MORRISTOWN, NJ - Excitement filled Mennen Arena on Thursday evening as Morristown High School's Class of 2019 took the next steps towards their future.
It was a time of reflection as Salutatorian Abigail Gringeri compared time in high school to that of a train.
“You begin as a caboose, a freshman. You travel up each car as you get confidence and knowledge until you reach the engine as a senior", she said. Gringeri also said "school is a contest of endurance", she said. "Slow and steady as you plan to tackle all that you need to do".
The 461 seniors who stood on the Mennen floor ready to receive their diplomas, have already accomplished so much, said MHS principal Mark Manning.
"You have written scores of essays, solved countless equations, debated controversial topics, conducted experiments, designed vehicles and structures and even communities", said Manning. "Each of you leave here tonight as educated and accomplished adults equipped with the knowledge and skills to tackle your next stage of life."
He bid farewell to "one of the finest groups of students" in his 30 year career.
"As a class, your leadership, your maturity, your compassion, your sense of humor, and your camaraderie have made my job of principal an absolute joy", he said.
He then spoke to the students about events in life. He discussed how no one expects them to know exactly how their life will play out.
"As you move into the next stage of your life, whether its college, career or the military, feel confident that throughout the past thirteen years you have mastered a large body of knowledge and have learned problem solving and critical thinking skills", said Manning.
Valedictorian Anna Cliché reminded those in attendance, that as freshman, they were easily confused and oblivious of the challenges ahead. But over time, "formed new communities, made friends and got accustomed to the environments and the lay out of the school".
Cliché explained that they joined together to meet the everyday challenges of high school. They developed tools; socially, academically and morally. The tools weren’t handed to them but were refined each of them with every step taken.
“Use the tools we have learned to help you adapt to the ever changing environment", she said.
Following Cliché’s speech, The MHS Chorale sang, “Time of Your Life" and then each graduating senior heard his or her name announced as they walked up to receive their diploma.
As Principal Manning bid farewell to the Class of 2019, he said. "It is with a mixture of tremendous pride and deep sadness that we bid you farewell, confident that you are well prepared for whatever your future holds. We wish you years of good health, happiness and success. And wherever your roads lead you, our hope is that at some point they lead you back to Morristown High School".