PISCATAWAY, NJ - Applause, shouts, cheers, and horns blared from the stands at Rutgers’ Louis Brown Athletic Center as friends and families greeted the Class of 2017 at their commencement ceremony on Tuesday evening.

This year 547 Seniors marched across the stage to receive their diplomas, signifying the end of their high school careers and the start of new opportunities.

“We are truly blessed to attend one of the top high schools in the state, a title that previous students worked so hard to earn,” said Olivia Greene, the Senior Class Vice President who described some of the many accomplishments the class made academically, athletically and culturally.

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“We are the generation of the future. We are at the beginning of our journeys. This class will take the world by storm,” she said. 

Greene fought back tears as she recognized the memory of classmate, Daniel Nols who lost his battle with cancer in 2014.

Simona Alomary, the Senior Representative of the Principal’s Student Council, urged the graduates to work hard to follow their dreams.

“Understand that there is no substitute for hard work and that failure is inevitable,” Alomary said. “It is with dealing with this failure that characters are built and individual growth begins.”

The graduates’ emotions were high on the thoughts of finishing their high school careers and beginning a new phase in life. 

Farrah Shallan, the Senior Class President recalled some of the many clubs and sports where students excelled during their high school careers, listing accolades that were the results.

“Whatever it is you partook in, congratulations, you made it,” she said, also encouraging the graduates to find their passion, follow it and not let anyone define their successes.

Shallan was also moved to tears as she revealed she did not tell her parents ahead of time that she was giving a graduation speech. “Where ever you are in the audience, I hope I made you proud,” she said to them. 

“The accomplishments of this class make this a great place to spread your wings,” said Jason Lester, Piscataway High School’s Principal. “Today is the day you find your purpose in life. In the moment that you find your purpose, that’s when you will come to realize what it means to be a Piscataway Chief.”

“This is a class that has brought Piscataway pride and distinction,” said Teresa Rafferty, the district’s Superintendent of Schools. “They are worthy of their diplomas and are ready to enter a world where they will not give up until they reach the end.”

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