PLAINFIELD, NJ — More than 375 Seniors beamed with pride as members of the Class of 2018 turned the tassels on their graduation caps, signifying the official completion of their high school careers on Monday.

Students from Plainfield High School and Barack Obama Academy for Academic and Civic Development marched into Hub Stein Stadium on Randolph Road where hundreds of proud families packed the sun-filled stands to cheer on the graduates as their names were called to receive their diplomas.

“We are the future and we are the future right now,” said Alexander Munoz, the Distinguished Student for BOAACD. “Our class are the game changers. This is the first step into tomorrow.”

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Valedictorian for PHS, Charles “Romey” Talley, who not only achieved academic excellence, but was recognized during the school year for being the 13th basketball player in Plainfield High School history to score 1,000 points, said he could not have made it without the love and support of his family and thanked several teachers who also helped shape his path. 

“You’re entering a world where there are going to be many changes,” said Dr. Ronald Bolandi, Interim Superintendent of Schools, advising those who are moving on to attend college to take courses in various subject areas. 

“The next few years are going to shape you,” he said, referencing studies that show workers are likely to have four career changes during their lives, so they need to be prepared.

“You made it through the trials and tribulations of taking math tests, science tests, and English tests,” said Board of Education President, Richard Wyatt, himself a 2004 graduate of Plainfield High School. “Create a tunnel vision for your success and it will be yours.”