MORRISTOWN, NJ - Four hundred graduates from Morristown High School's Class of 2018 received their diplomas on Thursday night during the Commencement Exercises held at Mennen Arena.
"Tonight we gather to celebrate the accomplishments of these four hundred men and women," said MHS principal Mark Manning during his opening remarks. "You are an amazing group of young women and young men, individually and collectively and it has truly been my privilege, my honor and my joy to be with you on this journey", Manning told the graduates.
Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast, taking a saying from his late father in law, told the graduates to "keep doing what you've been doing." In making his point, Pendergrast listed the numerous awards, recognitions, accolades and championships that students from the Morris School District have won.
"It is beyond awards, our students, our musicians, artists, actors, actresses and athletes are simply and always inspirational to us", said Pendergrast. "What all this tells me is that you are accomplished. You are uniquely prepared to not only live a good and meaningful life but to lead so that others may as well".
Salutatorian Erin Fleck stated that the senior class has "transformed into a strong group of dreamers, believers and above all leaders".
Valedictorian Tommy Cromie congratulated his fellow classmates on getting to this day.
"We made it", Cromie began. "We survived those long nights writing and studying for that test we didn't think we could pass. We survived those nerve racking moments on the field or on the stage, representing Morristown the best ways we knew. All these moments brought us to this incredible day, which marks the major milestone in all of our lives. This day for reflection, this day for celebration and for jubilation".
"We walked into the halls of the yellow brick building at 50 Early Street, small, shy and curious" said Cromie. "We leave the building a little bigger, a lot louder and with our eyes open to the world".
"We must not forget what we've created at Morristown", he told his classmates. "We must be the leaders we've grown into".
Principal Manning recommended that the Class of 2018 should be graduated. Pendergrast accepted his recommendation and asked Lisa Pollak, President of the Board of Education to accept the Class of 2018.
"On behalf of the Morris School District Board of Education, I enthusiastically and joyfully accept the Class of 2018", Pollak said.
As Manning bid the seniors farewell, he said the moment was a mixture of "tremendous pride and deep sadness".
"Confident that you are well prepared for whatever your futures hold", Manning said. "We wish you years of good health, happiness and success where ever your roads lead you, our hope is that at some point they lead you back to Morristown High School".
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