MILLTOWN, NJ - Joyce Kilmer said its goodbyes to its eighth grade class this week with a virtual graduation ceremony on Monday and an intimate in-person graduation ceremony on Tuesday at the fourth through eighth grade school. The weather cooperated and the graduates had a beautiful day to celebrate their accomplishments.
Joyce Kilmer Principal William Veit and District Assistant Principal Jaclyn Citro were both on hand to congratulate the 90 eighth grade students as well as four staff members who volunteered to assist with the in-person ceremony along with Veit's secretary Susan Bottiglieri.
Monday's virtual ceremony was well-received by parents and students.
"We wanted to try and make that extra special for everyone," Veit said of the virtual ceremony. "We made the best of it."
Mother Nature handed them a perfect day for an in-person ceremony. Three two-hour time slots were set up. Each student and their family were allotted five to eight minutes to take photos and receive his or her certificate along with any awards he or she received. A professional photographer took a photo of each graduate in a green cap and gown on the red carpet after his or her name was announced. "Pomp and Circumstance" played in the background.
Then, the graduate was joined by his for her family for a group photo. Each graduate received one photo courtesy of Joyce Kilmer and could choose to purchase a packet as well. A tent was set up where the soon-to-be high school freshman picked up certificates and awards as well as a banner to take additional pictures.
"We are happy they have the time to spend," Veit said of the five to eight minutes between each graduate. "As long as the kids are happy, that is the main thing."
Joyce Kilmer will also host an outdoor event on July 14 for the Class of 2020. Graduates will be able to receive their yearbooks and enjoy some time together before they move on to their next educational chapter. Many will go to attend Spotswood High School while others will be attending private or parochial high schools in the area or the East Brunswick campus of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School.
Maya Redondo and Gavin Cahill were the valedictorians of Joyce Kilmer's Class of 2020. Both finished at the top of their class and received the Milltown Education Association's Highest Scholarship Award. Other award winners include:
- Citizenship - Abiageal Bolan and Cole Frost
- JK Kennedy Memorial - Molly Walsh and Trey Lazar
- Charles P. Krauss Memorial - Kaitlyn DeFazio and Scott Loughran
- Edward V. Vetter Memorial - Gwendolyn Hartwig and Anthony Clarke
- David B. Crabiel Memorial - Isabella Vitale and Jack Frobosilo
- Quackenbush Memorial - Kathleen Kazanjian and Cole Frost
- Richard E. Hart Memorial - Madison Crupe and Mason Bitalla
- School Achievement - Caroline Citro, Ava Fama, Jason Orlowski and Owen Bernstein
- Joseph Rademacher Memorial - Linda Davila and Leo Wagner
- Progress in Scholarship - Hannah Canto, Ava Rodrigues, Harrison Pearce and Lucien Martinez
- Achievement in Language Arts, The Frank Corso Award - Florisel Velez and Nicholas Todd
- Frederick Kesselman Memorial - Nicolette Evans and Kaiden Thomas
- Harold F. Ellingham Memorial - Morgan Zink, Kate Sullivan, Sebastian Khaleque and Gavin Cahill
- Original Poetry - Ashley Wyatt and David Caruso
- Athletic-Physical Education - Molly Walsh, Isabella Vitale, Jeremy DeCaro and Luc Acquaviva
- Talent in Visual Arts - Madison Braun and Tyler Young
- Christopher Eichert Memorial - Nya Davis and Jonathan Dekovics
- World Language - KylaMarie Conroy and Austin Scher
- Computer Literacy Olivia Albrecht and Nathan Leiby
- Rita Petscavage Memorial - Antonella Duran and Tavio Revilla
- Achievement in Mathematics - Gavin Cahill
- Achievement in Science - Kaiden Thomas
- Achievement in Athletics - Quin Esser and Isabella Vitale
- Milltown Litte League Scholarship Award - Luc Acquaviva, Owen Bernstein, Mason Bitalla, Gavin Cahill, Caroline Citro, Anthony Clarke, KylaMarie Conroy, Charlie Cumiskey, Breckyn DeAngelis, Jeremy DeCaro, Quin Esser, Jack Frobosilo, Cole Frost, Trey Lazar, Jonathan Misura, Michelle Murphy, Raymond Nault, Calvin Obriski, Sean Park, Matthew Pollard, Maya Redondo, Ava Rodrigues, Katie Ryan, Nate Skala, Kate Sullivan, Andrew Visokay III, Isabella Vitale, Molly Walsh and Daniel Yarus
- Sean Leary Memorial Award - Ginny Mate and Daniel Yarus
- Jennifer "Cheers" Chirico Award - Mason Bitalla
- Karen Collins Memorial Award - Lydia Abdu and Luc Acquaviva
- Upstander Award - Ava Fama and Liam Zeh
- Teri Shook Memorial Award - David Caruso
- Deborah A. Fryzel Memorial Award - Breckyn DeAngelis
- The Joseph "DeDa" Gebbia Memorial Award - Morgan Zink and Mason Bitalla
Congratulations to the Joyce Kilmer Class of 2020: Lydia Abdu, Luc Acquaviva, Olivia Albrecht, Branden Applegate, Folakunmi Babalola, Alexander Baile, Kayla Baker, Owen Bernstein, Mason Bitalla, Abiageal Bolan, Madison Braun, Gavin Cahill, Sah'jurne Campbell, Hannah Canto, David Caruso, Caroline Citro, Anthony Clarke, Madison Crupe, Brandon Cruz, Charley Cumiskey, Meghan Curtis, Linda Davila, Nya Davis, Breckyn DeAngelis, Jeremy DeCaro, Katelyn DeFazio, Jonathan Dekovics, Keyla Demchuk, Antonella Duran, Quin Esser, Nicolette Evans, Ava Fama, Jack Frobosilo, Coleman Frost, Kimberly Fuentes, Devin Gorman, Gwendolyn Hartwig, Zaid Henriquez, Reed Johnson, Jonathan Kay, Kathleen Kazanjian, Sebastian Khaleque, Trey Lazar, Nathan Leiby, Scott Loughran, Jack Louro, Katherine Marakis, Lucien Martinez, Virginia Mate, Jonathan Misura, Michelle Murphy, Raymond Nault, Obadiah Norman, Calvin Obriski, Jason Orlowski, Sean Park, Andrew Pearce, Harrison Pearce, Mikaela Perez, Matthew Pollard, Maya Redondo, Liam Reimer, Tavio Revilla, Ava Rodrigues, Joshua Ross, Katie Ryan, Andrew Saulneir, Matthew Savarese, Austin Scher, Lilana Simone, Nathaniel Skala, Ty Sowell, Katherine Sullivan, Sanela Taipovic, Kaiden Thomas, Nicholas Todd, Kayden Turner, Ryan Van Aulen, Florisel Velez, Andrew Visokay III, Isabella Vitale, Calvin Wagner, Leo Wagner, Molly Walsh, Ashley Wyatt, Daniel Yarus, Tyler Young, Liam Zeh and Morgan Zink.