MILLBURN, NJ - Under a brightening sky, 371 students of the Millburn High School Class of 2018 graduated today. “Change” was the theme of the day and was most visible in the blue gowns worn for the first time in MHS history by both male and female graduates. In the past, females donned white gowns while the males wore blue. As Class President Kyle Mazer stated “change has defined the last 12 years of our lives.” And School Principal Dr. William S. Miron declared “change must be recognized – the need for change and the need to adapt.” Dr. Christine Burton, Superintendent of Schools, stated that “innovation is changing the world we live in…. Innovation is transforming the curriculum and learning environments.”
The students marched onto the football field to the sound of Pomp and Circumstance. Graduating student Kate Olivia Parker-Lentz sang a soulful rendition of the National Anthem. This was followed by a rendition of the Millburn High School “Alma Mater” song arranged by MHS class of 2008 graduates Drew Mackasek and John Meguerian.
After thanking his parents, teachers, and fellow class officers and students, Class President Mazer reminisced about his kindergarten year at Hartshorn when his teacher Ms. Miller had asked the students what their biggest fear was. Mazer had responded that “my greatest fear is being locked out of public places.” He now realizes that although this fear might seem nonsensical, it was sadly prescient in light of 2018 being scarred by tragedy outside the Millburn bubble: hurricanes, school shootings, the polarized political scene. He admonished his classmates to “not letthe world make us think we can’t.”
Dr. Miron commended the class of 2018 for its bond and unity among the graduates. He cited the change in robe colors, the change in the school schedule, and the cancellation of the traditional Millburn-Madison Thanksgiving football game. He advised the class that “you can’t cross the ocean if you are not willing to lose sight of the shore.”
Every year at graduation, a teacher from the high school, middle school, or an elementary school is chosen to receive the Sally S. DeVeer Memorial Award. This year MHS special education teacher Susan Dewoski received the honor. She is a 1987 MHS graduate and a teacher of 30 years. Although in the audience, she had “no idea” she was to receive the award and declared “MHS is an amazing place.”
Dr. Burton, School Superintendent, quoting Thoreau, stated “go confidentially in the direction of your dreams.” With that advice, she and Class Officers Mazer, Kendall Kransdorf, Vice President, Melissa Du, Secretary, and Anshul Nayar, Treasurer, distributed the diplomas. Finally released, the students joyously threw their caps into the bright sky.