SUMMIT, NJ - The Pomp was there. The Circumstance was definitely there. And, judging from the size of the crowd, everyone who holds the Summit High School Class of 2017 near and dear to their hearts was there as well.
In the span of 90 minutes, the four-year trek through the Kent Place Boulevard campus reached its summit for 331 seniors on a warm, muggy evening, with the combination of the recent grandstand renovation project -- that reduced Investors Bank Field's 'home side' seating capacity by 216 seats -- and a relatively large-sized senior class causing several hundred spectators who couldn't find seating in the packed bleachers to scramble for a standing vantage point.
All those in attendance heard speeches from students, school administrators, and District personnel hailing their collective accomplishments and trumpeting their evolution to the next level of life and learning.
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Senior Student Council Liaison Natalie Herr began the proceedings by leading everyone through the Pledge of Allegiance and introducing the National Anthem, which was performed by senior choir members under the direction of Wayne Mallet.
Emma Osborne, Student Council President, offered the official welcome, which echoed her pride -- and the fun she had -- in being part of a dynamic group of student achievers.
Assistant Principal Lorena Dolan introduced Matthew Wilson -- 'The Voice of the Class' -- who gave a whimsical but metaphorically-spot on take on the Class of 2017's journey that focused on 'The Seven Pillars of Cone Management', the melting ice cream cone symbolically related to successfully navigating the class' four years as Hilltoppers and what lies ahead.
The nearly $200,000 in scholarship awards were gratefully acknowledged by Student Council Secretary Kate Griffith, while Student Council Treasurer Maddie Collins outlined the class gift of furniture for the schools media center.
Principal Stacy Grimaldi spoke glowingly of her pride at all that the class has done in the classroom and outside of it, and Superintendent of Public Schools June Chang told the class that, "I can only imagine what the next 20 will bring, when the brilliant and creative minds of Summit’s class of 2017 are unleashed into the emerging markets, industries, and fields. The next renaissance will be sparked by your thoughts, your voices, and your talents. So, don’t be timid in who you are and who you will be. Let the the person you have become at Summit High School meet the future of who you will be in this world."
Summit Board of Education President Rick Hanley rounded out the roster of speakers, giving the class 'their last test" which he added was "multiple choice." The purpose of the surprise exam, said Hanley, was "to plant one last Summit High School seed before you take off: Think hard about where you want to go from here and how you want to get there. Think about it now. What kind of mark do you want to make on the world? How do you want people to remember you? Who are you and what do you stand for?"
ADRIENNE REID MEMORIAL ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIP - EMMA OSBORNE
ALBERT J. BARTHOLOMEW SCHOLARSHIP - JAIRA DeJESUS, MATTHEW GALGANO, BRANDON JOHNSTON, and ELIZABETH MINER
AMERICAN LEGION LINDSEY STREET POST #322, THE ELWOOD C. CORNOG, JR. AMERICAN CHARACTER AWARD - WILLIAM FREEMAN
ARTHUR SCHROEDER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - DANNY PETRELA
BEVERLY JEANNE WELSH SCHOLARSHIP - SAMANTHA AUERBACH, SOFIA CALVO-CASTILLO, KEURIN GIRON, GABRIELLE PETRONE, KATHERINE KUSMIN, and JAQUELINE KOHAUT
BILL O’CONNOR “#39” LACROSSE AWARD - CHRISTOPHER FOWLER
C. ARTHUR TORELL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - MICHAEL FLANAGAN and KACIE YIP
THE CHRIST CHILD SOCIETY OF SUMMIT SCHOLARSHIP - JONATHAN BANKS and DANIELLE MEDINA
CLARA WULFF MEMORIAL AWARD - NOELIA TODOROV
DAWNE HAUSMAN MEMORIAL / SUMMIT SOCCER CLUB SCHOLARSHIP - JACK CLARK and KEURIN GIRON
EAGLE AWARD FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE - LIAM DWYER
ELLIS WALLING SCHOLARSHIP - CRAIG ACKERLY
EMILY BENSINGER MEMORIAL PRIZE IN BUSINESS SUBJECTS - JAMES BADENHAUSEN
ERIC JAMES SOBEL MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP IN BAND - CIERRA MENDEZ
FORTNIGHTLY CLUB SCHOLARSHIPS: THE SHERRY RAWSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - AMANDA FONSECA; FORTNIGHTLY CLUB SCHOLARSHIP - KAYLA BALSLEY and GABRIELLA MEJIA
FRANK AND ROSE DIMUCCIO MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - WAQAS RAZZAQ
FRIEDA M. CRICHFIELD SCHOLARSHIP - EMMA OSBORNE
GRAND SUMMIT HOTEL SCHOLARSHIP - VALERIA GUZMAN
HALE FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - SOFIA CALVO-CASTILLO
HARRY & GENEVIEVE KATES SUMMIT KIWANIS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - SOFIA CALVO-CASTILLO
