MONTVILLE, NJ -  Monday evening, June 22, 2015, three hundred and twenty-three Robert R. Lazar Middle School eighth graders were promoted to ninth grade. The ceremony took place in the gymnasium at Montville Township High School.

“You are a class that has set a standard for the entire building that is one of incredible kindness, compassion, and academic success,” Principal Sharon Carr told the students. “Together we have witnessed many proud moments and academic achievements such as our Science Olympiad and math teams receiving accolades on the county and state levels; literacy, artistic, and leadership awards; sports teams that have completed outstanding seasons, and band, orchestra and chorus receiving prestigious recognition. You are also kind, you are also compassionate.” 

Carr encouraged the class to continue on their journey using the skills they have developed at Lazar.

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“Rely on your character and don’t be afraid to stand alone for a cause in which you believe. Be open to new challenges but always remember the things you learned at Lazar. Respect each other. Take care of each other, as you have over the past three years. This class, every one of you – together -- have the ability to make your graduating class one of the best to have gone through Montville Township High School. Make it happen. Congratulations class! Go out there and change the world!”

Student Council President, Colin Noone, spoke of change. He noted that three years ago, upon entering Lazar Middle School, it was scary to think of changing classes and opening lockers. He said some of that fear surfaces again at the thought of entering high school.

“But Lazar prepared us. It’s up to us to adjust,” Noone said. “Things are just starting over. It only gets better from here. Four years from now we are going to prepare for change again.”

Noone’s summation, “But we are the Class of 2019,” was met with thunderous applause and cheers from his peers.

Officials in attendance included: Superintendent, Dr. Paul Fried, Assistant Superintendents Dr. Casey Shorter and Andrea Woodring, Board of Education Members Charles Grau, Dr. Matthew Kayne, John Morella, Michael Palma and Board President Dr. Karen Cortellino.

Awards were presented in twenty-two categories.

Those who received awards were: Academic Achievement Awards: Priyanka Solanky and Sang Lee, American Heritage Awards: Alexander Khalaf and Brynn Dougherty, Scholastic Progress Award: Alexa Zammit, The Robert R. Lazar Middle School Service Award: John Acker and Jillian Howar, Sportsmanship Awards: Trent Caudill and Samantha Brady, The Student of the Year Award: Anna George, The Nutrition, Family and Consumer Studies Award: Brenden Silverman, Music Awards: Venkat Gokaraju and Leila Camplone (Concert Band), Jessica Blake and Julia Rossinow (Chorus), Jessica Lee and Alex Park (Orchestra), Art Awards: Annalise Jacobs and Edmona Gomes, The LNN Television Studio Award: Colin Noone and Hannah Leeb, The Spanish Award: Michael Ricciardi, The Italian Award: Samantha Brady, The French Award: Noah Hemsey, The Mandarin Award: Ted Park, The Morris County Superintendent’s Middle School Leadership Award: Samantha Shalongo, Daughters of the American Revolution Youth Citizenship Awards: Vincent Sotirov and Emily Kozell, Citizenship Awards: Alexis Cocchio and Julia Rossinow, The Lazar Determination Award: Amber Racioppi, The Todd Perrella Memorial Award: Jorge Munoz-Ramirez, Michelle Sullivan Memorial Award: Lindsay O’Hara, Heroism Awards: Carly DiGiacomo, Venkat Gokaraju, Skyler Herman and Jason Joo and The Carol Lazar Snyder Memorial Awards: Arianne Grevesen and Miranda Morrone.

In addition, the Montville Township High School Parent Teacher Council awarded the class a $100 check to begin the Class of 2019 account. The check was presented to Marissa DiFulco, Freshman Class President.