RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph High School graduated the Class of 2018 on Thursday June 21, where students heard positive messages full of inspiration from their student speakers.
Principal Debbie Iosso opened the ceremony, sharing words of encouragement for her 10th RHS graduating class. ( PHOTO SLIDESHOW above in Photo section )
“May each of you take time to find your passion, and pursue it against all odds,” said Iosso. “Be willing to sacrifice for what you believe in, and stand on your principles regardless of who may or may not be standing with you.”
The first student to address her class was the Student Council President Alyssa Horwitz, who discussed her strong belief in “The Power of One” which she learned from Spanish teacher Carmella Ferrintino.
“If you want to create change my start with yourself,” said Horwitz. “The ‘Power of One’ means doing an act for the good of the whole. Rather than only looking out for ourselves, we should strive to care for the well-being of others… even when we are not directly affected.”
Horowitz concluded her talk by stating, “I challenge you all to make choices in your life that are rooted in integrity, kindness, and honesty.”
The 2018 class also had the unique distinction of having the first ever tie for Salutatorian, Jenna Sandler and Sydney Jenkins, who took the podium to speak together.
The two decided to use their time to call out for applause and congratulations for virtually every extra-curricular a student could have partaken in, including athletics, band, choir, orchestra, theater, speech and debate, service groups and organizations who contribute to the community, honor societies, arts, mass media, and more. They offered a few complimentary words about each group to recognize their achievements.
In conclusion, they offered these words, “To each and every one of you, these groups and activities that you have been part of taught you skills that will bring you success for years to come. Whatever you ultimately pursue, you can rest assured that you are prepared for the next important stage of your life. Congratulations again.”
Valedictorian Lauren Spencer then addressed her classmates.
“Take full advantage of each moment you have and don’t fixate on mistakes or failures, because who you are right now is good,” said Spencer. “Congratulations, not simply for the achievement of graduating high school, but also for how much you’ve grown these past four years.”
Each year, the students vote on a teacher to speak at their graduation, this year they chose Joe Lusardi, physical education teacher and former Randolph football coach for 15 years.
“I stand here today humbled and proud to be part of your day, as for both of us things are changing,” said Lusardi, who is retiring this year.
Lusardi spoke about his time as football coach and the great memories from his years in Randolph, and then discussed the relationships with colleagues and students as being like family to him.
“To the graduates, from the bottom of my heart I’ll never forget this moment or forget you.”
Lusardi then stepped back from the podium, and took off his shirt, unveiling a Randolph football jersey with the number 18. After laughter and cheers, he led the whole stadium in a “Rams” cheer.
Finally, after diplomas were awarded, it was class president Nate Pangaro’s turn to speak.
“Make sure you take the lessons you’ve learned so far in your life and use them in your future,” said Pangaro. “Never forget the people who helped you along the way and never forget those who have been there for you in the best and worst of times.”
Pangaro then took the moment to give a shout out to the teachers in the district.
“To our wonderful, talented, and truly dedicated teachers and staff…we the students may be the future, but you, the teachers and staff, are the ones that helped shape it, and for that we thank you.”
Pangaro then took what has now become the ritual “Class President Selfie” and then instructed his peers to toss their caps. The caps tossed by the Class of 2018 saw the most and best decorated caps that the graduation has seen in recent years. Photo Slideshow is below: