SUMMIT, NJ - Concluding a school year that was flush with spectacular achievements in the areas of academics, community service, performing arts and sports, Summit High School held its 131st Commencement Ceremony, graduating the 270 seniors comprising the Class of 2014.
In a ceremony held indoors because of potential inclement weather, a host of speakers -- representing administration, faculty, and the students themselves -- echoed sentiments of pride, empowerment, and gratitude.
After Student Council President Max Graeb welcomed everyone, "Voice of The Class" Claire Harrison spoke poignantly about how her mother's advice that, "Timing is everything," had taken on new meaning as she approached graduation. Harrison reflected on friendships formed and experiences shared, and said, "Being a part of the Class of 2014 is our identity." She concluded by stating, "Our time has come, this time is ours, and the future is now."
Isabelle Sacks, Class Secretary, next spoke regarding the prizes and scholarships that were awarded, which totaled 141 awards and in excess of $200,000. William Elia, Class Treasurer, presented the Class gift: a couch, table, and plaque for a reading area recently established.
Principal Paul Sears led the graduates through their final "assessment," asking them to rise and applaud as one to show gratitude for faculty, family, and those who have supported and contributed to their journey.
Dr. Nathan Parker, Superintendent of Schools, acknowledged the retiring teachers, including Anthony Akey, Robert Kaplow, Arturo Lopez, Carol Rogers-Shaw, Paula Rozan, Gordon Sauer, and Dr, John Schnedeker, who served for a combined 232 years in the school.
Celia Colbert, Board of Education President, who anchored the sequence of speakers, told the graduates to embrace the evening and occasion. In a relatively brief, but warm and heart-felt speech, Colbert said, on this night, thinking about the future can wait, and encouraged the Class of 2014 to hold three thoughts in their minds. "Feel good about yourself, remember the people who nurtured and inspired you -- those who helped get you here -- and live this moment."
One by one, the students then stepped onto the auditorium stage to receive their diplomas, and take the next step in their futures.
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