NEW PROVIDENCE – The graduate class of 2015 received their diplomas on Friday, Jun 19 evening, thus closing one chapter and starting a new one.
The graduation marked “a culmination of dedication and hard work” for the past four years, said Kevin Stinchcomb, President of the Student Council, as he congratulated the class of 2015 and wished them further success.
Valedictorian Neal Vinaixa cited President John F. Kennedy saying “human mind is our fundamental resource” during his opening remarks. Vinaixa expressed thanks to parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches and mentors on behalf of the class of 2015. They all have helped them all in their path to success.
Salutatorian Erica Boyd depicted the 12 years in the New Providence school system as a trilogy: elementary school, middle school and high school. She further defined her high school experience in “film” acts. Act I was a freshman year that came with more opportunities and more pressure. Act II was the sophomore year during which the “work was not too hard”, but it was the beginning of future planning with first college visits. Act III – the junior year - was the climax of the “movie” with SAT tests, college preparations and sleepless nights studying. The senior year – act IV – was a “resolution” stage. During the senior year college letters were received and AP-classes completed, yet the year ended with enjoyable events: award night, prom and finally the graduation.
High School Principal Lauren Zirpoli referred to a recent article on what it takes to get a job at the most desirable company – Google. According to Zirpoli Google is looking for individuals who have the ability to learn. They are also looking for candidates who possess “emergent leadership” qualities – that is, individuals who can step up if any given situation so demands, and listen when needed. Another sought after quality in potential employees is “ownership and intellectual humility”. You should be able to admit that you failed, Zirpoli explained. You will not be judged by your failures but how you handled them, she advised and added, that the graduates possess all the necessary qualities for future success.
Superintendent David Miceli touted the culture and pride in the New Providence school system. He told a story of Aaron, a first grader in the district, who was diagnosed with leukemia and was unable to attend the school. However, by using Vigo-robot, Aaron was able to participate in the classroom experience remotely. Aaron, his teacher and classmates were able to utilize technology to enhance “successful citizenship” within the community.
The final speaker, Senior Class President Kathryn Vigilante, or “Reflectorian” as she described her role in the podium, gave the new graduates “four nuggets of wisdom”: “Whistle while you hustle,” “Stay humble” and “the best piece of advice: No one knows what they are doing either.” Her final advice “say thank you” was attributed to her mom who installed good manners in her and her siblings.
Vigilante was also the recipient of TAPinto.net scholarship.