NEWTON, NJ—Surrounded by their friends, families and teachers, the class of 2017, made up of 181 students, celebrated their graduation on Monday night.  Due to the rainy conditions, the graduation was held inside. Newton High School has only had a total of five inside graduations over the past 15 years.

After the graduates processed in with the teachers and Board of Education members, the Alma Mater and the National Anthem were sung by graduating members of the Newton High School Honors Choir.

Class President, Lisa Anwar Qarmout gave the welcome speech, followed by Miruna Muresan, Liam Oakes, and Julia Nehrings, who each gave an honorary essay to their fellow classmates, families, and friends.

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Jeff Waldron, the Principal at Newton High School opened the graduation by acknowledging those who will be retiring this year: Jeff Willis, a security monitor, Wendy Whipple, the teacher librarian for the past 17 years at Newton, and Kurt Walton, who has been in the Newton district for 20 years.

Four students were recognized for the service they will be giving by serving their country in the Armed Forces. Two young men will be joining the Marines, one will be joining the Army and one in the National Guard.

A moment of silence was given for Kellie Burns, who died unexpectedly on July 1, 2016 at the age of 17. Burns was a junior at Newton High School and was with her graduating class in spirit on Monday.

Waldron then acknowledged the Salutatorian, Miruna Christina Muresan and Valedictorian, Michael Patrick Burke, who were awarded medals by their guidance counselors. The Class of 2017 was then presented to Superintendent Dr. G Kennedy Greene as well as the Board of Education members and all the graduating seniors’ families and friends that were present.

The quote that the Class of 2017 chose was “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths,” by Walt Disney.

Waldron address the Class of 2017’s quote by telling the graduates that “as each student is moving forward and creating change, I would like to remind each one of them to focus on the question being asked and not just finding out the solution because that is what curious people do when they are faced with a problem, the first thing they do is ask questions to find a solution, but they must ask the right question in order to come up with the correct solution to a problem.”

Dr. Greene spoke to the graduates saying that the theme they chose, “always forward” or “semper deinceps” in Latin is “an intriguing one as it is used famously as a military call to action….so I say to you the Class of 2017, take the knowledge, skills, and character that you developed here in dear old Newton and use them as a foundation and change the world.”

Junior Class Advisor Jennifer Coffey and Senior Class Advisor Brian Bennington read off the names of the graduates as Board of Education President Stella Dunn and Board of Education Vice President Jessica Egner handed out the diplomas.

Kathryn Van Orden and Willie Little kindly asked that on behalf of the Class of 2017, all applause be held until all the graduates have received their diplomas..

