school, who have attained high scholarship, exemplified a noble character, and rendered loyal service.”
The Class of 2019 were then awarded their diplomas and in traditional celebration tossed their caps into the air.