RANDOLPH, NJ- Classmates, family and friends were joined by Superintendent Jennifer Fano, Director of Special Services Walter Curioni and many others on June 13 to recognize the first four graduates of Randolph’s new Transition House: Andrew Beideman, Brittany Beideman, Jeffrey Daza and Jillian Mantell.

Transition Coordinator Brianne McBreen and Special Education Teacher Rick Eva hosted this very special event, but the two, who were recently honored by ARC Morris with the 2019 Educator of the Year Award, did so much more to make the ceremony extraordinary. 

After thanking the many individuals who have contributed to the Transition House’s remarkable success, from administrators to the Transportation Department staff to members of the Board of Education, McBreen said, “The biggest thank you goes to the families and to the students. Our lives will be forever intertwined, and Rick and I are so proud to be part of your journey.”

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She and Eva then recited a thoughtful and funny poem about the evolution of the program, which serves 18- to 21-year old students with special needs. Years ago, there were only two students and the program was located within RHS. Now a group of nine are happily housed at 565 Millbrook Avenue.

After Fano and Curioni presented the diplomas, Eva sang “Transition Time” (to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line”), a sweet song filled with funny observations that had the entire audience laughing and inside jokes that this Transition House family clearly loved.

The music didn’t end there, as Eva and McBreen had previously recorded another song, this one to the tune of Mat Kearney’s “Nothing Left to Lose,” also celebrating the students. The song played along to a wonderful slide show that highlighted the many activities, trips and events the Transition House students had participated in during the course of the school year.

In closing, McBreen said, “It’s really not about letting go. It’s about holding on differently. And we will absolutely forever hold onto Andrew, Brittany, Jeff and Jillian. You will always have a place here at 565…truly we love you and we couldn’t be more proud of how far you’ve come, here at the high school and throughout your journey in Randolph.”