Newton High School Class of 2017 Graduates

National Honor Society *

Alisha  Ann Acosta, Joselyne Acosta-Barradas, Jasmine Grace Aguilar, Alexis Marie Alborano, Mason David Allen, Jefferson Alexander Argandoña-Mecias, Luis David Arrazola, Alison Kristine Ays, Kathryn Alexandra Barbato, Megan Kimberley Bederka*, Kendra Cole Berry, Karlie Ann Best, Sarah Miles Blake, Alex Hunter Blanar, Alexander Ryan Bott, John Joseph Bottone, Carter William Boyd*, Taylor Belle Boyer, Vaishnavi Nayan Brahmbhatt, Patrick Thomas Bresney, Everette Lamont Bridgers Jr., Michael Patrick Burke*, Miguel Carlitos Camacho, Mark Declan Capparelli, Bradley Andrew Carnegie*, Olivia Nicole Castimore, Robert Matthew Caton, Andres Stone Chavarria, April Marie Ciccia, Shawn Anthony Coiro, Payton Eileen-Ann Collander , Nevin Amir Collora-Elsayed, Jordan Rose Conklin-Snow, John Ramsey Costa IV, Leah Rose Cotton, Marcus           Lee Coward, Josephine Evelyn D'Alessandro, Nicholas Andrew Daschko, Joseph Pasquale Davi, Robert Francis Day III, Keith Altana Dearborn, Elizabeth Anne DeHaas, Jacob DeLuca*, Dylan John Detwiller, Adriana Dominguez, Gina Marie Donatelli, Holly Renae Donovan, Margaret Joanna Drislane, Alexander Charles Duckworth, Alexander Jordan Eich, Cristian Emigdio Elizondo, Kayla Marie Fagerlin, IreLee Mae Ferguson*, Michael Brandon Figueroa, Timothy Ryan Fitzpatrick, Nicole Dawn Franchino, Jason Matthew Gabbard, Mary Jacqueline Gallagher, Elena  Alison Gardiner, Andrew James Ghaleb, Nicholas Anthony Giordano, Skylar Renee Glenn, Kirsten Joy Go*, Dylan James Gompertz, Seth Michael Nielson Gormley, Hunter Thomas Grave de Peralta, Danielle Nicole Grello, Nitant Gupta, Jason Michael Heter, Alexis Anne Hibbits, Skylar Mary Hildebrant, Brian Andrew Hoskins, Lauren Kay Hummel*, Gift Simonpierre Ingabire, Zachary Irizarry, Jane Rose Jeffer, Austin Phillip Kalaydjian, Sheridan Ann Kapuscinski, Austin James Kazar, Logan Christian Kellenberger, Collin James Kelly, Jake Samuel Koeberle, Robert Paul Koontz, Noah Logan Kowalick, Nicholas Mark Krawchuk, Connor Joseph Krieg, Soo Hyeon Laing, Christopher Joseph Laite, Koko Lei Lear, Jason David Leonardo, Willie Little IV, Gabriella Amberliz Lora Ferreira, Jasmine Marie Luciani, Michael James Luzzi, Erion Mahmudi, Charles George Maker, Jaymie Theresa Marchiano, Justin Mark Marenzana*, Destany Marie Masino, Erin Briana Matyola, William Charles McDade III, Ashley Elizabeth McDonnell, Kevin Michael McGee, Courtney Anya McHale*, Connor John McKnight, Nicole Alexandra Medina, Brian Patrick Michels, Francis Charles Militano, Sam Reese Miller, Madelyn Elsie Mitchell, Brianna Hope Monahos, Shannon Rose Moye, Miruna Cristiana Muresan, Summer Dawn Muscher-Malone, Brittany Barbara Napholz, Julia Rose Nehrings*, Katie Darleen Nelson, Joseph Anthony Newman III, Amanda Lynn Nitting*, Liam Matthew Oakes*, Aaron Peter Ocheski, Emma Regina Orabone, Andrea Nichole Orleanski*, Luke Francis Pawlak, Amber Lynn Pierce, Nicholas Peter Polyak, Matthew Ryan Porzilli, Harvy Ken Guarin Porzuelo*, Ezequiel Posse, Daniel Sean Power, Rebecca Eileen Powers, Scott Charles Price, Lisa Anwar Qarmout, Natalia Quintero, Sarah Nicole Radulic, Andrea Camila Ramirez, Michelle Ramirez, Gregory Richard Rannou, Isaiah Micah Matthew Reese, Gregory Owen Rinehart, Natalie Victoria Rivas, Nicole Eva Rizzo*, Jose Antonio Rodriguez Ortiz, Patrick James Russell, Kevin Joseph Saar, Cameron Patrick Saks, Abel Sanchez, Nicole Julieth Sandoval, Brittany Lynn Schumann, Justin Scribner, Liam Walter Shernce, Charles Thomas Sherwood, Michaela Nicole Snyder, John Louis Southard III, Chandler James Spencer, Hannah Annette Squires*, Alyssa Morgan Stachura, Stephanie Marie Sylvain, Kathryn Rose Szatkiewicz*, Taylor Elizebeth Thieme*, Bryn Christine Tibus, Sean Michael Tracy*, Hannah Elizabeth Trautz, Brandon Tyler Turner, Jorge Arturo Urena Monge, Wendy Lucia Urena Monge, Mateo William Valentine, Aldo Matthew Vallorosi, Ashley Marie Van Hoorebeke, Kathryn Elizabeth Van Orden*, Joseph Daniel VanDerGroef, Isaiah Lee Velardo, Victoria Anne Viersma*, Ava Nicole Villaverde, Ryan Robert Wanamaker, Run-Xiang Wang, Taylor Kennice Whitaker, DaVonya Recha White, Kenneth Daniel Whitehead, Kenneth Leonard Whitehead Jr., Jenna Beatrice Winkelman, David Brandon Zambrano*