PISCATAWAY, NJ – Horns blared, cow bells rang, and proud parents, families and friends cheered with joy as members of Piscataway High School’s Class of 2018 marched into Rutgers’ Louis Brown Athletic Center to receive their diplomas on Thursday.
More than 500 Seniors graduated at the school’s 58th Annual Commencement Exercises, with many receiving academic and senior awards for their performance throughout their high school years, earning scholarships to continue their education at the colleges and universities of choice.
“From the day you first went to Piscataway High School we knew you were a special group of young people,” said Superintendent Teresa Rafferty who pondered if it was because they were the first class to have been in the full day kindergarten program or because of the foundation first set by their elementary principals. “I knew from your middle school principals and later heard it from your high school teachers and coaches who each remarked that this is a special class.”
“More than ever, our country needs your tolerance, your compassion, your kindness, your leadership, and the voices of our young people,” said Rafferty reflecting on the recent student movements that took place in protest of gun violence issues. “You showed us last March how strong your voices can be. My hope is that people of goodwill like you, will prevail.”
School board president, Alexandra Lopez asked the graduates to look towards their families to emulate characteristics that define who they are, calling them the students’ true leaders.
And she suggested the students take their time as they navigate through life and not be afraid to try new things, to fall or to do things out of order.
“There are going to be many moments going forward where you’re going to feel a void,” she said. “Fill it with passion and curiosity. Fill those intentional empty spaces with new pursuits… with volunteerism and commitment to those less fortunate. Surround yourself with people who will lift and challenge you and don’t settle for mediocrity.”
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