HOWARD S. ANDERSON SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARD - ABIGAIL CLAUS, MADELINE COLLINS, CHRISTOPHER HECKELMAN, MATTHEW MURDOCK, EMMA OSBORNE, WILLLIAM ROBERTSON, KIRA ROSS and WILLIAM SCHAEFFER
IMMIGRANT STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP - JEAN CARLOS CARVAJAL and VALERY ROJAS
JEFFERSON SCHOOL PTO SCHOLARSHIP - ALANA GARTENBERG
KATIE HADLEY MEMORIAL LACROSSE SCHOLARSHIP - JACK JOHNSON and PATRICK MORIARTY
LAKELAND BANK SCHOLARSHIP - GABRIELLA MEJIA
LOIS MONTI / JEFFERSON SCHOOL INTERNATIONAL CLUB SCHOLARSHIP - FREDDY ARELLANO, ALVARO MICHELENA and DIEGO PINZON
MAME LOUISE REYNOLDS McGEORGE FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - KAELA RICHARDSON
McNANY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION, INC. MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP AWARD - SPENCER FREY
NATIONAL SPIRITUALIST ASSOCIATION OF CHURCHES STOW FAMILY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - JACK BONOMO
NATIONAL HISPANIC RECOGNITION PROGRAM - RACHEL BLUME, PILAR CANAVOSIO, MATTHEW COLON, SABRINA FLEISCHMAN, BRANDON GOMES, ALINA PATRICK and DIEGO PINZON
NATIONAL MERIT MET LIFE FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - CHRISTOPHER KELSER
NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARSHIP FINALISTS - MATTHEW COLON, SEAN CROTTY, ETHAN KANTOR, CHRISTOPHER KELSER and KATHERINE SCHEER
PICOZZI FAMILY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - VALERY ROJAS
PIETER SMIT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - CATHERINE HASSERT
ROTARY CLUB OF SUMMIT & NEW PROVIDENCE SCHOLARSHIP , WALTER EDDY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - JONATHAN BANKS
ROTARY CLUB SCHOLARSHIP - ISABELLA CANTONE, SPENCER FREY, KEURIN GIRON and JOCELYN MENDEZ
RYAN E. McGEOUGH MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - MICHAEL FLANAGAN
SANTIAGO DANIEL ABUT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - CATHERINE HASSERT
SOPHIA KIM AND JUNE CHANG GLOBAL HERITAGE SCHOLARSHIP - ZACHARY KUEHNE
SPARC SCHOLARSHIP IN MEMORY OF MARY SNIECKUS - BELLA ANIDJAR, ANNE BORZNER, MAGINNIS BUCKLEY, ANNIKA CARLSON, ALEXA CARLSON, MATTHEW COLON, SARAH COMPETIELLO, SAVANNAH DOOLEY, OLIVIA HUMPHREYS, JESSICA JILLA, HOPE KOVERA, SEAN McMANUS, REYNALDO PEREZ, ROBERT SCOTT and MATTHEW WILSON
SPARC TECHNICAL THEATRE SCHOLARSHIP, IN MEMORY OF BENJAMIN ROBERT ZUKOFF - KIRA ROSS and KATHRYN KLASCHKA
SUBURBAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PERRY ROOT AND WILLIAM STAMPES SCHOLARSHIP - VALERY ROJAS
SUMMIT AFRICAN AMERICAN ACTION ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP, S4A SCHOLARSHIP - KAELA RICHARDSON
THE ELZADIE (“ZADIE”) B. SMITH S4A SCHOLARSHIP - CIERRA MENDEZ
SUMMIT AREA PUBLIC FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP, IN MEMORY OF DAVID R. RAU - JONATHAN BANKS
SUMMIT BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - VERONICA FALLAS
SUMMIT COLLEGE CLUB SCHOLARSHIP - STERLING SIDEBOTTOM
SUMMIT EDUCATION ASSOCIATION FRANCES FLESCH SCHOLARSHIP - SOFIA CALVO-CASTILLO, BRANDON GOMES and CIERRA MENDEZ
SUMMIT F.A.S.T. A.C.T. KEN KUEBLER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - OWEN FERN, CHRISTOPHER HECKELMAN, EMMA OSBORNE and CLAUDIA PIRON
SUMMIT FIRST AID SQUAD ALICE NICHOLS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - CATERINA diMAYORCA, LIAM DWYER, AMANDA FONSECA and TARA MIRESKANDARI
SUMMIT GIRLS FAST PITCH SOFTBALL LEAGUE SCHOLARSHIP - SAMANTHA AUERBACH and DANIELLE MEDINA
SUMMIT HIGH SCHOOL 50th REUNION SCHOLARSHIP - CATHERINE HASSERT
SUMMIT HIGH MUSIC PARENTS ASSOCIATION SCHOLARSHIP - LAURA BALDACCINO, BRANDON GOMES, MATTHEW GRANGE, SCOTT GREENBLATT, CATHERINE HASSERT, CHRISTOPHER HECKELMAN, SAMUEL KAPLAN, HOPE KOVERA, KUNAL SENGUPTA and JOSUE VASQUEZ
SUMMIT HIGH SCHOOL MUSIC PARENTS ASSOCIATION, CAROL CLYNE HASSERT SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP - SABRINA FLEISCHMAN, PHOEBE HALPER, JESSICA JILLA, and CIERRA MENDEZ
SUMMIT HIGH SCHOOL PTO SCHOLARSHIP - JUAN CARLOS CARVAJAL, KEURIN GIRON, VALERIA GUZMAN and EMMA OSBORNE
SUMMIT JUNIOR BASEBALL LEAGUE SCHOLARSHIP - GRANT DOUGLAS and DAVID MEDINA
SUMMIT LIONS FOUNDATION JACK J. NIEVERGELT SCHOLARSHIP - TARA MIRESKANDARI
SUMMIT POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE SCHOLARSHIP - JONATHAN BANKS, ISABELLA CANTONE, MICHAEL FLANAGAN, JACQUELINE KOHAUT, JOCELYN MENDEZ and GABRIELLA PETRONE
THOMAS I. GLASSER MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND - CIERRA MENDEZ and LIAM DOUGHERTY
UNION COUNTY GUIDANCE COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION ‘WE CARE’ AWARD - KEURIN GIRON
UNION HISPANA SCHOLARSHIP - JEAN CARLOS CARVAJAL and ALYSIA LOPEZ
WESLEY K. BURTON SUMMIT CIVIC FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - JONATHAN BANKS
WILSON ALLEN SUMMIT CIVIC FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP - ZAKARY KUEHNE and SARA PEREZ SANCHEZ