MONTVILLE, NJ – Messages of hope and thankfulness were offered to the more than 300 graduates of the 2017 graduating class of the Montville Township High School, which held its commencement ceremony on June 20.

Clear skies and beautiful weather greeted the graduates as they marched onto the football field for the evening of music and heartfelt speeches by administrators and students.

“This ceremony represents so much love, care, support, and hope, and all that you have done for the past four years is being celebrated tonight,” Principal Douglas Sanford told the 304 students. “But, for the very same reason that we are here tonight celebrating, I feel confident that the greatest moments in your life lie before you. […] I hope you leave this ceremony comforted in knowing that you can accomplish any and all endeavors you pursue.”

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Valedictorian Jonathan Kraft reminisced about his time on the cross country team and all the positive – and negative – memories that make up one’s high school career. But he said he was thankful to have gone through it all with his classmates.

“When I look at you, I see a class full of 300 strong, driven individuals who have overcome obstacles in their lives I couldn’t imagine facing,” he said. “We have distinguished ourselves among other classes with all of the prestigious schools to which we’ve been accepted and the achievements we’ve attained in sports, music, and clubs. Now we’ve arrived in the same place together, and I feel so blessed to have been a part of this class of students.”

Salutatorian Cassandra Gologorsky called attention to the many amazing accomplishments of her classmates:

“We’ve spent so long thinking about what comes after high school that I don’t think we realize how much we’ve already accomplished during high school,” she said. “My fellow classmates have conducted graduate level research, competed in national forensics tournaments, and performed in some amazing musicals. They’ve demonstrated their outstanding talents on the field, in the pool, and on the track, as well as in art shows and concerts. I’d like to take a moment to congratulate the athletes, artists, musicians, orators, and other gifted individuals of the senior class. For a moment, let’s not focus on the future, but let’s recall all that we’ve accomplished in the past four years. From mastering the idea of tangents in calculus class to successfully throwing on the wheel in ceramics, you all have done something with your time in high school that you can be proud of.”

Superintendent of Schools René Rovtar wished the students the grit and resiliency to navigate the bumps in the road ahead and to “find a way to keep yourself on course, or recognize that the bump may have redirected you onto a route that will guide you to a better destination.” She advised the students to be kind always, and remember their friends.

See TAPinto Montville’s video compilation footage of the ceremony and slide shows of the processional and diploma presentations.

Processional:

 

Diploma presentation:

Compilation footage: